Timestamps Optional

Learn about the benefits and constraints of using Timestamps Optional setting.

Here is a video on the topic:

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 integrate

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 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 combine

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 best-pratices

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.