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Google Businesses The Internet

Google Analytics API Goes Public 52

Posted by kdawson
from the get-your-hot-data dept.
stoolpigeon writes "Google has announced the now public beta for the Google Analytics API (described here). The API lets developers create client applications that can pull analytics data, to mash it up with other data or to present it in new ways. The API has been available through a private beta program for about a year, and some applications are already out there: examples include Polaris on Adobe Air and Analytics for Android."
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Google Analytics API Goes Public

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  • by neoform (551705)

    It's a shame they don't open source the code that drives the analytics.. That'd be sweet.

    • Re:Shame (Score:4, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:34AM (#27703337)

      It's a shame they don't open source the code that drives the analytics.. That'd be sweet.

      But it wouldn't give them access to all the traffic on your site (and everyone elses that uses their analytics.) I was pretty pissed when they bought urchin (the company that made what is now 'google analytics') because they the first thing google did was prevent you from hosting the analytics yourself.

      On that note is there a good FOSS analytics package, preferably one that works well cross platform?

      • Re:Shame (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:42AM (#27703433)

        I was pretty pissed when they bought urchin (the company that made what is now 'google analytics') because they the first thing google did was prevent you from hosting the analytics yourself.

        No, that's still available: http://www.google.com/urchin/index.html

      • Re:Shame (Score:4, Informative)

        by eareye (1454819) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:12PM (#27703819)

        On that note is there a good FOSS analytics package, preferably one that works well cross platform?

        One open source alternative to Google Analytics is Piwik [piwik.org].

        • by sherriw (794536)

          I used the piwik software before it was renamed to piwik. At that time it was quite clunky doing all kinds of background calculations and it's totals didn't add up. Wasn't impressed. I wonder if it's been improved since then.

          • I wonder if it's been improved since then.

            Piwik has gotten some much-needed usability improvements in the past couple months. It is still very obviously beta software, but everything is working much better. I've been using Piwik since last October or so after trying Google Analytics, Statcounter, and Open Web Analytics. They also have Wordpress and MediaWiki plugins so you don't have to go around editing templates. I'm really impressed with how much they've improved lately.

            • by sherriw (794536)

              Good to know. Thanks for the update.

            • by Verdatum (1257828)
              My first thought upon reading this comment: "Hey that's great! It must have been one of the Google Summer of Code projects!" I suppose I need sleep :)
      • by sherriw (794536)

        I've been looking for a good FOSS php analytics suite and what's out there is so crappy I've toyed with making one myself. Time is my barrier though.

    • Re:Shame (Score:5, Funny)

      by Frankie70 (803801) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:49AM (#27703509)

      Google paid around 30 Million Dollars for buying Urchin Software whose product it originally was.
      Maybe if you could buy that division from Google & open source it. That'd be sweet.

  • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:11AM (#27702999) Journal

    The clients now perform the rendering and Google need only provide the raw data. It's brilliant and a great move. As applications are written, refined and adopted, Google will benefit from the reduced load of the rendering servers. Their bandwidth usage would probably go down as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by soniCron88 (870042)
      Google's interface for Analytics data visualization is done with Flash, so their servers aren't rendering anything right now, anyway.
    • Their bandwidth usage would probably go down as well.

      Actually, I'm willing to bet it'll go up. They're giving people the ability to create their own interfaces to GA, ones that likely pull more data per-instance in order to allow the app to visualize things like comparative graphs/charts, as well as trends.

      These new apps will only be pulling raw data, this is true, but why would you want to use/create an app that allows you to play around with *less* information than their site already allows. It's more likely that one of the bigger uses for this will be for

      • In the current configuration, Google must render pages, so those power users are pulling (this is a guesstimate) 70% HTML, CSS and Javascript. Well built applications would retrieve data at appropriate intervals. Refreshing the page on Google Analytics doesn't result in new information displayed until their system posts the next batch of incoming data.

        At least for the current method of use (to analyze and visualize your traffic data), their resource requirements should go down.

        • Most, if not all, of the .css and .js files are cached. Moreover, some of the page structures are cached through JS DOM building (it just needs the new data, the structure is created on-the-fly).

          You could hammer the servers and keep requesting new versions of the css and js files, but barring that, only the part of the page that changes should need refreshing.

          Obviously, that's an ideal situation, but even in real-world use many of the static files won't require reloading unless you keep clearing the browser

    • by sootman (158191)

      The clients now perform the rendering and Google need only provide the raw data. It's brilliant and a great move.

      Until the users discover /var/log/httpd/. :-)

  • Google Analytics? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:12AM (#27703001)

    Is that the thing that makes a lot of web pages take forever to load?

    • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:20AM (#27703119) Journal

      No way, you're thinking of another app, Google Maps.

    • by Keyper7 (1160079)
      Was. At least for nowadays it is now the thing that is blocked by NoScript on a lot of web pages.
      • by Keyper7 (1160079)

        At least for nowadays it is now

        Yeah, doesn't make sense, I know. Clicked on the submit button instead of the edit one.

    • You can solve that, at least if you're the one hosting the page: dojox.analytics.Urchin [dojocampus.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord Ender (156273)

      You are correct. Install firebug, and watch the net chart it generates. The page will load, then you will wait another second or so before google-analytics loads and you can actually use your browser.

      • by POWRSURG (755318)

        Honestly, I believe Google is trying to piss people off with Google Analytics. First the code that they present that every developer just copies and pastes because Google tells them to loads the code in a blocking manner, and then a little while back they have turned off gzip compression so they file took even longer to transfer. Heck, I'd forgive them for the second if they would at least update the code they tell developers to copy and paste to load GA in a non-blocking manner. Yeah, it's a bit more code

        • by protactin (206817)

          Or they could probably just use the "defer" attribute on the script tag.

          • by POWRSURG (755318)
            1. Defer, though being a part of the HTML 4.01 spec [w3.org], is only supported by IE. And even if other browsers supported it they could not use it because they need to know that the content had been loaded before they execute the tracking code.
            2. The vast majority of developers just copy and paste the code as given. This code is an internal script tag that derives the protocol that is currently being used to then refer to the HTTP or HTTPS file using document.write, and then a second internal script tag that starts the
            • by protactin (206817)

              Ah, didn't realise only IE supported defer!

              I never quite understood the HTTP/S detection, as I would have thought it'd be simpler to do "//google-analytics.com/..." (i.e. no explicit protocol). Though again I don't know what standard, if any, defines that behaviour. But if it is/was standard, then you could have a single script block. But of course, as you say, developers who call _gat from elsewhere (such as myself) would have to know when the content had loaded. So, er yeah.. forget all of that! :)

              I g

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:18AM (#27703087) Homepage

    Due to US government privacy policies, we're not allowed to 'share information with third parties' which makes all hosted analytics solutions forbidden.

  • Would the reduced bandwidth lead to lower revenue??

  • Beta? (Score:2, Funny)

    by kevin98055 (983155)
    And by "Beta", do we mean "RTM"?
  • I'm a hugh fan of Clicky [getclicky.com]. The big difference with Google Analytics and Clicky is real-time stats and very good customer service. And, yes, they have an API [getclicky.com]
  • by Povno (1460131)
    You had me for a second I thought this was about Gmail...
    But it is still scheduled to be in beta for at least the rest of eternity.
    We can all relax now.

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