Benefits of Migrating to Server-Side Connectors

Client-Side Performance
Running a large number of tags on your site can impede page performance, since there are more resources to download and requests to be sent out from the page. By moving tags to a server-side delivery method, you can reduce the number of resources and requests needed by your page and instead use a single request sent out from our Tealium Collect tag.

Mobile App Performance
In order to use client-side tag delivery with a mobile app, our SDKs utilize a hidden UI webview which then loads our JavaScript file and executes the tags. This requires extra UI elements to be running in the app, as well as the additional resources and requests coming from the tags. This increases network traffic and has raised concerns about conserving device battery. If Tealium Collect is used instead of Tag Management, there is no longer a need for the UI webview, and only a single network request is sent out for each event, drastically reducing the amount of network traffic within the app. Even if a hybrid approach is necessary, moving client-side tags to use server-side connectors can still reduce the number of resource downloads and network requests coming from the app, which all helps with performance.

Better Data
One disadvantage of using a client-side tag is that if the user leaves a page and the script is in the middle of executing, it cannot finish. By moving a client-side tag to a server-side implementation, once the Tealium Collect tag fires, the user can leave the page and the event will still be received by the vendor since it can still be processed by the server after the user leaves the page. This can result is more events captured, depending on the user's behavior.

Preparing for Migration

It is important to note that migrating from client-side to server-side could result in some minor differences in the data being sent to the analytics platform due to the delivery method and features available for each method.

Testing and Validation

A new environment/tag ID should be set up for testing and should be identical to or as close to the production environment as possible in order to validate the server-side data. Important and varied reports currently produced out of the client-side implementation should be used as benchmarks for validation against the testing enviroment. These environments/tags should have the same set up as differences can cause issues during validation. It is also helpful to identify core metrics for validation. These values should be validated first and any issues addressed before beginning the server-side migration. Tealium will configure the server-side connectors to send data to the testing environments/tags, making data validation easier.

Client-side Generated Data Points

Sending data directly to vendors through client-side network requests automatically provides those vendors with certain data points (ex: IP addresses, browser user agents, third-party cookies, etc.). Those data points will need to be present in the server-side payload in order to be sent in the final API request.

Available Migrations

Below is a list of client-side tags that have a server-side counterpart and can easily be migrated without significant changes to the data. If you are interested in migrating a client-side tag that is not listed below and you know that the vendor has an API available, please reach out to our support team to determine if the API can replace the tag and if it can be integrated into a custom webhook connector.

Tealium IQ Tag Connector Type
AdForm (Page Tracking) Webhook
AdForm (Audience Tracking) Webhook
Adobe Analytics Marketplace
AppsFlyer Webhook
Awin Webhook
AWS Firehose Marketplace
AWS Kinesis Stream Marketplace
Bing Webhook
Bluekai (Oracle) Marketplace
Braze (Appboy) Marketplace/Webhook
Certona Webhook
Criteo Marketplace
Doubleclick for Publishers Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace
Facebook App Events Marketplace
Google AdWords Conversion Marketplace
Google Analytics Marketplace
Google GA4 Webhook
Google Sheets Marketplace
IBM Coremetrics Webhook
Kenshoo Webhook
Kochava Marketplace
Lytics Webhook
Microsoft Azure Service Bus Marketplace
Mixpanel Marketplace
Neolane Webhook
SalesForce Marketing Cloud Webhook
SalesForce DMP (Krux) Marketplace
Tealeaf Webhook
Zeta Global Webhook

Commonly Asked Questions

How does server-side analytics tracking work in Tealium?

Moving a tag to server-side will involve removing client-side libraries from the page entirely. Code that was handled by a specific module or a piece of the vendor's library will need to be converted into Tealium compatible code (ex: Adobe Analytics doPlugin code). Please review our article on migrating analytics vendors server-side for more in-depth information.

What will be different from the current client-side experience?

Depending on the vendor, removing client-side code can cause a variance in attribution. While Tealium aims to minimize this variance as much as possible, it is not guaranteed to be identical. Below is an example of a difference that could alter the attribution:

Google ID is assigned in a cookie via Google Analytics (gtag.js). Without the client-side library, this value cannot be used. Instead, Tealium will use its Anonymous ID for the Google Analytics ID. Tealium can conditionally set the Google ID if it already exists in a cookie, and can assign a new ID later if the cookie gets deleted.

It is important to keep in mind that when reviewing reporting for a client-side to server-side migration, a 3%-7% reporting variance is considered standard. This statistic is based on averages and may not align exactly with a unique implementation. If questions arise regarding the differences in the vendor's reporting, please contact a vendor representative.

Why do variances in reporting occur?

Traffic variances may occur for a few reasons including:

  • The vendor's tag code takes longer to load than the Tealium Collect Tag code, so the event is captured by our server instead of by the vendor's code depending on how quickly the visitor navigates away from the page.
  • Server-side requests through the API connection could time out in scenarios where a client-side request would be successful.
  • Server-side data collection may lose cached page navigation data because using a web browser’s back button or reloading a cached page does not generate additional server requests or responses. This condition may limit pathing data available for analytics reports.

Is there any way to limit the attribution changes?

Enabling the exposure of a user’s IP Address is an option that can provide greater accuracy and prevents vendors from interpreting users as originating from the same place (i.e. the Tealium IP Address).

If you are interested in enabling IP address collection server-side, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

 

Does this change how data is validated?

Moving a tag server-side will limit the ability to verify the requests since the requests will not show in vendor validation tools (ex: Google Tag Assistant and Adobe Experience Cloud Debugger) and are no longer visible from the browser. Connector actions can be validated using the Trace Tool found within the Tealium Tools Chrome extension.

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