hporter edited this page Oct 25, 2012 · 4 revisions

Why Open Data Alliance?

The Open Data Alliance are building a standardised data format that lets websites represent their data in one format, communicating seamlessly with each of their partners. This will slash the cost of data translation between the many diverse formats currently used by Web technologies.

For example, if you are a website owner today, your analytics tags, search engines, marketing tags and so on all require proprietary data formats that create barriers between the technologies used, and between your website and technology you’d like to use. This situation means that too much development time is invested into ensuring that the technologies can communicate.

The Open Data Alliance is backed by industry leaders such as QuBit, [Your Name Here]. With such depth of expertise in this partnership, the Open Data Alliance format is likely to form a foundation for Web data standards moving forwards.

How does Open Data work?

Our specification works by describing a way to structure information into a JavaScript object in a web page. Once this object is created, it's then more easily consumable by other code or systems, such as in-page JavaScript, browser extensions, or web crawlers.

What does this mean for the web ecosystem?

The standardised data format will allow websites to quickly and simply implement marketing, analytics and other vital technologies at minimal cost. Website owners will then be able to rapidly test technologies and integrate those that deliver the most value. A genuine plug-and-play ‘app store’ approach to managing data finally becomes feasible - driving innovation while cutting data translation costs.

How do I join as a technology provider?

Joining the Alliance is a simple 3-step process:

Step 1: Create an Open Data Alliance adaptor or extension to consume into your system In order to join the Alliance we require each technology provider to develop an adapter that represents data in the Open Data format, and where applicable, demonstrate that it is ready to consume Open Data.

Full documentation on the data model can be found on our GitHub page (LINK).

Step 2: Submit company information To add you to the Alliance directory and make you a fully fledged member we just need a short summary of your business (max 200 words), a high resolution logo and instructions on how to implement your technology using the Open Data model.

Step 3: Tell the world you are part of the Open Data Alliance We encourage all members to get involved promoting this initiative. Please tell your clients and partners about it and we have developed an alliance badge which you can add to your website and other marketing collateral (Download here). The more technologies using Open Data, the greater the benefit for everyone in online.

How do I create a Universal Variable adapter?

Example: Assuming your script has some setup already embedded on the page alongside your script:

var scriptOptions = {
	orderId: "A1122",
	orderTotal: 125.49,
	orderShipping: 7.99
<script src="http://yourdomain.com/script.js">

Universal variable implementation is pretty straight forward. Previously, the user had to output the values on the page as they were writing the code on to the page. Now, a generic implementation can be where the client only puts the following on the page:

<script src="http://yourdomain.com/universalAdapter.js">
<script src="http://yourdomain.com/script.js">

Where your universalAdapter.js would be something like

var scriptOptions = {
	orderId: universal_variable.transaction.order_id,
	orderTotal: universal_variable.transaction.total,
	orderShipping: universal_variable.transaction.shipping_cost

In the future, if/when you edit your core script (script.js in this example) to pick universal_variable values by default automatically, the users can stop using the universalAdapter.js and just embed <script src="http://yourdomain.com/script.js"> on the page with its static options like account number.

How do I work with Open Data as a website owner?

What are the costs involved for Tech providers?

You will need to build an adaptor that will convert and map the Open Data standard to your required values. This way, clients using tag management technologies or simple CMS’s can easily deploy your code through your adapter on to their sites.

What are the costs involved for site owners?

There is a small initial investment to support Open Data. Firstly, your system must be able to output data in the Open Data Format, a standardised structure designed for the Web. We recommended creating a plug-in, such as QuBit’s Magento plug-in, that creates this data layer on your pages. This one-time back-end change will allow you to install many web technologies without any further customization to your server side code.

Going forward, ensuring your future technology uses Open Data’s extensible architecture as a base will save you significant development time and investment, while ensuring your technology is compatible with your partners from day one.

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