Initial SDK setup

The FollowAnalytics SDK Xamarin component provides full bindings to the FollowAnalytics SDK for use in Xamarin Studio. With this component, Xamarin developers can target both iOS and Android devices with access to the full scope of the FollowAnalytics SDK, all while remaining in the C#/.NET ecosystem.

This document will cover app setup and the component installation process, as well as basic integration steps for iOS and Android.

For more information, please read the iOS and Android FollowAnalytics SDK documentations.

Install the SDK

  1. Download the FollowAnalytics SDK from the developer portal.

  2. Add FollowApps.iOS.dll to your iOS Xamarin project References.

  3. Link the required library for iOS, under iOS project > iOS build, in "additional mtouch arguments":

    -gcc_flags="-framework Security -framework SystemConfiguration -framework CoreTelephony -framework CoreLocation -framework PassKit -framework WatchConnectivity -lc++ -lsqlite3 -lresolv"
  4. Add FollowApps.DroidSDK.dll to your Android Xamarin project References.

Initialize with your API keys

Prepare your API keys

Be sure to have your API keys for this step of the configuration. If you are not sure where to find them, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager or message support@followanalytics.com

iOS

Android

Define the URL scheme

To allow users to retrieve their device ID for campaign testing and tagging plan debugging, you need to define a URL scheme in your iOS and Android projects.

iOS

Android

Where %YOUR_APP_PACKAGE_NAME% should be replaced by the Android package name of your app.

Register for notifications

iOS

If your app code is already registered to send push notifications, nothing to do here. Otherwise, simply add a call to registerForPush following the initialization line you added previously:

FollowAnalytics.iOS.RegisterForPushNotifications();

Android

Build in release mode

The app must be built on release mode in order to receive push notifications

The FollowAnalytics SDK supports push notifications based on Google Cloud Messaging.

  1. Add the following permissions to your manifest:

    <permission android:name="%YOUR_APP_PACKAGE_NAME%.permission.C2D_MESSAGE"
                    android:protectionLevel="signature" />
     <uses-permission android:name="%YOUR_APP_PACKAGE_NAME%.permission.C2D_MESSAGE" />
  2. Add the GCM Receiver to your manifest

    <receiver
            android:name="com.google.android.gms.gcm.GcmReceiver"
            android:exported="true"
            android:permission="com.google.android.c2dm.permission.SEND"
            >
        <intent-filter>
            <action android:name="com.google.android.c2dm.intent.RECEIVE"/>
            <!-- for Gingerbread GSF backward compat -->
            <action android:name="com.google.android.c2dm.intent.REGISTRATION"/>
            <category android:name="%YOUR_APP_PACKAGE_NAME%"/>
        </intent-filter>
     </receiver>

By default, Android does not ask permission to the users to show push notifications. If your app handles an opt-out state, you can use the following methods to inform FollowAnalytics:

// check the status
FollowAnalytics.Android.ArePushNotificationsEnabled();
// opt user in
FollowAnalytics.Android.SetPushNotificationsEnabled(true);
// opt user out
FollowAnalytics.Android.SetPushNotificationsEnabled(false);

Logging

Data sent in debug mode will not appear on dashboards

When your app runs in DEBUG mode or in a simulator, the data is automatically sent as development logs, and is therefore not processed to be shown on the main UI page. DEBUG logs can be checked using the method given in the FAQ section.

See related entry in FAQ for more information on debug & release modes.

Logging best practices

To ensure your tags are relevant and will end up empowering your team through FollowAnalytics, please read the Logging best practices entry in the FAQ section.

Events vs Attributes

The FollowAnalytics SDK allows you to tag both events and attributes. If you are unsure about the difference, please refer to the corresponding FAQ entry.

Tag events

The SDK allows you to log events happening in your code. These are the two methods you can call on the SDK:

FollowAnalytics.LogEvent("my event name", "my event detail");
FollowAnalytics.LogError("my error", "my error detail");

Use the name as the unique identifier of your tag, use the details section to add specific details, context. Events can be renamed later: the name that you give to your event here can be overridden in the FollowAnalytics UI.

The details field can either be a String or a Hash, so that you can associated multiple key-values for additional context.

For instance, logging the appearance of a view could be done the following way:

FollowAnalytics.LogEvent("Product view", "Product reference");

var options = new Dictionary<string, string>();
options["product_id"] = "ABCD123";
options["product_category"] = "Jeans";
FollowAnalytics.LogEvent("Add product to cart", options);

User ID and attributes

You don't need a user ID to set attributes

Attributes are tied to the device when no user ID is provided. If a user ID is set, a profile is created and can be shared across apps.

In both cases, attributes can be used in segments and campaigns to target users.

User ID

If users can sign in somewhere in your app, you can specify their identifier to the SDK. This way, you will be able to relate crashes to specific users, link your users between FollowAnalytics and your CRM, and more.

This identifier is usually an e-mail address, client identifier, phone number, or anything else that uniquely ties your customers to you.

To register the user identifier, use:

FollowAnalytics.SetUserId("user_id@email.com");

If you want to remove the user identifier (in case of a sign out for instance) use the following method:

FollowAnalytics.SetUserId(null);

At any moment, you can retrieve the current user ID this way:

string user_id = FollowAnalytics.GetUserId(); // returns null if there is no user id

Predefined attributes

The SDK allows to set values for both custom and predefined attributes.

For predefined attributes, the SDK has the following properties:

FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetFirstName("Peter");
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetLastName("Jackson");
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetCity("San Francisco");
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetRegion("California");
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetCountry("USA");
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetGender(FollowAnalytics.Gender.Male); 
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetEmail("mail@mail.com");
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetDateOfBirth(DateTime.Today);
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetProfilePictureUrl("https://picture/picture");

They are "predefined" in the sense that they will be attached to default fields on your user profiles.

To unset an attribute, set it to null:

FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetFirstName(null);

Custom attributes

Double check your custom attribute types

When a value for an unknown attribute is received by the server, the attribute is declared with the type of that first value.

If you change the type of an attribute in the SDK, values might be refused server-side. Please ensure the types match by visiting the profile data section of the product.

Set a custom attribute

To set your custom attributes, you can use methods that are adapted for each type:

FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetNumber("key_number", 1);
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetNumber("key_double", 32.428);
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetDate("key_date", DateTime.Today);
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetDateTime("key_dateTime", Date.Now);
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetString("key_string", "string");
FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetBoolean("key_bool", true);

For example, to set the user's job:

FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.SetString("job", "Taxi driver");
Delete a custom attribute value

You can clear the value of an attribute using its key. For example, to delete the user's job:

FollowAnalytics.UserAttributes.Clear("job");
Set of Attributes

You can add or remove an item to or from a set of attributes.

To add an item:

FAFollowApps.UserAttributes.AddToSet("fruits", "apple");

To add several items:

FAFollowApps.UserAttributes.AddToSet("fruits", "orange", "banana");

To remove an item:

FAFollowApps.UserAttributes.RemoveFromSet("fruits", "orange");

And to clear a set:

FAFollowApps.UserAttributes.ClearSet("fruits");

Advanced Use Cases

Deep-linking: URL, Parameters

Campaigns created through FollowAnalytics allow to deep link to content in your app. You can either use an App Link, or use key-value parameters that are forwarded to your code.

Version 4.1.0 of the SDK introduced the possibility to use direct App Links like twitter://messages, which will send you to the corresponding screen inside the Twitter application.

You're able to access the functionality by enabling the Deep Linking switch in our UI, when creating a campaign. There you'll find the field App Link that expects you to enter these type of url schemas. It can either be an URL Schema to an external application or for your own application.

Deep-linking parameters

In FollowAnalytics campaigns, you can specify deep-linking parameters, e.g. in your push messages or for in-app button actions.

These parameters are given to the developer's code by the SDK. It is then up to the developer to implement the deep-linking in the app (specific path of screens, format of the arguments, etc.).

iOS

In order to be able to receive the custom parameters sent within a Push Notification or an In App message payload you'll need to implement the FollowAppsShouldHandleParameters method.

Your AppDelegate class, you should implement the FollowAnalytics.iOS.IAppDelegate interface. For example:

public class AppDelegate : UIApplicationDelegate, FollowAnalytics.iOS.IAppDelegate
{
    ...
}

Add the method inside the class:

public void FollowAppsShouldHandleParameters(NSDictionary customParameters, NSString actionIdentifier, NSString actionTitle, Action completionHandler) {
    //For example
    if (customParameters["my_key"] != null) {
        // do what you need to do.
    }
    if (completionHandler != null) {
      completionHandler();
    }
}
Android

This section will be defined later on.

Control over campaigns

Custom handling of rich campaigns

Rich campaigns can be handled directly by the application code, instead of being showed automatically by the SDK. The behavior is defined when creating the campaign, using the "automatically display content" switch.

iOS

For campaigns where the content is not handled by FollowAnalytics, implement the following FollowAppsShouldHandleWebViewUrl method in your AppDelegate:

public void FollowAppsShouldHandleWebViewUrl(NSUrl url, string urlTitle, NSDictionary parameters) {
    //do what you need to do.
}

This requires you to have implemented the FollowAnalytics.iOS.IAppDelegate interface:

public class AppDelegate : UIApplicationDelegate, FollowAnalytics.iOS.IAppDelegate
{
    ...
Android

This section will be defined later on.

Pausing in-app campaigns

You can prevent in-app campaigns from being displayed on certain views of your app. This can be useful when you are displaying a media content, or if the topmost screen is only shown for a few seconds, for instance.

Any campaign supposed to be displayed when the mechanism is paused is stacked and shown as soon as it is resumed.

To tell the SDK to prevent the display of rich campaigns, and then to activate it back, use the following methods:

FollowAnalytics.InApp.PauseCampaignDisplay();
FollowAnalytics.InApp.ResumeCampaignDisplay();

Tip: use view lifecycle methods

If you want to prevent the display on a given page, you can call the pause method when a view appears, and the resume one when it disappears.

Tip: only allow display in some places of the app

You can use these methods the other way round, by pausing all campaigns when the app starts, right after the SDK is initialized, and then resuming where the messages can be shown. Just pause again when the user leaves that "safe" area of your app.