Disable data collection from specific environments or instances

Overview

Once you connect Sitefinity CMS to Digital Experience Cloud, DEC starts tracking traffic to your sites and collecting data for all visitors to provide you with various reports, build persona segments, assign lead scores, and so on. There are cases, however, when you want to disable data collection but keep the DEC configuration options active.

The most common example is a setup with separate dedicated environments for content staging (internal) and production (live). For content staging environment, you want to make all site configuration options for personalization, A/B testing, and so on available for proper content preview, yet, you don’t want internal traffic to and interactions with the staging environment pollute your site statistics and reports in DEC. To achieve this, you disable DEC tracking on the content staging environment, while keeping DEC tracking enabled on live environment.

Disable tracking

By default, once configured, the DEC tracks all sites. To disable tracking and collecting data from a specific environment, you modify and deploy the DigitalExperienceCloudConnectorConfig.config file on that environment and set the disableTracking attribute:

RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that you apply config transformation between environments, so that you are able to control the value of the disableTracking attribute in each environment. For more information, see Manage configurations in CD pipeline.

Another option is to modify the setting from Sitefinity CMS backend » Administration » Settings » Advanced settings » DigitalExperienceCloudConnector and selecting the Disable DEC tracking checkbox. Once you save this setting, it is persisted in the DigitalExperienceCloudConnectorConfig.config XML file on the file system. To apply the setting, you need to restart your system.

RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that you disable tracking through deployment of the .config file. Editing configuration value through the Advanced settings is considered dangerous in NLB scenarios, as the change will affect only the configuration of the current node, leaving your other nodes with different configuration. As this configuration setting has effect on the HTML of rendered pages that may be cached, you may end up with some pages being tracked, while others are not tracked for the whole environment.

Result

As a result, the connector functions in a “read-only” mode. This means settings on the content editing environment are set to discard traffic from this read-only environment by:

  • Unsubscribing all DEC event handlers from server-side tracking
  • Removing page metadata and DEC JavaScript SDK client-side tracking
  • Stop sending interactions that are tracked by DEC out-of-the-box or custom interactions based on the Telerik.Sitefinity.DataIntelligenceConnector.Facades.IDataIntelligenceClientsFacade default implementation

However, this setting modification will have no effect on non-tracking DEC features, such as A/B tests functionality and personalization rules setup.

Implementation details

When you disable DEC from collecting data from a specific environment, the following aspects of tracking are affected. 

Client-side scripts

The client-side scripts that DEC injects into the HTML of pages it tracks in Sitefinity CMS are removed. This results in faster and leaner HTML. Keep in mind, however, that on pages that are already cached, the scripts will continue to be loaded.

Server-side tracking

All server-side tracking events, such as user registration or login, form submissions, file downloads, and so on are disabled.

NOTE: All custom events handlers based on Telerik.Sitefinity.DataIntelligenceConnector.EventHandlers.TrackingHandlerBase<T> are disabled as well. 

Extensibility points

Any custom implementations that use the  Telerik.Sitefinity.DataIntelligenceConnector.Facades.IDataIntelligenceClientsFacade will obey the disableTracking setting without code changes. Implementations not utilizing the  Telerik.Sitefinity.DataIntelligenceConnector.Facades.IDataIntelligenceClientsFacade most probably will not be unaffected.

Personalization

Personalization rules in Sitefinity CMS, based on campaigns and personas, defined in DEC, will remained unchanged. However, visits on personalized pages or widgets, served from the instance where DEC is disabled, will not be reported to DEC.

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