slc.clicktracker 0.3

Track user movements on your Plone site
slc.clicktracker injects tracking JavaScript into marked pages. That javascript then calls back so that we can track which users are viewing what pages. The basic use case for this is to make sure people in your organisation actually read a document before they vote against it in a meeting.

Why javascript? It introduces no delays in the loading of pages, instead deferring the collection of stats to an aysnchronous process that happens after the page loads. It also ensures that stats are collected from real browsers and it is in a sense more accurate, it only registers a payload after the page was successfully rendered client side. It is of course easy to avoid being logged, but the idea is to check for positive evidence, people who did read it.

Pluggable storage layer

The storage layer is designed to be pluggable. To implement a storage you need to implement the IClickStorage interface. This basically requires the implementation of two methods, logAccess (which puts data into the storage) and getLog (which retrieves data from the storage). The storage layer is registered as a utility using ZCML.

This product comes with an existing storage component that uses Postgresql. The thinking behind this implementation is to avoid zodb bloat caused by frequent writes.

Disabling tracking on content

To disable tracking for a view, mark the request with IContentIsIgnored early on during the request, before any content is generated.

Configuration

The postgresl configuration is stored in the plone registry. There is a configlet in the plone control panel (Site Setup) where you can set the DSN for connecting to the database server. The format of the DSN is as described in the psycopg2 manual at http://initd.org/psycopg/docs/.

Database initialisation

After creating a new database for tracking purposes, you need to activate the plpgsql language for this database. You should then load sql/db.sql into your newly created database. This contains all the table definitions and the stored procedure that does the actual work. For ease of use, there is also a GenericSetup step to automate this. An example is provided below.

Example Postgresql Configuration

Users of other databases often have some trouble understanding Postgresql's authentication. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to configure slc.clicktracker for a standard (as it ships for Debian based Linux distributions) postgresql installation.

0. You need to install postgresql if you haven't done so yet. You will also need the development headers. To do this on a Debian/Ubuntu machine type:

 sudo apt-get install postgresql libpq-dev

 Become the postgresql user:

 sudo -u postgres -i

 Log into the template1 database:

 psql template1

3. Create a user and a tracking database. The user needs to have the same name as the system user running zope. Here is an example session for a user named zope:

 template1=# create user zope; CREATE ROLE template1=# create database tracking owner zope; CREATE DATABASE template1=# q

 Install the plpgsql language into your database

 createlang plpgsql tracking

5. In your plone site, go to Site Setup, ClickTracker Setings, then configure slc.clicktracker with the DSN:

 dbname=tracking

6. Now go to portal_setup, click the Import tab, then choose "slc.clicktracker database setup" from the dropdown, and import all steps.

That's it. The mentioned default installation of Postgresql uses "ident" authentication, which means there is no need to specify a user name and password, all it needs is the name of the database.

NB: Please note that the above won't work if postgresql is installed on a host other than localhost, if you run a distribution where postgresql is not set up to do ident authentication be default, or if you're running Windows. In that case, please consult the postgresql documentation for details on the pg_hba.conf file, and the psycopg2 documentation for details on the dsn.

last updated on:
March 27th, 2012, 5:06 GMT
price:
FREE!
developed by:
Izak Burger
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
category:
ROOT \ Internet \ Plone Extensions

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What's New in This Release:
  • Bugfix in MANIFEST.in [jcbrand]
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