This lesson will guide you through the steps to enable Adobe Audience Manager using Server-Side Forwarding.
Adobe Audience Manager (AAM) provides industry-leading services for online audience data management, giving digital advertisers and publishers the tools they need to control and leverage their data assets to help drive sales success.
At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
In order to complete this lesson, you will need:
Admin access to Adobe Analytics so that you can enable Server-Side Forwarding for the report suite you are using for this tutorial. Alternatively, you can ask an existing admin at your organization to do this for you, following the instructions below.
Your “Audience Manager Subdomain” (also known as the “Partner Name” “Partner ID,” or “Partner Subdomain”). If you already have Audience Manager implemented on your actual website, the easiest way to obtain it is to go to your actual website and open the Debugger. The subdomain is available on the Summary tab, in the Audience Manager section:
If you don’t already have Audience Manager implemented, please follow these instructions to obtain your Audience Manager Subdomain.
There are two ways to implement Audience Manager in a website:
Server-Side Forwarding (SSF)—for customers with Adobe Analytics, this is the easiest and recommended way to implement. Adobe Analytics forwards data to AAM on Adobe’s backend, allowing for one less request on the page. This also enables key integration features and conforms with our best practices for Audience Manager code implementation and deployment.
Since you have already deployed Adobe Analytics in this tutorial, you will deploy Audience Manager using Server-Side Forwarding. For a complete description and requirements list for Server-Side forwarding, please review the documentation, so that you are familiar with how it works, what is required, and how to validate.
There are two main steps in doing a SSF implementation:
A configuration in the Adobe Analytics Admin Console is required to start forwarding data from Adobe Analytics to Adobe Audience Manager. Since it can take up to four hours to start forwarding the data, you should do this step first.
Log into Analytics via the Experience Cloud UI. If you don’t have Admin access to Analytics, you will need to talk to your Experience Cloud or Analytics admin to assign you access or complete these steps for you.
From the top navigation in Analytics, choose Admin > Report Suites, and from the list, select (multi-select) the report suite(s) that you want to forward to Audience Manager.
From the Report Suites screen and with the report suite(s) selected, choose Edit Settings > General > Server-Side Forwarding.
As stated above, you will need to have administrator privileges to see this menu item.
Once on the Server-Side Forwarding page, read the info and check the box to Enable Server-Side Forwarding for the report suite(s).
Since SSF needs to be enabled per report suite, don’t forget to repeat this step for your real report suites when you are deploying SSF on your actual site’s report suite.
Also, if the SSF option is grayed out, you will need to "map the report suite(s) to your Experience Cloud Org in order to enable the option. This is explained in the documentation.
Once this step has been completed, and if you have the Adobe Experience Platform Identity Service enabled, data will be forwarded from Analytics to AAM. However, to complete the process so that the response comes back correctly from AAM to the page (and also to Analytics via the Audience Analytics feature), you must complete the following step in Launch as well. Don’t worry, it’s super easy.
This is the second of two steps for enabling SSF. You have already flipped the switch in the Analytics Admin Console, and now you just need to add the code, which Launch will do for you if you simply check the right box.
To implement Server-Side Forwarding of Analytics data into AAM, we will actually edit/configure the Analytics extension in Launch, not the AAM extension. The AAM extension is used exclusively for Client-Side DIL implementations, for those who do not have Adobe Analytics. So the following steps are correct when they send you into the Analytics extension to set this up.
Go to Extensions > Installed and click to configure the Analytics extension.
Adobe Audience Manager section
Check the box to Automatically share Analytics Data with Audience Manager. This will add the Audience Manager “Module” (code) to the Analytics
Add your “Audience Manager Subdomain” (also known as the “Partner Name,” “Partner ID,” or “Partner Subdomain”). Follow these instructions to obtain your Audience Manager Subdomain.
Click Save to Library and Build
Server-Side Forwarding code is now implemented!
The main way to validate that the Server-Side Forwarding is up and running is by looking at the response to any of your Adobe Analytics hits. We’ll get to that in a minute. In the mean time, let’s check a couple of other things that can help us make sure that it is working the way we want it to.
The code that Adobe Launch installs to handle the forwarding, and especially the response from AAM to the page, is called the Audience Manager
“Module.” We can use the Experience Cloud Debugger to ensure that it has loaded.
Open the Luma site
Click the debugger icon in your browser to open the Experience Cloud debugger
Staying on the Summary tab, scroll down to the Analytics section
Verify that AudienceManagement is listed under the Modules section
Next, we can also verify that the debugger is picking up the right “partner ID” (AKA Partner subdomain, etc.) from the code.
While still in the debugger, and still on the Summary tab, scroll down to the Audience Manager section
Verify your Partner ID/Subdomain under “Partner”
You may notice that the Audience Manager section of the debugger refers to “DIL”, which is the “Data Integration Library,” and typically refers to a client-side implementation, as opposed to the server-side approach that we have implemented here. The truth is that the AAM “Module” (used in this SSF approach) uses a lot of the same code as the client-side DIL library, and so this debugger is currently reporting it as such. If you have followed the steps in this tutorial, and the rest of the items in this validation section are correct, you may rest assured that server-side forwarding is working.
OK, this is the biggie. If you are not doing server-side forwarding of data from Analytics to Audience Manager, then there is really no response to the Analytics beacon (besides a 2x2 pixel). However, if you are doing SSF, then there are items that you can verify in the Analytics request and response that will let you know that it is working correctly.
Unfortunately, at this time, the Experience Cloud debugger does not support showing the response to the beacons. Therefore, you should use another debugger/packet sniffer, like Charles Proxy or the browser’s Developer Tools.
Open the Developer Tools in your browser and go to the Network tab
In the filter field, type
b/ss which will limit what you see to the Adobe Analytics requests
Refresh the page to see the Analytics request
In the Analytics beacon (request), look for a “callback” parameter. It will be set to something like this:
You will have a response to the Analytics beacon. It will contain references to doPostbacks, as called in the request, and most importantly, it should have a “stuff” object. This is where AAM segment IDs will be sent back to the browser. If you have the “stuff” object, SSF is working!
Beware the False “Success” - If there is a response, and everything seems to be working, make sure that you have that “stuff” object. If you don’t, you may see a message in the response that says “status”:“SUCCESS”. As crazy as this sounds, this is actually proof that it is NOT working correctly. If you see this, it means that you have completed this second step (the code in Launch), but that the forwarding in the Analytics Admin Console (first step of this section) has not yet completed. In this case you need to verify that you have enabled SSF in the Analytics Admin Console. If you have, and it hasn’t been 4 hours yet, be patient.