When I started at Omniture nearly five years ago, one of the first basic tools I got to know was the JavaScript Debugger—you know, that bookmarklet you install among your browser bookmarks so that you can quickly and easily see exactly what is being captured in SiteCatalyst any web page. Over the years, I have moved on to more advanced (and complex) debugging tools, such as packet monitors and Google Chrome’s developer console. But when I just need to see the variables and values that a page is passing into SiteCatalyst, I still click the little entry in my bookmark toolbar.

I am pleased to share with you the latest version of this nifty little utility: the DigitalPulse Debugger. We’ve given it the name “DigitalPulse Debugger” because it fits in nicely with Adobe DigitalPulse, our implementation/site auditing product which will automatically crawl your site and detect places where SiteCatalyst and/or Test&Target code has not been placed, or where it may have been placed with errors of various kinds (variables receiving the wrong values, variables that are too long, image requests that are too long, etc.). It seemed like a natural fit. We’ve also changed the location of the Debugger, which does mean that you’ll need to update your bookmarklets. We did this for a few reasons, but most importantly the new location allows the DigitalPulse team to add amazing new features much more quickly. We think you’ll agree that it’s worth updating your bookmarklets for that.

So, how do you install the DigitalPulse Debugger? If you don’t already have the JavaScript Debugger installed, just create a simple bookmark or favorite in your browser of choice (we’ve tested in IE, Firefox, Safari, and—your developer’s favorite—Chrome). Then, replace the URL of the bookmark with the following code (and make sure you get all of the code!):

javascript:void(window.open(%22%22,%22dp_debugger%22,%22width=600,height=600,location=0,menubar=0,status=1,toolbar=0,resizable=1,scrollbars=1%22).document.write(%22%3Cscript%20language=\%22JavaScript\%22%20id=dbg%20src=\%22https://www.adobetag.com/d1/digitalpulsedebugger/live/DPD.js\%22%3E%3C/%22+%22script%3E%22));

If you do have the Debugger already, just replace the URL with the code above. (You can also download the Debugger and additional information from Knowledge Base ID 534.)

Then just go to any page on your site that has been tagged Adobe Online Marketing Suite code and click the bookmark. You should see a small pop-up window looking something like this:

DigitalPulse Debugger

You’ll notice that the DigitalPulse Debugger still does everything you have come to expect from the JavaScript Debugger, but now offers some helpful new features:

  • Reports on Test&Target, Recommendations, and Survey in addition to SiteCatalyst data collection
  • Provides the total length of the SiteCatalyst request on the page
  • Shows the “friendly names” for image request elements (e.g. “eVar7″ instead of “v7,” and “Current URL” instead of “g”)
  • Gives additional request information, such as whether the the implementation uses first-party cookies
  • Allows you to change and save settings based on the products and features you wish to use

One important thing to note is that, due to a change in data collection code beginning with H.21, the old version of the Debugger may not correctly decode multi-byte characters in variable values if your site is using this (or a newer) code version. The new DigitalPulse Debugger does display these variable values correctly for international character sets, so you can get a clearer sense of the data being collected from pages that use multi-byte characters.

The DigitalPulse Debugger will refresh as you move from page to page, showing you the data collected across your entire site, but it still requires you to walk through your site manually. If you’d like a more powerful debugging tool that will scan your site for you, saving you time and uncovering a wide variety of potential issues with your data before these issues rear their ugly heads, check out Adobe DigitalPulse.

Huge shout-out to Adam Egbert of Adobe Consulting for his hard work on this project, as well as to everyone else who contributed to the improvement of this handy little tool.

(Note: The old JavaScript Debugger will continue to be available for your use indefinitely.)

As always, if you have any questions about anything in this post, or about anything else related to the Adobe Online Marketing Suite, please leave a comment here or contact me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to get you the information that you need. In particular, feel free to share feedback about this new DigitalPulse Debugger and we’ll do our best to implement your requests in a future release!

21 comments
ClarrissaWhite
ClarrissaWhite

This suddenly stopped working for Chrome. Any ideas

lpena238
lpena238

Hi @Ben Gaines,
I am a bit confused by something you mentioned above. You mentioned that "DigitalPulse can crawl your site and search any URLs that are missing SiteCatalyst tags or that are mistagged". How can I get a hold of this crawler? Is it something different than DigitalPulse debuger?


Thanks!

John wills
John wills

DigitalPulse Debugger is very nice tool for dubugging javascript. It is great achivement in scripting dubuging. I am new learner of javascript so it is very beneficial for me.

Rajeev
Rajeev

I cannot see click events on digitalpulse debugger tool. Omnibug (firefox) shows these click events.

Mausam
Mausam

Nice post Ben. I have a doubt. The values shown in Digital Pulse Debugger are the values that has reached the SiteCatalyst server and is under processing or are they the values as sent from my site? Basically, i am looking for a way to confirm whether the values I am sending from my site are reaching SiteCatalyst server or not.

Simon Rumble
Simon Rumble

Love the new debugger but, unfortunately, it's unusable in Firefox. I've got some apps that _only_ work in Firefox too :( I've tried disabling extensions like Firebug and even with NO extensions, unusable. Completely locks up the browser every time it refreshes.

Dasha
Dasha

Is it me, or is it way slower than the old one? Although LOVE the new look!

Yuhui
Yuhui

Ben, try this in Firefox: 1. Load a page 2. Launch DigitalPulse Debugger 3. (optional) Open Windows Task Manager 4. In the debugger, uncheck the "Friendly Names" checkbox 5. Back in the debugger, check the "Friendly Names" checkbox 6. Scroll the debugger window --> Task Manager should now jump to 22% CPU utilization, Firefox stalls before scrolling the window 7. Repeat steps 4-6 a few more times to make Firefox absolutely unresponsive

Jason Paulsen
Jason Paulsen

Very nice! I'm glad I've got something for Chrome now.

Victor Forman
Victor Forman

Thanks for sharing this Ben. We've been using WASP, but this seems like a nice alternative (especially for those of us that like to use Chrome). I just tried it out in Chrome. It was working fine for a few pages and then seemed to stop auto-refreshing as I moved from page to page. Is this a known issue? Any thoughts?

Rudi
Rudi

Nice work. A huge improvement over the old debugger.

Henrik Schack
Henrik Schack

Looks really really nice :-) A few ideas: Warnings when vars are exceeding allowed length. Would be nice if I could "build" my own Company/RS specific debugger with my own friendly names for eVars/Props/events. /@schack

Yuhui
Yuhui

I don't know if it was the DigitalPulse Debugger or some other tab/page that was acting up, but when I repeatedly checked/unchecked "Friendly Names" about 3-4 times (to see how it toggles), suddenly Firefox (3.6, Windows) became unresponsive, eating up 25% of CPU (and growing). Had to force quit it to regain control.

davidsoncd
davidsoncd

same for me...just opens a about:blank screen

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Simon, Interesting. I use the Debugger almost exclusively in Firefox with no issues. Have you tried it on other machines? I didn’t mention this in the blog post, but we beta-tested this thing heavily among our consultants worldwide, many of whom use Firefox. I’m not saying there isn’t an issue with the Debugger, but I think we can confidently conclude that it isn’t an across-the-board Firefox thing (i.e., it doesn’t affect every version of Firefox everywhere, on every computer). If it also isn’t working on other machines, let me know. I’ll pass this along to our developers, and they can look into performance in Firefox. Thanks, Ben

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Me too! The old Debugger also worked in Chrome, I believe, but we're making an active effort to support this one across all major browsers and operating systems.

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

I'm very glad to hear that you like it, Victor. It has been a tremendous help to me when working in Chrome as well. I haven't seen the issue you described. . . does the same thing happen on any site or pages that you test?

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

A few—@alexbrasil comes to mind—have crafted their own debuggers. Using the Admin API to get variable names is definitely something we are considering for future development on the Debugger, as are enhancements like your idea to note the variable length. Maybe it's time to create an Idea Exchange category for the Debugger! For now you can list these things under DigitalPulse in the Idea Exchange, and I have also taken note of them.

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Interesting. It seems to be working okay for me as I check and uncheck the boxes, but I'll keep an eye on it. I'm in OS X, so maybe I need to try the Windows version. Thanks for the error report!