Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Implementing Adobe Analytics and other Adobe products Server Side has lots of benefits but it is more complicated than Client Side implementations. Make sure you work with a consultant who has an extensive Adobe Analytics, Launch and database experience within the field. You will need more than a tool analyst for this. Reach out to me on Linkedin if you need with this implementation.
In order to implement Adobe Analytics server side you need to implement Adobe Experience Platform Launch Server Side. As you know Adobe Launch is Adobe's tag manager like Google GTM. But they have been both tag manager for the client side, now we need to have a tag manager for the server side. Adobe Launch client side and Adobe Client server side are 2 different products. With client side you create a new property for web or app client side platforms, but with Adobe Server side you create a property for Edge platform network. That's the main difference. Edge here is the server, where web or app is the client.
Server side implementation is totally different than appMeasurement.js client side implementation. We will also learn new terms and products. With all the privacy and browser cookie blocking issues, server side will replace client side fast. You are already losing data on browsers which blocks all tracking cookies.
First term we need to learn is Adobe Experience Platform Edge Network, which is completely new network where data will be sent. This network replaces the old network address we used to use which included "omtrc.net".This is a major update since this network configuration has been used for years. I was using this network in 2007 when I first started using Omniture. One of the main difference between old "omtrc.net" and Adobe Experience Platform Edge Network is this is the ultimate network for other Adobe products also. If you are using Adobe Target and Adobe Audience Manager, you will also use this network. That way you can share data and pass actions between products easier. Implementation steps I explain here is same for all Adobe products like Adobe Target and Adobe Audience Manager.
We are going to use either one of them to send data to Adobe Experience Platform Edge Network to use Adobe Experience Platform Launch Server Side and Launch Client Side.
Adobe Experience Platform Web SDK
Adobe Experience Platform Mobile SDK
In order to start implementation you need to have an access to following products or features. If you do not have not access or if these products are not activated under your account, contact your Adobe account manager
Adobe Experience Platform Collection Enterprise
Adobe Experience Platform Launch Server Side
Adobe Experience Platform Launch Client Side
Steps to Implement Adobe Analytics Server Side
Create XDM (Experience Data Model) Schema
Create a new Adobe Launch Server Side property, with Edge platform option
Create a New Edge Network Property in Edge Network interface
Configure this new Edge Network to send data to Platform Launch Server Side
Create a new Adobe Launch Client Side property for Edge Network and add Mobile or WEB SDK extension to this property which creates alloy.js file
Create a rule within Adobe Launch Client Side to send data to Edge Network
1-What is Experience Data Model (XDM) and How To Create XDM?
XDM is the other new thing that comes with server side implementation. This is a whole big subject that needs its own blog post. For now let's say XDM is the new way to standardize data that is being collected. You are going to create data schema at the beginning as if you are creating a new database.This new feature will make sure that data design is done properly at the beginning, which is a big issue for many companies. Most companies fail at digital analytics, because they do not do intelligent database design. Most companies who uses Adobe Analytics keeps adding random evars and props with no relation to each other. In some cases I have also seen same variable being captured different ways and being reported falsely. When I am doing implementation, I always spend lots of time at the beginning and create a schema. Now Adobe pushes everybody to this direction.
2-How to Create Adobe Launch Server Side property?
After we created XDM schema, we are ready to go to Adobe Launch and create Launch Server Side Property which will host our WEB or mobile SDK.
In order to create Adobe Launch Server Side property
Select New Property.
Name the property.
Choose the “Edge” platform type.
In this article I assume you already know how to create and manage properties in Adobe Launch. In order to do all this in this article, you need to have the Adobe Launch knowledge. If not, find a consultant or reach out to me on Linkedin for help.
After you create the property, go to the Environments tab for the new property and make note of the environment IDs.
3-How to Create Edge Configuration?
Edge network configuration is done through Adobe Experience Platform Edge Configuration interface. It is not part of Adobe Launch. But you can access Edge through Launch, from the link in the left rail.
When you launch Edge Network interface, select New Edge Configuration and name it and save the new configuration. Here you will see the Environment ID you created in previous step in Adobe Launch when you created your server side property.
Ok so far we did:
Created a new server side property in Adobe Launch
Created a new edge configuration in Edge Network Interface
Now we have to bring them together by configuring Edge Network to send data to the server side property we just created. All you need to do is to select the property you created in Edge Configuration UI. Here you need to fill out all the necessary information depending on your organization such as Adobe Analytics report suite ID.
Configuring The WEB SDK extension for Platform Launch Client Side to send data to the Edge Network configuration you created
4-Create a new Adobe Launch Client Side property for Edge Network and add Mobile or WEB SDK extension to this property
In this step we are going to configure SDK we added. For WEB SDK we are going to create alloy.js file which will be added to the website. As you can see we are still going to have JS library but usage will be different. At the end we still have to interact with client side to collect data. Here Alloy.js will replace appMeasurement.js file.
5-Create a rule within Adobe Launch Client Side to send data to Edge Network
Here you will add an action type that sends data to Edge network. For instance for page loads you can use "Core - Window Loaded" option. Then you might Select Send Event from the Action Type list, and select the desired Instance (Alloy instance configured earlier), and then select a data element to add to the XDM Data block within the Alloy hit. Refer to Adobe Launch for more options.
This article lists basics of Adobe Analytics Server Side Implementation start. In order to understand the text, you need to have technical Adobe Analytics experience and understanding. This article shows you how to configure products and start sending data. Of course the biggest part of this implementation would be to add custom data through XDM which would be discussed in another blog post.
If you want to get most out of your Adobe Analytics implementation you can contact me on Linkedin for consulting or training. We both provide implementation services and business analysis and training services. I have 14 years experience to implement and use Adobe Analytics with big brands like Expedia, American Airlines, Best Western International, ING Bank, Vodafone, Buhler Group. Unfortunately many Adobe Analytics experts out there only tool analysts, they do not have significant product development experience. I have been developing digital products since 1999. Adobe Analytics has become my biggest support for an insight and that's why I learned it very well. I am certified Adobe Analytics architect.
My other passion is food, visit my site to see all my recipes:)