Timestamps Optional

Last update: 2024-02-06
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Learn about the benefits and constraints of using Timestamps Optional setting.

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Timestamps Optional is the default setting for all new report suites.

  • Mix timestamped and non-timestamped data in the same global report suite.
  • Send timestamped data from a mobile app to a global report suite.
  • Upgrade apps to employ timestamps without having to create a new report suite.

Timestamps Optional is the default setting for all new report suites generated from a template. New report suites copied from an existing report suite will inherit settings from the original.

See Timestamps Optional for additional setup information.

Timestamps Optional: Integrate timestamped and non-timestamped data

Using the Timestamps Optional feature, you can combine non-timestamped data with timestamped data without incurring data loss. Offline data with timestamps generated from a mobile device can be combined with live, non-timestamped data from a web page—or integrated with data from any platform using a client-side timestamp call.

  • Timestamp data. Client-side timestamp data is captured and sent directly with the device data using client-side timestamp variables: Javascript on a web page, or using a Mobile SDK call ( offlineEnabled=true) in a mobile app.
  • Non-timestamp data. Adobe sets a timestamp on non-timestamped data in a report suite when the data hits the collection servers.

A report suite can have one of the following timestamp settings:

  • Timestamps not allowed (setting visitorID supported)
  • Timestamps required (setting visitorID not supported)
  • Timestamps optional (setting visitorID supported but not on timestamped hits)

About Timestamps Optional features

Timestamps Optional allows you to integrate and report across multiple report suites with or without client-side timestamps included. With Timestamps Optional you can update your app to employ timestamps while still using non-timestamped data from the previous app.

In previous releases… In addition…
Timestamped data could not be sent to a non-timestamped global report suite. Consequently, hit data sent from offline devices was dropped when adding to a non-timestamped report suite.

Consequently, hit data sent from offline data was dropped when adding to a non-timestamped report suite.
Updating an app to collect and use timestamps required you to employ a new report suite.
You could not save to the existing report suite or integrate existing data when updating your app to use timestamps.

With Timestamps Optional, you can integrate non-timestamped data from a live website with offline data from mobile devices, or update your non-timestamped app to a timestamped app.

Combining data into a Global Report Suite

Combining data into a global report suite can be done in multiple ways, including multi-suite tagging, Vista rules, and imported batch files from offline sources.


Carefully plan the design for each component data set so the combination makes sense in a global report suite.

Best practices when employing timestamps

The following are best practices and a few requirements and restrictions to be aware of when integrating timestamped with non-timestamped data.

  • In general, timestamps for a given visitor or visit must arrive at Adobe in the correct chronological order.

    Out-of-order data can include late arriving data from offline data collection and late arriving hits, or out-of-sync clocks on offline mobile devices. Out-of-order data can negatively impact time calculations (such as time spent values), attribution (eVar persistence), visit number/visit counts, and pathing reports.

  • Using timestamps when setting a s.visitorID is not recommended. It can lead to out-of-order data.

  • Hybrid apps composed of an app (timestamped, offline data) opening a web browser (non-timestamped, live data) should not use timestamps. It results in inaccurate reporting of the session.

    In addition, hybrid apps should not set a visitor ID.

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