Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) How to: Debugging Conversion Trackers

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This tutorial will guide you through the advanced steps which need to be taken in order to check whether the Conversion Trackers set in your Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) inventory are working properly. To understand the contents of this tutorial you must have a good knowledge of certain advanced debugging techniques, as well as access to the Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) database contents.

System requirements:

  • OpenX Source 2.8+ or Revive Adserver

Required knowledge:

  • Basic understanding of HTTP Headers
  • Basic knowledge of Cookies usage

Required tools:

  • Tamper Data plugin for Firefox
  • PHPMyAdmin database browser tool, or any other database tool
  • Full access to Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) database

 

Step 1 – Set Up Conversion Trackers

Follow the Conversion Tracking Tutorial to properly set up Conversion Trackers in your Inventory.

 

Step 2 – Check Cookies Set For Conversion

Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) sets cookies in a browser on a client side when a Conversion can be tracked for the currently delivered banner. Conversions can be tracked for impressions (Impression Based) or clicks (Click Based).

Run the Tamper Data tool for your Firefox browser. Clear the browser cache (but do not clear cookies) and open the page where the banner with conversions is supposed to be delivered by Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source). You will get a set of server responses represented by HTTP Headers.

Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) creates the following cookies:

  • _OXLIA[id] – cookie for impression tracker, Example: _OXLIA[3]
  • _OXLCA[id] – cookie for click tracker, Example: _OXLCA[12]

where id is a delivered banner id (impressed or clicked on a client side).
The cookie set by Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) needs to have an ‘expires=‘ parameter defined depending on the Conversion Window set for the specified tracker.

Example of Impression Based conversion cookie:

_OXLIA[3]=kkb5tl-1; expires=Fri, 26-Jun-2009 15:03:21 GMT; path=/

Example of Click Based conversion cookie:

_OXLCA[3]=kkb5uk-1; expires=Fri, 26-Jun-2009 15:03:56 GMT; path=/

where the ‘kkb5tl-1‘ and ‘kkb5uk-1‘ values are a unique cookie IDs.

Note: The ‘_’ character before the cookie indicated that this is a “temporary” cookie, the data in this temporary cookie will be packed into the compacted version on the next Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) request, therefore the data contained in ‘_OXLIA’ will be packed into the OXLIA cookie the next time a request hits the Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source)

At this tracker debugging level there is no data stored in the Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) database as yet. Only the cookie saved in the client’s browser points at a conversion that may be performed when a user runs a tracker.

Troubleshooting: If no _OXLCA or _OXLIA cookie has been created it might mean that your banner’s campaign isn’t properly linked to the tracker.

 

Step 3 – Run The Tracker And Check Conversion

The tracker code can be placed on any other website (it doesn’t have to be the same domain). The only requirement for conversion to fulfill is to run the tracker using the same browser (so that the conversion cookie is already set).

Clear the browser cache (don’t clear cookies). Run the Tamper Data. Run the page where you have the Tracker Invocation Code.

Check the Headers for every server response. You should get a response similar to the one below for an Impression Conversion:

Example Of Impression Based Conversion Server Response:

_OXLIA[3]=deleted; expires=Tue, 27-May-2008 15:03:55 GMT; path=/
 ...
 ...
 ...
 OXLIA=3.kkb5tl-1_5.kkb5so-1; expires=Thu, 27-May-2010 15:03:56 GMT; path=/

Impression Based Conversion Explanation:

  • _OXLIA[3]=deleted; – Cookie waiting for conversion has been found and deleted,
  • OXLIA=3.kkb5tl-1_5.kkb5so-1; – New Conversion has been tracked and saved in a new cookie. The cookie is stored in the client’s browser with 1 year expiration time in order to avoid possible conflicts with and duplications of other conversions.

Example Of Click Based Conversion Server Response:

_OXLCA[3]=deleted; expires=Tue, 27-May-2008 15:41:39 GMT; path=/
 ...
 ...
 OXLCA=3.kkb5uk-1; path=/

Troubleshooting: If the _OXLCA cookie isn’t deleted and the OXLCA cookie isn’t created, it may mean you are viewing a tracker beacon different to the tracker linked to the campaign, or that the image beacon hasn’t rendered properly.

 

Step 4 – Check Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) Database For Recorded Conversions

At this conversion debugging level you will be able to track your conversions in the Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) database. Every completed conversion is being stored in the ‘ox_data_bkt_a‘ table. If you have any conversions stored in the table you are almost done with your test conversions.

Note: The conversions are being stored in the ‘ox_data_bkt_a‘ table as long as the Maintenance Task has not run.

 

Step 5 – Check Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) Statistics For Completed Conversions

Finally, when you have confirmed that Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) has recorded conversions in the database you need either wait or manually execute the Maintenance Task to summarize conversions and generate statistics data.

Note: Running the Maintenance Task in shorter that 60-minute timeframes will not update your statistics faster.

Troubleshooting: If the conversion was in the ‘ox_data_bkt_a‘ table, but not in statistics, check the ‘ox_data_summary_ad_hourly table for the banner id to see if recent statistics have been summarised.
If the conversion is in the table, check the tracker default status. It could be that the conversion is not approved. Go to the statistics screen and click on the ‘-‘ in the conversion column, and review the conversions from non-approved to approved.


7 Responses to “Revive AdServer (Formerly OpenX Source) How to: Debugging Conversion Trackers”

  1. Chinnu G says:

    Thanks a lot ,Really nice article to understand debugging the Conversion Trackers of Revive Ad Server.
    It will help to newbies, to understand what exactly happening in Conversion Tracking

  2. Wilmer Abreu says:

    we really want try to move from hasoffers to revive is that possible ? , track conversions and work whit eCPM

    • Ilya Ber says:

      Not really possible. Hasoffers is an affiliate software and has a completely different set of features. Revive is an ad server, conversion tracking is very basic.

  3. Sean says:

    Hi,

    trying to figure out why conversion is not working, i’m seeing the following in tamper:

    Set-Cookie=_OXLIA[13]=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/
    %5FOXLIA%5B13%5D=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/
    ****
    …the date shows 1970.
    can’t seem to figure out why it’s saying this date.

  4. Sean says:

    How do we choose between “Impression Based” and “Click Based” tracking?
    Only seeing _OXLIA cookies. Missing _OXLCA for click based.

    Thanks,

  5. Oleg says:

    What should I check if in 3 cookies are shown as expected, but nothing inserted to the ox_data_bkt_a table ?

  6. Oleg says:

    I mean rv_data_bkt_a, cause that’s the new name of the table.

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