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Simplifying Data Collection with Adobe Web SDK

Over the past several years, the Adobe Product Team has been working rigorously to develop Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) as the solution to enable a more unified implementation engine for Experience Cloud customers. Complexities with implementing multiple Adobe experience technologies on a website have been a constant challenge for new and existing clients. Even with Adobe Tags (aka Adobe Launch) or another Tag Management solution, each of these individual properties required individual tags to manage their respective JavaScript libraries, data schemas, sever endpoints, etc., requiring heavy lifts from IT teams making for highly complex implementations.

The Solution

Enter Adobe Experience Platform Web SDK (a unified JavaScript Library) and Adobe Experience Platform Edge Network (network of servers for the SDK and Adobe products to interact with). Adobe Web SDK is designed to serve as a merged tag extension which can be deployed via Adobe Tags or as a standalone solution, in efforts to create a more unified experience and reduce complexities with implementing key Adobe technologies on the website. Effectively, it replaces the need for individual tags and “legacy libraries” from each point solution (i.e. Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Audience Manager, Visitor ID Service, etc.) and is designed in the AEP (XDM) format.

AEP capabilities

Platform Web SDK Benefits

Adobe Web SDK enables sophisticated data collection with huge performance benefits requiring only a single call to propagate data across the various Edge Network servers. This makes investigation and troubleshooting within your implementation more efficient. For existing Adobe customers, it helps alleviate some of the technical complexities that have grown with major Adobe technology implementations on the website, and is intended to help enable identity, audience, insights, and personalization capabilities easier and faster across applications. Furthermore, distinct from the numerous legacy JavaScript libraries, Adobe Web SDK is now open source and can be found in the following public repositories:

Specific benefits for new (and existing) Adobe customers also include the ability to set your own Experience Cloud ID (ECID) or first-party device ID via Web SDK. Even if ECID is set to expire after two weeks, the first-party device ID that was assigned will persist. Furthermore, since it requires only a single call to the site, Adobe Analytics and Target data is tighter than ever, and of course all the latest and greatest future feature releases will be enabled through the new Web SDK.

Supported Use Cases

We recently implemented the new Adobe Web SDK for a major retailer client to activate a multi-channel abandon cart experience as part of an Adobe Experience Platform implementation. Without the Adobe Web SDK, this configuration would require the synchronization of data across multiple schemas and systems to operate effectively. But with the new Web SDK design, it allowed for a single call to ingest a marketing event into Adobe Experience platform.

Another essential use case can be found within Adobe Analytics. Brands will now be able to send customer name, age, and other personally identifiable information (PII) connection strings that you wouldn’t otherwise send over site tags into Adobe Analytics and Customer Journey Analytics for seamless reporting via the Adobe Web SDK.

Considerations for Implementation

To enable the Web SDK, Adobe clients will need to be provisioned with dataStreams. DataStreams connections between Adobe Solutions comes at no additional cost unless event forwarding to non-Adobe destinations. Level of effort and implementation time will ultimately depend on the client’s current architecture and desired use cases. For existing Adobe Analytics customers, it will require a methodical phased out approach to migrate over to the new Web SDK for improved web performance and data collection. These customers will have the ability to implement Web SDK in parallel with their existing implementation. Due to the fundamental differences in managing XDM object properties, taking an “opportunistic” approach to ease into Web SDK will allow customers to get comfortable with how best to operationalize the data collected first, rather than attempting a complete rip and replace of legacy JavaScript tags. For new Adobe customers, the implementation of Adobe Web SDK will be standard best practice out of the gate to ensure all the various Experience Cloud components can work together most efficiently for end-to-end data collection and reporting.

Want to learn how our Technology Strategy and Adobe Implementation teams can help support your migration? Contact us here to get started.