Saturnboy
 5.19

Metrics and the AIR Install Badge

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The AIR Install Badge is a very handy little flash application for delivering AIR applications to your users via the web. The badge allows your users to download and install both your application and the Adobe AIR runtime. Additionally, the install badge will automatically prompt users to upgrade if a previously installed version is detected. At Gorilla Logic, we use the AIR Install Badge on the FlexMonkey download page (free registration required).

Alas, flash is opaque to analytics. We have no idea what our users are doing inside the AIR Install Badge application. Are they installing? Or upgrading? No problem, we just need to write some code…

The Code

Using flash’s ExternalInterface, we can manually push the data out of flash and into javascript. Once we have the data in javascript, we have total control. One option is to use google analytics to store our badge data. In the case of FlexMonkey, we send the badge data along with the user’s credentials to our CRM platform, SalesForce.com.

Step 1: First, open AIRInstallBadge.as and add this to the top:

import flash.external.ExternalInterface;

Step 2: Next, add the ExternalInterface call to the top of the handleActinClick() function in AIRInstallBadge.as:

protected function handleActionClick(evt:MouseEvent):void {
    if (action == 'install' || action == 'upgrade') {
        //send data to js
        ExternalInterface.call('badgeJS',action);
    }
    ...
}

Since I only care about the install or upgrade actions, I’ll only send those out to javascript. Re-compile the badge and deploy.

Step 3: Last, add the badgeJS() javascript callback to the page containing the badge and do whatever you want with the incoming badge data:

function badgeJS(action) {
    //do metrics here...
    alert('badge action=' + action);
}

Conclusion

With an hour of effort, and a very small amount of code, we’ve managed to get the useful metrics of installs and upgrades out of the AIR Install Badge and into our analytics engine of choice. A job well done.


Comments

2.15.2011

1

Tracking air install badge downloads with Google Analytics. Here’s my solution.

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