Authors: Steve Pelhan, Justin Grover, Nate Smith, and Douglas Paton
In this post, we talk about the official release of Common Analytics Plugins for Adobe Analytics. This has been made available as an extension through Adobe Experience Platform Launch. With the creation of Adobe Launch, Adobe’s next-generation of tag management capability built into Adobe Experience Cloud platform, Adobe Analytics implementations got easier than ever before. The release of the Common Analytics Plugins Launch extension (developed and supported by Adobe Consulting Services) adds a new dimension to the Adobe Launch capability.
For years now, Adobe Analytics has had a series of plugins that help users capture better data and get the most out of Adobe Analytics. But, up until recently, gaining access to the plugins meant talking with Adobe Consulting Services and manually implementing the plugins.
Adobe Experience Platform Launch has changed that. Now, with the help of Adobe Experience Platform Launch, Adobe Analytics users can easily install the most up-to-date versions of their favorite plugins without having to go through Adobe Consulting Services.
Not only does this make it easier for users to gain access to these plugins that enhance the Adobe Analytics experience for users, but it provides them with the most up-to-date version of the plugins. And, accessing the documentation that is needed to get the most of these plugins is easier, as well. It’s now publicly available.
Top advantages that the extension offers
By opening up the Adobe Analytics plugins through Adobe Experience Platform Launch we provided users easy access to:
Commonly used Adobe Analytics plugins: By installing this extension from the catalog, you will have immediate access to 26 of the most commonly used Adobe Analytics plugins, ranging from append to list, get and persist, and get value once. Simply install the extension, select the plugins you are interested in using, and you will get immediate access to those plugins nearly anywhere in your Launch implementation.
Features to enhance Analytics implementation: If you haven’t used one of the Adobe Consulting Services sponsored plugins before, now is the perfect time to start. Each plugin offers unique functionality to further enhance your Adobe Analytics implementation in an easy and repeatable manner. For example, the “Append To List” plugin allows you to easily add events into the s.events variable while avoiding duplicates, and the “Persist Value” plugin allows you to set a value on one page via a condition and automatically resets it on every subsequent page. The extension currently includes 28 different plugins, each with its own unique enhancements to the default Adobe Analytics tracking.
The barrier to implement the plugins has lowered. You no longer need to reach out directly to Adobe Consulting to get the plugins, nor do you need to have the Launch expertise to insert the plugins into your s_code. The extension is available to anyone with access to Launch and the implementation is quick and easy to follow.
The extension is regularly updated, both as the plugins themselves get updated and as new features or fixes are added. Once you install the extension, you will have an easy way to stay up to date with all the updates and changes across all the plugins that are included in the extension. As plugins are deprecated, the functionality will persist within the extension, allowing you more flexibility for choosing timing to discontinue use.
Currently, the following plugins are included in this extension, and extensive documentation regarding how to use each one can be found here. Documentation and support of this extension are maintained by Adobe Consulting Services.
Unexpected discoveries we made
One thing that we found as we were implementing this was that there was a quirk in the way code was handled. There were two ways that plugins could be loaded through Adobe Experience Platform Launch. The first was to select the plugins you wanted to use from a master list. The other way was to initialize each plugin individually in a rule.
The problem was that when you selected plugins from the masterlist, it loaded the code for all the plugins, whether or not they were being used. However, when initializing individual plugins, only the code for the plugins you want to use is loaded.
We’ve been encouraging users to use the rule-based approach because it’s less of a burden on resources.
Figure 1: Selecting the rules that trigger the plugin.
Where we’re going next
Now that we’ve made the first batch of plugins available through Adobe Experience Platform Launch, we plan to add more plugins and make things a little more user friendly. One way we’re looking to improve the UI is by adding data elements. These will eliminate the need for custom code when using the plugins.
We also need to continue working to ensure that our plugins remain up-to-date for users.