Reporting User Behavior with Audience Targeting

In the Audience Targeting application, a report is a tool that allows administrators to analyze the behavior of users in a campaign or belonging to specific user segments.

Developers are able to extend the set of available reports by creating and deploying their own OSGi plugins which contain a class implementing the Report Interface.

OSGi plugins can be hot deployed and undeployed, manage their own dependencies, and provide new services that other OSGi plugins can consume. In the case of a report OSGi plugin, it is consumed by the Audience Targeting application.

To follow this tutorial, you must first have the Audience Targeting project and Plugins SDK configured properly. Visit the Installing the Audience Targeting Project section for information on how to do this.

Adding a new report to the Audience Targeting application is easy. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a report and deploy it to your Liferay server.

  1. In the root of the Audience Targeting project, run the create_report command (depending on your OS). For example, the command below shows creating a hits-by-country report named Hits by Country.

    create_report.bat hits-by-country "Hits by Country"
    

    or

    ./create_report.sh hits-by-country "Hits by Country"
    
  2. Move to the newly generated folder that has your report’s name prefixed with report- (e.g., report-hits-by-country). Notice that all the necessary files have been added by the create_report command. If you now run the ant deploy command in the root of the newly generated folder, you’ll find this new report listed when you select the Reports action in the Action menu of a specific campaign in the Audience Targeting application.

  3. Of course, you still need to make some changes to define how your report works. Open the Java class file that was created (e.g.,HitsByCountryReport.java). Here are some of the methods that you can implement to modify your report behavior:

    • getReportType: determines the associated resource for the report. By default, the resource is a Campaign, but you can change it to User Segment to create a report for this type of resource.
    • updateReport: called by the report UI to generate or update the report. Therefore, it should process the available information (e.g., from the Analytics service) and persist it so it can be displayed as a table/chart.
    • getHtml: returns the HTML displayed to administrators when accessing this report from a campaign. The BaseReport class already implements this method including a FreeMarker template placed in templates/ct_report.ftl. For example, for a Hits By Country report, you could display the country flag and the number of hits for each country.
    • getIcon: configures the icon displayed in the Report GUI. You should use the name of a FontAwesome icon. For example: “icon-coffee” or “icon-globe” (See Font Awesome documentation).
    • getName: the name of your report (it can be localized).
  4. Finally, deploy the report plugin to the Liferay server. The new report is listed when you select the Reports action in the Actions menu of a specific campaign in the Audience Targeting application. Click the Update Report button to force your report to obtain and display the latest information.

Congratulations! You’re now equipped with the knowledge necessary to create a custom report for your Audience Targeting app. For working examples of the default reports included in the Audience Targeting app, visit the Audience Targeting project page and study the folders with the report- prefix.

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