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July Release Roundup

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Welcome to our new monthly Release Roundup for July, helping you keep up to date with all of our releases month by month.

This month we have seen updates across the board including new features in-console with the release of Tracking Scenario and Data Structures Builder as well as new media tracking SDKs and major updates to our iOS and Android trackers. We’re excited to take you through what’s new in July!

✨Top features this month

Tracking Scenarios 

Tracking Scenarios is now part of your Snowplow UI and API for all BDP Enterprise customers.

This powerful new feature provides centralized specification for your data and tracking requirements so your tracking designers can fully communicate their intentions to your devs, engineers, and analysts. With these detailed instructions, everyone knows exactly when and where events should be fired and which entities to include. Tracking design and implementation is easy.

With Tracking Scenarios, you can:

  • Define how your events and entities are connected.
  • Create detailed implementation instructions to dictate how each event property should be populated.
  • Add entities to each event for contextual tracking, including your own custom entities.
  • Share draft scenarios with team members for feedback or approval.
  • Make implementation of tracking faster by publishing scenarios, so your data engineers know precisely what tracking to implement.

Head over to the Tracking Scenarios tab under a Data Structures event or go to the Tracking Scenarios documentation to learn more.

Tracking Scenarios, Snowplow's Tracking Plan GIF

New media tracking SKDs for mobile and web

Our new Snowplow media SDKs provide a series of new features to improve the depth of tracking for video across web and mobile applications to help you better understand view behavior and ad engagement. Here’s a breakdown of the updates to the media SDK; 

  • Universal media tracking APIs: The updates to our universal media tracking APIs enables developers to track engagement across any media player opposed to being bound to set media players such as YouTube. 
  • New media session entity: Attain deeper insights into user engagement in videos with our new media session entity. Properties you can track include total time played, seconds muted, paused as well interactions with adverts including the number times skipped, clicked and more. 
  • Ad tracking entity: With our new out-of-the-box events and entities for tracking ads, teams can understand how users interact with linear, non-linear and companion ads during playback. Automatically collect the ad type, associated ID’s, positioning, duration and whether the ad was skippable. Combined with our new session entities you can have a comprehensive view of ad analytics as well be able to optimise ad placement and targeting. 
  • Player Entity: The new player entity provides a view that interacts with the video player itself including pause, play event, volume seeking behaviour against every video. Understand how individual users engage throughout the video for content analytics.
  • Live video tracking support: With the growth in live video, having visibility into user behaviour during live events is critical.  Snowplow’s live video tracking support provides immediate insights into how your audience is reacting to live content. Alongside live video tracking, page pings provide visibility into how users are interacting with your live event and the page itself. 

All media SDK’s (iOS, Android and web) share the same features. For more information see our full release post, our demo application showcasing the tracking of media events or provide feedback via Discourse. 

Data Structures Builder for BDP Cloud

Our new Data Structures Builder for BDP Cloud provides a new guided experience to help users easily create and evolve schemas without needing to rely on a code editor. 

With our new Data Structures Builder you are taken step by step to build out your event including event name, type, description and create the properties that form your schema. 

Versioning your schema is now easier than ever, with Snowplow automatically determining the level of versioning required based on the changes you have made and the Snowplow loader you are using. 

Combining a Schema DDL and a standard set of JSON schema rules, the interface will automatically determine if the changes are major or minor and update versioning automatically avoiding any negative impact on the downstream destinations. 

Data Structures Builder will be coming to BDP Enterprise in a future release. 

🆕 Other notable releases

Snowplow iOS and Android tracker 5.4.0

With the release of version 5.3.0, Snowplow has introduced 11 new event types specifically designed to help you better track and model user behavior across ecommerce focused mobile apps. Events include product view, add to cart, promotional clicks, transactions and more. See our docs for additional details on out-of-the-box eccomerce tracking.  

All new events use the same API as the Snowplow ecommerce plugin in the JavaScript tracker and are fully supported by the existing ecommerce data model requiring no additional configuration. 

The release also included updates to the interval for refreshing properties in the platform context entity from 0.1s to 1s in order to reduce CPU usage across both platforms. 
See our Discourse announcement for more information

Web Performance Accelerator

This month we released a new Data Product Accelerator for Web Performance. If you haven’t come across our DPA’s they are step-by-step implementation guides to help you to set up tracking, add enrichments, model and visulize your data for specific use cases such as deploying marketing attribution. All our DPA’s are available to the open source community and BDP customers. 

Website performance is crucial to maintaining a positive user experience and fostering brand loyalty. Slow-loading sites can lead to increased bounce rates and decreased customer engagement, affecting your bottom line. Additionally, Google now factors web performance metrics into their ranking algorithms, meaning optimizing your site’s performance can significantly impact site visibility.

Our Web Performance Accelerator uses our out-of-the-box tracker plugin to start sending Core Web Vitals events to your data warehouse. Our data models then transform the raw events into useful aggregations which power a set of production-ready dashboards measuring; Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift across your site.

See our example Tableau dashboard and see the accelerator page to build it for yourself. 

🔧 Fixes and performance improvements

With every release, our engineering team work tirelessly to fix bugs, improve performance, and enhance usability. Below you can see all performance improvements and fixes in July; 

Tracker updates

DBT Packages

Core Pipeline

Google Tag Manager Server Side

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Rob Edwards
Rob Edwards

Product Marketing Lead at Snowplow

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