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What is Webtrends Script and how does it work?

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What is Webtrends Script and how does it work?
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Webtrends Log Analyzer Advanced 8.0x
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Last modified: 1/1/2011

Introduction:
What is Webtrends Script?
Webtrends Script is a tool designed to allow Webtrends users to enhance their web analysis reports by giving them complete control over the data used to generate Webtrends reports. With Webtrends Script, users can alter web traffic data before Webtrends analyzes it, expand the visit and visitor traffic data to include additional dynamic elements during analysis, or even modify the report output to include new metrics or statistics after analysis. For example, highly dynamic sites may have information embedded in complex URLs via path, file, and query parameter fields. Standard analysis of this data may result in reports that are difficult to understand. Webtrends Script can be used to combine and translate the raw web data to create reports that contain much more insight and breadth. Webtrends Script can be used for the following tasks:
  • Alter any web log field. For example: Coalesce multiple domains as one.
  • Parse, rearrange, and clean URLs. For example: Rearrange URL paths for Scenario Analysis.
  • Translate any field via file or database look-ups. For example: Replace product identifier with actual product name.
  • Track custom visitor and visit information via IP, cookie, or authenticated user. For example: Restrict reporting to visitors of a certain type.
  • Add new query parameters for Custom Reports. For example: Look up page title in database, and add query parameter that will be used as such
  • Fix content management problems. For example: Combine an older parameter name with an updated name.
  • Perform non-analysis tasks. For example: Pre-process and archive log files.
Who should use Webtrends Script?
Most users can achieve rapid results by using standard Webtrends features, such as "search and replace," translation tables, and parameter analysis. However, many sites will want to use scripts to add additional insight. Web site content is no longer the static collection of HTML pages. The demand for more content that is faster and personalized for the visitor has caused high volume sites to evolve into largely dynamic and database-driven resources. These highly dynamic sites often use content management solutions like BEA, Broadvision, or Vignette and dynamic page generation technologies like ASP, JSP, or Cold Fusion. Such software applications contain dynamic information that sometimes makes it difficult to make sense of the reporting data. Therefore, generating meaningful web analytics on complex web-transactional data requires increasingly more powerful tools to make sense of dynamic URLs. Webtrends Script gives users unprecedented power to report on, extract, or extend analysis of this content. For example, Broadvision sites often have long session IDs, content IDs, and other long strings of numbers to represent content. Site owners may wish to track visits by session ID, look up the content ID, and insert content descriptions into reports instead of trying to interpret what content is on each page. In general, if your reports are too complex, confusing, or are missing data, a Webtrends Script can be written to enhance your view of valuable web traffic information.

How does Webtrends Script work?
Webtrends Script is a simplified programming language designed for ease of use and fast performance in the analysis environment. Scripts can be executed at various points during an analysis to use or modify the web traffic data. Additionally, the script language is also provided in a standalone application (cdt.exe), which allows you to write scripts that can be executed outside the analysis environment, making it easy to maintain, control, and preprocess log files. As an illustration of the power of Webtrends Script, many built-in reporting features are implemented internally as scripts. For example, all data in Visitor History tables is collected, stored, and processed by scripts that are exec.uted during analysis.

Where can examples of Webtrends Scripts be found?
Using a browser, navigate to the Webtrends installation folder's \cdt folder. Scripts files have an extension of .cdt. To see an example of a Webtrends Script, open the file named parent-child-split-example.cdt.
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