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Real Analytics for Flash, for Real

Posted by Charles | November 19, 2008 .

Last month I wrote about the lack of analytics tools for Flash based RIA when Yahoo announced its own analytics service. I was wondering if we care about this if we just can’t have one.

Tom said, “I care :). I actually wonder whether generating HTML pages for Google that map one-on-one (from a context point of view) with the ‘pages’ in a Flex application would be acceptable to Google. “

Andrew Csizmadia informed us, “Just for note it’s already possible to create deep linking flash websites, just check for SWFAddress, it has build in Google Analytics support, and also with some php code, you can generate those deep links into the embedding html page dynamically, so search engines are able to index it.”

But this a truly real Flash Analytics was born, from the marriage(or dating) of Google and Adobe. How nice!

According to Google analytics team:

This feature is a translation of the current Google Analytics tracking code into the ActionScript 3 programming language that dramatically simplifies the ability to track Flash, Flex and AS3 content. This new Flash tracking code provides all the rich features of the current JavaScript-based version, including campaign, pageview and event tracking and can be used to track Flash content such as embedded videos, branded microsites and distributed widgets, such as online games.

You can downloaded as a ZIP file here. The libraries include:

  • Flash visual component
  • Flash AS3 library
  • Flex MXML component
  • Flex AS3 library

Here is the developer documentation. The entire AS3 code base under the Apache 2 License as Open Source, available here.

One question though, what kind of overhead will be added into your Flex or Flash based RIA or games?

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4 Comments so far
  1. zwetan  November 20, 2008 7:00 am

    hi,

    so about the overhead, is it a concern about the size added in the code or the number of URL requests or another thing ?

    we tried to keep everything as low-level as possible and avoid
    big dependencies.

    here few examples:

    – in Flex, the component is a faceless component, it does not get added to the display list and kind of work like the HTTPService, but if you use the component
    you can ony instantiate the tracking in the mx:Application
    but if you want to have tracking as soon as your Flex preloader kick in
    you can use the library

    – in Flash, you could use the AnalyticsTracker interface in different part of your code without the need to include the whole library each time and use an extermaly loaded “ga.swf”

    we gonna put more samples and demos by next week,
    you may want to look for the demo that use MVC/IoC 😉

    cheers,
    zwetan

  2. andrew csizmadia  November 20, 2008 2:51 pm

    Hi Again,

    Thanks for posting about this interesting topic!

    For your interest, there is an another project on google code which does similar integration -and i think its already existed in the first quarter of 2008, because that time i found it-

    Check it out at: http://code.google.com/p/actionscript3-event-tracking/

    GAForFlash is new for me too, i’ll dig myself into the docs/sources.

    Best Regards,
    Andrew

  3. Joseph  November 21, 2008 4:48 pm

    Omniture does a pretty good job, which I’ve implemented.

  4. TargetStat  December 17, 2008 4:58 am

    Writing Google Analytics tracking calls manually for any non-trivial Flex application is very time consuming operation. This add-on to Flex analytics will perform tracking automatically: http://riatest.com/products/targetstat-flex-analytics.html

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