Clas­si­fi­ca­tions (SAINT) are one of the endur­ing fea­tures of Site­Cat­a­lyst. SAINT (Site­Cat­a­lyst Attribute Import Nam­ing Tool) allows for user-defined uploads of meta­data within Site­Cat­a­lyst. The Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud knowl­edge base out­lines ‘A clas­si­fi­ca­tion is a way of cat­e­go­riz­ing Site­Cat­a­lyst vari­able data, then dis­play­ing the data in dif­fer­ent ways when you gen­er­ate reports. When clas­si­fy­ing, you are estab­lish­ing a rela­tion­ship between the vari­able and the meta­data related to that vari­able.’ For this post, in advance of the upcom­ing Auto-Classifications Rule Builder fea­ture release, I wanted to out­line the over­all value that Clas­si­fi­ca­tions can bring to an imple­men­ta­tion and share key prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tion areas. The main ref­er­ence mate­ri­als for Clas­si­fi­ca­tions on the Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud Help Microsite can be found here: Site­Cat­a­lyst SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions Home.

Ben­e­fits of Clas­si­fi­ca­tions (SAINT)

The ben­e­fits of Clas­si­fi­ca­tions are three-fold:

  • Save & pre­serve key variables
  • Sim­plify the implementation
  • Apply meta­data retroactively

Each of these areas of clas­si­fi­ca­tions can pro­vide a lift in build­ing a com­pre­hen­sive, flex­i­ble, and scal­able Site­Cat­a­lyst imple­men­ta­tion. A key ben­e­fit to clas­si­fi­ca­tions is they do not require addi­tional Site­Cat­a­lyst vari­ables to be allo­cated to pro­vide addi­tional data within the reports. Clas­si­fi­ca­tions in other words can pro­vide an orga­ni­za­tion with a mul­ti­tude of addi­tional views or slices of data; all derived from the same under­ly­ing cap­tured source key value. A clas­sic exam­ple of the value of clas­si­fi­ca­tions is the prod­uct hier­ar­chy, whereby in Site­Cat­a­lyst only the prod­uct SKU is cap­tured and all fur­ther related meta­data is han­dled via clas­si­fi­ca­tions. Clas­si­fi­ca­tions there­fore allow for a sim­pli­fied approach to imple­men­ta­tion data cap­ture into vari­ables, because not all data nec­es­sar­ily needs to be cap­tured wholly within the Site­Cat­a­lyst image request. Another intrin­sic aspect of clas­si­fi­ca­tions is the val­ues are applied retroac­tively to a report which allows for later busi­ness deci­sions and revi­sions to be made after ini­tial data cap­ture of source key value.

Prac­ti­cal Con­sid­er­a­tions

Clas­si­fi­ca­tions carry sev­eral crit­i­cal han­dling points:

  1. Impor­tance of the Key ValueUsers research­ing clas­si­fi­ca­tions will learn for many report­ing issues it all comes down to the key value cap­tured at the start. The source key value cap­tured within the vari­able is the ini­tial ref­er­ence point for the entire clas­si­fi­ca­tions hier­ar­chy and must meet the refine­ment and speci­ficity require­ments of an orga­ni­za­tion to func­tion­ally work. It is very impor­tant that dupli­cate assign­ment val­ues are not issued for the same source key. The level at which the key can relate to end data also should be low enough in gran­u­lar­ity to allow for fur­ther rollup via classifications.
  2. 1:1 Rela­tion­ship with Clas­si­fi­ca­tions — All clas­si­fi­ca­tions always must exist on a 1:1 rela­tion­ship with a source key value. It is not pos­si­ble in Site­Cat­a­lyst clas­si­fi­ca­tions for a sin­gle source key value to con­tain mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent clas­si­fi­ca­tions val­ues for the same hier­ar­chy level. If mul­ti­ple val­ues are uploaded within the same meta­data upload file then the file will error out. Fur­ther­more it is not pos­si­ble for dynamic keys to exist as wild­cards that relate to a sin­gle clas­si­fi­ca­tion attribute level.
  3. User Upload Options – In terms of man­ual upload options, clas­si­fi­ca­tions data files can be uploaded by Admin users via the web browser or through FTP. The man­ual browser method steps flow through the Admin > SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions menu in Site­Cat­a­lyst. The browser-based upload lim­its your SAINT data upload to a sin­gle report suite and there is a 1MB upload file size limit. Upload of clas­si­fi­ca­tions data files via FTP allows for mul­ti­ple report suites at once and car­ries higher file size lim­its. The Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud Help Microsite con­tains detailed instruc­tions for both meth­ods and sce­nario spe­cific file size limit details Upload­ing SAINT Data Files, Upload A SAINT Data File via Web Browser, & Upload A SAINT Data File via FTP.


An impor­tant note is data dimen­sions that do not have an ele­ment value at the time the met­ric event hap­pened are noted as an unde­fined ‘None’ value within the reports. A true ‘None’ in the pure sense is not applic­a­ble to the report on hand. How­ever ‘None’ within a SAINT clas­si­fi­ca­tion report hier­ar­chy level could also mean keys have not been clas­si­fied as well. Users need to be aware of the poten­tial for the ‘None’ causes mix within their reports and act after thor­ough data checks on the variable.

Other Clas­si­fi­ca­tions Con­sid­er­a­tions

  • Users can­not clas­sify the num­ber ‘0’ and must use a replace­ment such as the word ‘zero’
  • SAINT clas­si­fi­ca­tions count against monthly unique limit 500k
  • Char­ac­ters length for all clas­si­fi­ca­tions is 255 bytes
  • Total num­ber of clas­si­fi­ca­tions should be lim­ited to 30 clas­si­fi­ca­tions due to a hard limit on export of only the 30 classifications
  • .TAB and .FIN exten­sion upload files will not be processed and must be in lowercase
  • Each vari­able needs to be clas­si­fied sep­a­rately within its own SAINT file
  • The admin con­sole is the only con­fig­u­ra­tion loca­tion to cre­ate new classifications

Clas­si­fi­ca­tions File Tricks

  • It is pos­si­ble to clas­sify the None bucket by enter­ing clas­si­fi­ca­tions for the ~none~ key. For exam­ple ~none~ can be set so that it cov­ers Direct site traffic.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tions (SAINT) Review 1.1: ~none~ Value File Action Example



  • Users can “unclas­sify” prior uploaded meta­data so that there is no value by enter­ing the ~empty~ value in a given field.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tions (SAINT) Review 1.2: ~empty~ Value File Action Example



Gen­eral Clas­si­fi­ca­tions (SAINT) Guide­lines

  1. SAINT Site­Cat­a­lyst v15 uploads in 6 hour inter­vals, but it may take up to sev­eral days to man­i­fest in the end reports depend­ing on the scope of the upload. The time required to process a SAINT file varies on the size of the file and the cur­rent num­ber of SAINT files already being processed by Adobe’s servers. Pro­cess­ing of SAINT files usu­ally takes no longer than 72 hours.
  2. Upload of only the delta changes ensures most effi­cient meta­data processing.
  3. SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions can apply to all Cus­tom Traf­fic s.props, s.pageName,, s.server, all Cus­tom Con­ver­sion s.eVars, prod­uct name, cam­paign vari­able, video name.
  4. Log­ging out and log­ging back in may be required to show the proper update and refresh for any SAINT changes.
  5. The base source key value is always at the bot­tom of the Site­Cat­a­lyst menu fly­out and the clas­si­fi­ca­tions above in the menu are the user spec­i­fied meta­data hier­ar­chy levels.


Proper and savvy use of clas­si­fi­ca­tions is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of a Site­Cat­a­lyst imple­men­ta­tion. By lever­ag­ing what is already being cap­tured, clas­si­fi­ca­tions enable a Site­Cat­a­lyst imple­men­ta­tion to pro­vide rich data views. Clas­si­fi­ca­tions pro­vide orga­ni­za­tional data flex­i­bil­ity within a user struc­tured sys­tem. I hope the above post was a good refresher and pro­vided addi­tional clar­ity on all the valu­able aspects of classifications.

Brian Au is a con­sul­tant in Adobe Con­sult­ing, focused on dig­i­tal strat­egy, ana­lyt­ics & opti­miza­tion for retail & travel clients. He tweets at @Bri­anAu.