1.3 - Introduction to Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection

Context

Now let’s take a deeper look at the building blocks of Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection, to understand what is installed on your AEP Demo website. You will have a closer look at the Adobe Experience Platform Web SDK Extension, you’ll configure a data element and a rule and you’ll learn how to publish a library.

1.3.1 - Adobe Experience Platform Web SDK Extension

An extension is a packaged set of code that extends the Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection interface and the library functionality. Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection is the platform, and extensions are like apps that run on the platform. All of the extensions used in the tutorial are created and managed by Adobe, but 3rd-parties can create their own extensions to limit the amount of custom code Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection users have to manage.

Go to Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection and select Tags.

This is the Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection Properties page you saw before.

Properties page

In module 0, Demo System Next created two Client properties for you: one for the website and one for the mobile app. Find them by searching for your ldap in the Search box.

Search box

Open the Web property.

You’ll then see the Property Overview page. Click on Extensions in the left rail. Click the Configure button under the AEP Web SDK Extension.

Property Overview page

Welcome to the the AEP Web SDK! Here you can configure the extension with the Datastream you created in Exercise 0.2 as well as some more advanced configuration. You’re only going to configure two settings for this exercise.

The default Edge Domain is always edge.adobedc.net. If you’ve implemented a CNAME configuration in your Adobe Experience Cloud or Adobe Experience Platform environment, you’ll need to update the Edge Domain. Your Adobe Experience Platform instance is using this Edge Domain: --webSdkEdgeDomain--.

If your instance’s Edge Domain is different from default one, please update the Edge Domain. An Edge Domain makes it possible to configure a 1st party tracking server, which then uses a CNAME configuration in the backend to ensure data is collected into Adobe.

Extensions home

Now, make sure the Choose from list radio button is selected under the Edge Configurations heading, and select your ldap - Demo System Datastream from the list in the Edge Configuration box.

Extensions home

Click Save to go back to the Extensions view.

AEP Web SDK homepage

1.3.2 Data Elements

Data elements are the building blocks for your data dictionary (or data map). Use data elements to collect, organize, and deliver data across marketing and ad technology.

A single data element is a variable whose value can be mapped to query strings, URLs, cookie values, JavaScript variables, and so on. You can reference this value by its variable name throughout Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection. This collection of data elements becomes the dictionary of defined data that you can use to build your rules (events, conditions, and actions). This data dictionary is shared across all of Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection for use with any extension you’ve added to your property.

You’re now going to edit an already existing data element in a Web SDK Friendly format.

Click on Data Elements in the left rail to be taken to the Data Elements page.

Data Elements Homepage

NOTE

You’re only editing a data element in this exercise, but you can see the Add Data Element button on this page, which would be used to add a new variable to the data dictionary. This could then be used throughout Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection. Feel free to look at some of the other already existing data elements, mostly using local storage as the data source.

In the search bar, type ruleArticlePages and click on the Data Element it returns.

Search for ruleArticlePages

This screen shows the XDM Object you’ll be editing. The Experience Data Model (XDM) is a concept that will be explored much further throughout this Technical Tutorial, but for now it’s enough to understand it as the format which the AEP Web SDK requires. You’ll be adding a bit more information to the data collected on Article pages of the demo website.

Click the plus button next to web at the bottom of the tree.

Click the plus button next to webPageDetails.

Click on siteSection. You now see that siteSection isn’t linked to any data element yet. Let’s change that.

Navigate to the site section

Scroll up, and enter the text %pageType%. Click Save.

Save

At this point, the AEP Web SDK Extension is installed and you’ve updated a data element to collect data against an XDM structure. Next, let’s check the rules that will send data at the correct time.

1.3.3 Rules

Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection is a rule-based system. It looks for user interaction and associated data. When the criteria outlined in your rules are met, the rule triggers the extension, script, or client-side code you identified.

Build rules to integrate the data and functionality of marketing and ad tech that unifies disparate products into a single solution.

Let’s break-down the rule that sends data on Article pages.

Click on Rules in the left rail.

Search for Media - Article Pages.

Click on the rule that is returned.

Media - Article Pages rule search

Let’s have a look at the individual elements that make up this rule. For all rules If a specified Event occurs, the Conditions are evaluated, then the specified Actions take place if needed.

Media - Article Pages rule

Click on the Event Core - Window Loaded. This is the view that loads.

Click on the Event Type drop down.

This lists some of the standard interactions you can use to signal Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection to run the actions, should the conditions be true.

Events

Click Cancel to go back to the Rule.

Click on the Condition Core - Value Comparison. You can see here that the condition returns true if the Data Element pageType equals the string Article. You can tell that it’s a data element because of the % symbol on either side.

Discard Changes

Click Cancel to go back to the Rule.

Click on the Action AEP Web SDK - Send Event.

Here you can see the data that’s being send to the Adobe Edge by the AEP Web SDK. More specifically, this is using the alloy Instance of the Web SDK. Setting up another Instance would allow for different Datastreams to be used, among other things. You’ve specified the event Type as an articleView and the XDM Data you’re sending is the ruleArticlePages Data Element you changed earlier.

Send Event action

Now that you’ve looked at the Rule, you can publish all your changes in Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection.

1.3.4 Publish in a Library

Finally, in order to validate the rule and data element you just updated, you need to publish a library containing the edited items in our property. There are a few quick steps you need to take in the Publishing section of Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection.

Click Publishing Flow in the left navigation

Click on the existing library, called Content Library.

Library access

Click the Add All Changed Resources button.

Library access

Scroll down to see most resources will remain as Revision 1 (Latest), but the two we’ve changed - Data Element: ruleArticlePages and Extension: AEP Web SDK will be marked with just Latest.

Click the Save & Build for Development button.

Content Library

The library may take a few minutes to build and when it is complete it will display a green dot to the left of the library name.

As you can see on the Publishing Flow screen, there is a lot more to the publishing process in Adobe Experience Platform Data Collection which is beyond the scope of this tutorial. We are just going to use a single library in our Development environment.

Next Step: 1.4 Client-side Web Data Collection

Go Back to Module 1

Go Back to All Modules

On this page