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Sitefinity Web Analytics – Downloadable Preview

by Gabe Sumner

Hot on the heels of Sitefinity 4.0 CTP release is the preview release of Sitefinity Web Analytics for Sitefinity 4.0. 

Sitefinity 4.0 Web Analytics

Project Background

Several months ago, we [inside Telerik] began to chat about web analytics & reporting in Sitefinity.  This conversation was partially driven by Telerik's sales & marketing teams.  These teams rely daily on web analytics to make key decisions.  Furthermore, like many web sites, we made heavy use of Google Analytics to understand our web site's traffic. 

Google Analytics is a wonderful tool, but our sales & marketing teams identified gaps in Google Analytic’s data.  Many of these gaps were later identified by the Sitefinity Community.  These conversations formed a picture of how web analytics could be enhanced with CMS data.

Because the core Sitefinity Team was busy with the 4.0 platform we formed an external team to pursue this project.  The short-term goal was to deliver web analytics inside Sitefinity.  However, the larger goal was to enhance web reporting using CMS data.

Adding value to Google Analytics

After talking extensively with Sitefinity partners & customers, we decided that version 1 of Sitefinity Web Analytics would make use of Google Analytics data.  Most of our customers were already using Google Analytics and reusing this data would let us concentrate on adding new value, instead of recreating reports that already exist.

The first version of Sitefinity Web Analytics would concentrate on 3 areas:

  1. Make Google Analytic’s reports accessible inside Sitefinity
    It would no longer be necessary to leave the CMS to view web analytics.
  2. Add Sitefinity-based security to web reports
    Eliminate the need to share Google accounts, or create new Google accounts.  Administrators can utilize existing security and use this security to add granular permissions to each report.
  3. Enhance web analytics reports with CMS data
    Explore ways of adding new value to existing reports with CMS data.  For example, overlay page edit events to see how page modifications impacted statistics.

The goal was to deliver version 1 of Sitefinity Web Analytics with Sitefinity 4.0. 

Sitefinity Web Analytics Preview

In the spirit of the CTP, we wanted provide an early look at Sitefinity Web Analytics.  This first preview release can be downloaded and installed into a new Sitefinity 4.0 CTP web site.

What's included in this release:

  • Setup access to a Google Analytics account.
  • Visualize Google Analytics data inside Sitefinity (using RadControls for Silverlight charts)
  • Setup permissions on all reports.

What's not included in this release:

  • Drill-downs into each report.
  • Report enhancement using CMS data
  • Caching of report data (performance optimizations)

Downloading & Testing

Please follow the instructions below to test the Sitefinity Web Analytics preview:

1.  Create and setup a new web site using Sitefinity 4.0’s Project Manage.  (see the instructions)

create-new-project

The new web site needs to be completely setup and running in your web browser before continuing to the next step.

2.  Close Sitefinity’s Project Manager

The purpose of this step is to close Sitefinity’s integrated web server.  This will restart the web application when it is re-loaded later.

3.  Download the Sitefinity Web Analytics Preview

4.  Unzip this file and copy the extracted files into the Sitefinity 4.0 project’s web site directory (overwriting any existing files)

Example: /[location of sitefinity.exe]/Projects/YourProject

Sitefinity Project Directory

5.  Re-launch the web site using Sitefinity 4.0’s Project Manager

6.  Login to Sitefinity and click Analytics

click-analytics

7.  Enter your Google Analytics login credentials

8.  Enjoy!

Be sure to give us your feedback.  As mentioned, we’re primarily interested in how we can add extra value to data that you already have access to.  Thanks for taking a look at this early preview.

9 comments

Leave a comment
  1. steve Apr 24, 2010
    Looks like its shaping up nicely...so is it a direct feed from GA, or will it also contain things like resource downloads and other things grabbed from the SF DB?

    I REALLY enjoy the GA Map feature, any plans to integrate that using the RadControl Map?
  2. KingKong Apr 26, 2010
    That's fantastic. Guys you're great.
  3. Sean Molam Apr 26, 2010
    Hi Gabe,

    This looks promising but on following your instructions I get this error:

    [Async_ExceptionOccurred]
    Arguments:
    Debugging resource strings are unavailable. Often the key and arguments provide sufficient information to diagnose the problem. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=106663&Version=4.0.50401.0&File=System.dll&Key=Async_ExceptionOccurred

       at System.ComponentModel.AsyncCompletedEventArgs.RaiseExceptionIfNecessary()
       at SilverlightAnalytics.Core.PermissionsService.ApplicationIsConfiguredCompletedEventArgs.get_Result()
       at SilverlightAnalytics.Core.Services.WcfPermissionsService.ApplicationIsConfiguredCompleted(Object sender, ApplicationIsConfiguredCompletedEventArgs e)
       at SilverlightAnalytics.Core.PermissionsService.SettingsClient.OnApplicationIsConfiguredCompleted(Object state)

    Any ideas?

    Cheers
    Sean
  4. Rehan Apr 26, 2010
    great stuff, we were looking to do something similar, but has just saved us a HUGE amount of time.

    With the official release after Beta release, later in the year, can this be integrated in v3.7?
  5. Tim Apr 26, 2010
    @Sean,

    I received the same error and the Silverlight app loaded fine when I removed the following lines from web.config.

     <extendedProtectionPolicy policyEnforcement="Never" />

    Not sure to the reason - or the implications for the web services themselves though.


    Tim 

  6. Sean Molam Apr 26, 2010
    Hi Gabe,

    You can ignore my last message, it seems that adding this to a project AFTER you have already run the Sitefinity setup wizard causes it not to work.

    Thanks
    Sean
  7. Sean Molam Apr 26, 2010
    @Tim

    Thanks for that I will give that a go if I see the same thing. 

    @Gabe

    One other item I noticed was that once I have added this Module the "Content" menu dropdown in Admin no longer works.

    Cheers
    Sean
  8. Romi May 15, 2010
    For 3.7 would be great to customize the ferrari ):.
  9. Rich Winslow May 17, 2010
    I'd like Telerik to consider filters in the Web Analytics to remove the CMS admin activities from the statistics.  The Google Analytics statistics are skewed by those 'insiders' using the website to add and manage content.  It would be very helpful to exclude these administrative visitors and their activities.

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