I wasn’t sure whether this post should be part of our “15 for 15″ series, since (as you may have noticed), code version H.23.2 is available in SiteCatalyst 14 (as well as SiteCatalyst 15). There are some elements of this code release that you can use right now, regardless of the SiteCatalyst version that you are using. I want to make sure you are aware of the new functionality introduced in this JavaScript code release, so you can decide whether or not your organization should consider upgrading to this latest code version.

(NOTE: April 2011 also brought us new AppMeasurement releases for Flash, Java, and .NET; I won’t cover those here, but the release notes are available within SiteCatalyst.)

As I mentioned, this JavaScript code release was tied to the SiteCatalyst 15 launch, so many of the features that it introduces are specific to that version of SiteCatalyst. However, you are welcome to begin using H.23.2 code even if you are not using SiteCatalyst 15. It works great with SiteCatalyst 14, too! Here we go. . .

  • Support for contextData variables. This is a new feature available within SiteCatalyst 15 which allows the developer to name his/her own SiteCatalyst variables if desired. For example, in addition to the traditional implementation, which looks like this:

    s.pageName="Book Page: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"
    s.eVar1="J.K. Rowling"
    s.eVar2="Books"

    . . .your developer could do something much more intuitive in his/her mind, like this:

    s.contextData['page']="Book Page: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"
    s.contextData['author']="J.K. Rowling"
    s.contextData['category']="Books"

    The trained SiteCatalyst admin can then map the “friendly” variable names to existing SiteCatalyst variables using the new Processing Rules feature (covered adeptly by Jason Egan here and by Kevin Rogers here; we’re also going to cover it in depth in a future post in this series). Note that all existing SiteCatalyst variables (s.pageName, s.eVar67, s.prop4) are still available for your use, if you prefer. We’ve found that many developers prefer non-arcane variable names, so we’ve made that an option for them (and for you) when you’re using SiteCatalyst 15.

  • Support for assigning a value other than 1 to a counter event in s.events. This is an extremely useful feature which is available in both SiteCatalyst 14 and SiteCatalyst 15. Traditionally, when you want to count a conversion metric (i.e. custom event) with a value other than one, you need to do so using the s.products variable. This is fine if your metric is actually tied to products, such as shipping, tax, discounts, etc. However, it’s often confusing or inconvenient when your metric has nothing to do with products. To do this, you need to set your events as “numeric” or “currency” events in the Admin Console. H.23.2 code introduces the ability to set “counter” events to values other than one directly in the s.events variable. You don’t need to use the s.products variable to do this in most cases, and you don’t need to change the event type from “counter.” For example, this:

    s.events="event5"
    s.products=";;;;event5=16"

    becomes this:

    s.events="event5=16"

    Much nicer! Of course, you can/should continue to set events in the s.products string when you want those events to be tied to individual products, as in the example given above. A few things to note about this feature:

    • This feature supports integers only. If you need to use decimals, you should continue to use numeric or currency events in the s.products variable.
    • If you do pass decimals, they will be truncated, not rounded.
  • Support for new method of tracking video using conversion eVars and events. As you may be aware, we are currently in beta with a brand new video measurement and analytics solution that is available to both SiteCatalyst 14 and SiteCatalyst 15 users. If you are interested in participating in the beta, go to our beta page and let us know! This code version supports this solution.
  • Removed support for setting Media.trackWhilePlaying to false. This option is no longer available; it was rarely used and, when used, made complete video measurement difficult. If you do use s.Media.trackWhilePlaying=”false” in your video implementation, you may want to consider updating your video implementation or not upgrading to H.23.2 code if that setting is critical to you.

So in summary, why would you upgrade?

  • You are on SiteCatalyst 15 and want to take advantage of new features such as Context Data and Processing Rules.
  • You want to pass custom events that have a value other than one, and that aren’t necessarily related to products on your site.
  • You want to be involved in the new video measurement beta.

More detail on some of these features is forthcoming—both on this blog and elsewhere—so stay tuned. As always, please feel free to submit JavaScript code suggestions at the Idea Exchange; we’re listening! And if you have any questions about this code release or anything else related to the Adobe Online Marketing Suite, leave me a comment or send me a tweet (@benjamingaines).

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