Virtual Report Suites, Data Views, AEP Sandboxes and the Analytics Source Connector

Adobe provides a variety of means to create virtual reporting environments and sandbox environments. It is useful to understand the similarities and differences between the following features and how these features relate to the Analytics Source Connector:

  • Adobe Analytics virtual report suites
  • CJA data views
  • AEP sandboxes

Adobe Analytics Virtual Report Suites (VRS)

For more information, see: Virtual report suites overview.

A VRS:

  • Can be based on Adobe Analytics segments.
  • Can be applied to both historical and new data in a non-destructive manner.
  • Allows you to create one or many virtual views on top of an Adobe Analytics report suite for for use by different business teams.
  • May be used to control access to and curate different kinds of data for different users in Adobe Analytics.
  • Provides optional report-time processing capabilities for Adobe Analytics. In this case, a VRS may be used to create a custom definition for “visit”.
  • Is applied at report runtime, similar to segment evaluation. This is after the data has been collected and stored within Adobe Analytics.
  • Is required for Cross-Device Analytics in Adobe Analytics.
  • Has available the same number of variables for use as a standard Analytics Report Suite (250 eVars, 250 props, 1000 events), although VRS curation can limit which variables are exposed to users.
  • Supports custom calendar options.

A virtual report suite is not:

  • A means to combine report suites.
  • Available in Adobe Analytics Data Warehouse.
  • Available as a source for dataflows into AEP via the Analytics Source Connector. Only full (non-virtual) report suites are available for use with the Analytics Source Connector.

CJA data views

For more information, see: Data views overview.

A data view:

  • Can be based on CJA filters.
  • Can be applied to both historical and new data in a non-destructive manner.
  • Allows you to create one or many virtual views on top of a CJA connection, for use by different business teams.
  • May be used to control access to and curate different kinds of data for different users in CJA.
  • Provides powerful non-destructive options for transforming and enhancing data coming into CJA through a CJA connection.
  • Is based on the report-time processing capabilities of CJA.
  • Allows users to create a custom definition for “session.”
  • Is applied at report runtime, similar to a filter evaluation. This is after the Source Connector (Adobe Analytics or other) has written data to a dataset in the AEP data lake, and after the data has been ingested into CJA via a CJA connection.
  • Allows for an unlimited number of variables, although curation can limit which variables are exposed to users
  • Allows for custom naming of Event, Session & Person containers.
  • Supports custom calendar options.

A data view does not:

  • Directly provide a means for combining report suites or other datasets. Instead, datasets are combined with in a CJA connection. The combined data from the CJA connection is available for use in all data views based on that connection.

AEP sandboxes

For more information, see: Sandboxes overview.

An AEP sandbox:

  • Provides a means to partition a single AEP instance into separate virtual environments (dev, test, stage, production, etc.) to help develop and evolve digital experience applications.
  • Can be thought of as a container which holds all the data and applications for a given environment.

An AEP sandbox does not:

  • Provide similar functions as virtual report suites, CJA connections or data views.
  • On its own combine report suites with or without other datasets. However, the datasets within a sandbox can be combined within a CJA connection.

Note that:

  • Data from different sandboxes cannot be combined within CJA.
  • The Analytics Source connector sends report suite data into a specific sandbox. Each report suite may be configured as a source for a single sandbox. See the Analytics Source Connector documentation for more details.

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