Server-Side Tracking

This feature is currently in beta. For now please refer to our PHP library and Ruby library and their documentation for how to use this feature.

Process

Server-side tracking is altogether a 5-step process involving your server, Rangefinder, and optionally your visitor's web browser.

  1. Your server processes the web request and submits a track notification to Rangefinder over UDP. This track notification includes a random number generated by your server called the server ID. Since this happens via UDP it is very fast and lightweight, however it also means delivery is not guaranteed. In simpler terms: Rangefinder should get most tracking messages from your server, but a few may get lost here and there.
  2. Rangefinder records the notification from your server out-of-band. Your server can continue to process and respond to the original request without having to wait for Rangefinder.
  3. Your server responds to the web request, including the Rangefinder JavaScript tracking code in the response. It also includes in this tracking code the server ID it sent to Rangefinder earlier.
  4. If the client's web browser has JavaScript enabled and is not blocking Rangefinder then the Rangefinder JavaScript snippet sends a tracking notification to Rangefinder with the server ID.
  5. Rangefinder receives this notification and looks up the visit it recorded earlier from the server (steps 1 and 2). It then fills in missing data in the visit (page title, screen size, etc.) with data from the client.