Many browsers and anti-spyware applications are designed to reject and delete third-party cookies, including cookies used in Analytics data collection. To support your tracking of how your visitors interact with your website, you should ensure you have configured your data collection to use first-party cookies:
Two options are available to implement first-party cookies:
s_vicookie) it depends on how you have configured your data collection server. If the data collection server matches your site’s domain, then cookies are set as first-party. If the collection server does not match your current domain, then cookies are set as third party. In this case, if third-party cookies are blocked, Analytics sets a first-party fallback id (s_fid) instead of the standard “s_vi” cookie.
To ensure your collection server matches your site’s domain, you can use a CNAME implementation to which allows cookies to be set in a first-party context. This involves changes to your company’s DNS settings to configure a CNAME alias to pointing to an Adobe hosted domain. Please note that while various Adobe products support using a CNAME, in all cases the CNAME is used to a create a trusted first-party endpoint for a specific customer and is owned by that customer. If you control multiple domains, they may use a single CNAME endpoint to track users across their domains, but wherever the site domain does not match the CNAME domain cookies is set as third party.
For both options, Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) program makes the first-party cookies short-lived on browsers that are governed by ITP, which include Safari on macOS and all browsers on iOS and iPadOS. As of November 2020, both types of cookies have a seven-day expiry. This expiry is subject to change.
For the second option using a CNAME, if your site has secure pages using the HTTPS protocol, you can work with Adobe to obtain an SSL certificate in order to implement first-party cookies. Adobe strongly recommends that you exclusively use HTTPS for data collection as Adobe is dropping support for HTTP collection in the second half of 2020.
The SSL certificate issuance process can often be confusing and time consuming. As a result, Adobe established a partnership with DigiCert, an industry-leading Certificate Authority (CA), and developed an integrated process by which the purchase and management of these certificates is automated.
With your permission, we work with CA to issue, deploy, and manage a new SHA-2 SSL certificate for you. Adobe continues to manage this certificate and ensure that an unexpected expiration, revocation, or security concern, does not threaten the availability of your organization’s secure collection.
The Adobe Managed Certificate Program is the recommended process for implementing a new first-party SSL certificate for first-party cookies.
The Adobe Managed Certificate program lets you implement a new first-party SSL certificate for first-party cookies at no additional cost (for your first 100 CNAMEs). If you currently have your own Customer-Managed SSL certificate, speak with Adobe Customer Care about migrating to the Adobe-Managed Certificate Program.
Here is how you implement a new first-party SSL certificate for first-party cookies:
Fill out the First-party cookie request form and open a ticket with Customer Care requesting to set up first-party cookies on the Adobe-Managed program. Each field is described within the document with examples.
Create CNAME records (see instructions below).
Upon receiving the ticket, a customer care representative should provide you with a CNAME record. These records must be configured on your company’s DNS server before Adobe can purchase the certificate on your behalf. The CNAME is similar to the following:
Secure - For example, the hostname
smetrics.example.com points to:
In the past, Adobe recommended that customers setup two CNAME one for HTTPS and one for HTTP. Since it is a best practice to encrypt traffic and most browsers are strongly discouraging HTTP we no longer recommend setting up a CNAME for HTTP. If you need to, it would look like this:
Non-secure – the hostname
metrics.example.com points to:
When the CNAME is in place, Adobe works with DigiCert to purchase and install a certificate on Adobe’s production servers.
If you have an existing implementation, you should consider visitor migration to maintain your existing visitors. After the certificate has been pushed live to Adobe’s production environment, you can update your tracking server variables to the new hostnames. Meaning, if the site is not secure (HTTP), update the
s.trackingServer. If the site is secure (HTTPS), update both
Validate hostname forwarding (see below).
Update Implementation Code (see below).
SSL certificates expire each year, meaning Adobe must purchase a new certificate for each implementation on a yearly basis. All supported users within your organization receive an email notification each time an implementation is close to expiration. For Adobe to renew your hostname, one supported user must reply to the email from Adobe and indicate that you plan to continue using the expiring hostname for data collection. At that point, Adobe automatically purchases and installs a new certificate.
|Is this process secure?||Yes, the Adobe-Managed program is more secure than our legacy method as no certificate or private key changes hands outside of Adobe and the issuing certificate authority.|
|How can Adobe purchase a certificate for our domain?||The certificate can only be purchased when you have pointed the specified hostname (for example,
|Can I request that the certificate be revoked?||Yes, as the owner of the domain, you are entitled to request we have the certificate revoked. You will only need to open a ticket with Customer Care to have this completed.|
|Will this certificate be using SHA-2 encryption?||Yes, Adobe will work with DigiCert to issue a SHA-2 certificate.|
|Does this incur any additional cost?||No, Adobe is offering this service to all current Adobe Digital Experience customers at no additional cost.|
Your organization’s network operations team should configure your DNS servers by creating CNAME records. Each hostname forwards data to Adobe’s data collection servers.
The FPC specialist provides you with the configured hostname and what CNAME they are to be pointed to. For example:
If you still use non-secure, it will look like this:
As long as implementation code is not altered, this step will not affect data collection and can be done at any time after updating implementation code.
The Experience Cloud Visitor ID service provides an alternative to configuring a CNAME to enable first-party cookies.
The following methods are available for validation:
If you have a CNAME set up and the certificate installed, you can use the browser for validation:
You are issued a security warning if a certificate is not installed.
If you have a CNAME but no certificate is installed, run:
curl -k https://smetrics.adobe.com/_check
-k value disables the security warning.)
If you have a CNAME set up and the certificate is installed, run:
You can use
nslookup for validation. Using
smetrics.adobe.comas an example, open a command prompt and type
If everything is successfully set up, you see a return similar to:
nslookup smetrics.adobe.com Server: 10.30.7.247 Address: 10.30.7.247#53 smetrics.adobe.com canonical name = adobe.com.ssl.d1.sc.omtrdc.net. Name: adobe.com.ssl.d1.sc.omtrdc.net Address: 18.104.22.168 Name: adobe.com.ssl.d1.sc.omtrdc.net Address: 22.214.171.124 Name: adobe.com.ssl.d1.sc.omtrdc.net Address: 126.96.36.199
Before you edit code on your site to use first-party cookies, complete these prerequisites:
After you have verified your hostnames are responding and forwarding to Adobe data collection servers, you can alter your implementation to point to your own data collection hostnames.
If you want to update your code version, replace your entire
s_code.js/AppMeasurement.js file with the newer version and replace any plugins or customizations (if any). Or, if you want to update the code only pertinent to first-party cookies, locate the s.trackingServer and s.trackingServerSecure (if using SSL) variables, and point them to your new data collection hostnames. Using mysite.com as an example:
s.trackingServer = "metrics.mysite.com"
s.trackingServerSecure = "smetrics.mysite.com"
If you are moving to first-party cookies from a long-standing implementation, or changing to a different first-party collection hostname, Adobe recommends migrating visitors from the previous domain to the new domain.
See Visitor Migration in the Analytics Implementation Guide.