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Configuring how events are sent

A user interacts with your app: an event is generated and tracked using track method of TrackerController. But the event must be sent to your event collector, to enter your pipeline, before it has any value.

The tracker allows the configuration of the network connection, event sending, and buffering of events. The default configurations will be sufficient for many Snowplow users but a better fine tuning can be set through the EmitterConfiguration.

Configuring the network connection

The NetworkConfiguration is used to specify the collector endpoint:

let networkConfig = NetworkConfiguration(endpoint: "http://collector-endpoint")

The URL path for your collector endpoint should include the protocol, "http" or "https". If not included in the URL, "https" connection will be used by default.

In particular cases it can be useful to have a full control of the component in charge to send the events. This can be achieved with a custom NetworkConnection that will take care to send the events to the collector:

let network = DefaultNetworkConnection(urlString: url, httpMethod: method)
network.emitThreadPoolSize = 20
network.byteLimitPost = 52000

let networkConfig = NetworkConfiguration(networkConnection: network)

In the example above we used the DefaultNetworkConnection but it can be used any custom component that implements the NetworkConnection interface.

Persisting events with a custom EventStore

The tracker sends events asynchrounously in batches using POST requests. In case the collector is not reachable, the events are stored in an internal component called EventStore based on a SQLite database. The EventStore can be overriden with a custom one in case the developer require a different solution to persist the events before sending.

let eventStore = CustomEventStore(namespace: trackerNamespace);
let emitterConfig = EmitterConfiguration()

In the example above the CustomEventStore is your implementation of the EventStore interface.

What happens if an event fails to send?

To prevent unnecessary requests being made while the collector is unavailable, a backoff is added to all subsequent event sending attempts. This resets after a request is successful.

The tracker has an option for setting response codes not to retry after. The intended use is for codes such as 400 Bad Request, 401 Unauthorised, 403 Forbidden, 410 Gone, 422 Unprocessable Entity. When received in response from the Collector, the tracker doesn't retry to send events. Requests with all other 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx status codes are retried. The set of status codes for which events should be retried or not is customizable in EmitterConfiguration.

By default, the tracker retries sending events on all 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx status codes except the status codes indicated above. You may override the default behavior using the customRetryForStatusCodes. Please note that not retrying sending events to the Collector means that the events will be dropped when they fail to be sent. The customRetryForStatusCodes needs a dictionary that maps integers (status codes) to booleans (true for retry and false for not retry).

let emitterConfig = EmitterConfiguration()
.customRetryForStatusCodes({403, true}) // retry sending events even if collector returns 403 status

Configuring how many events to send in one request

The tracker sends events in batches. The tracker allows only a choice of 1 (BufferOption.single), 10 (BufferOption.defaultGroup), or 25 (BufferOption.largeGroup) events at maximum per request payload.

The tracker checks for events to send every time an event is tracked. Normally, the new event will be sent immediately in its own request (no batching), regardless of the BufferOption setting.

With very high event volumes, or when many events are buffered in the event store (e.g. if the network had been down), the BufferOption settings come into play. The maximum number of events to remove from the eventStore at once (by one thread) is set by the EmitterConfiguration.emitRange property: 150 events by default. These events are processed into requests with a maximum BufferOption of events per request.

If the event store is empty when the tracker tries to send events - because another thread has just sent them - the thread sleeps for 5 seconds before trying again. If this happens 5 times in a row in the same thread, event sending will be paused for the whole tracker. It is restarted when a new event arrives.

Configure the batch size like this:

let emitterConfig = EmitterConfiguration()
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