Analytics for Rails
Ruby
Latest commit 83e1126 Mar 24, 2017 @ankane Version bump to 1.5.5

README.md

Ahoy

Ahoy provides a solid foundation to track visits and events in Ruby, JavaScript, and native apps. Works with any data store so you can easily scale.

🍊 Battle-tested at Instacart

📮 To track emails, check out Ahoy Email.

🍁 For A/B testing, check out Field Test.

Installation

Add this line to your application’s Gemfile:

gem 'ahoy_matey'

And add the javascript file in app/assets/javascripts/application.js after jQuery.

//= require jquery
//= require ahoy

Choose a Data Store

Ahoy supports a number of data stores out of the box. You can start with one of them and customize as needed, or create your own store from scratch.

PostgreSQL, MySQL, or SQLite

Run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:active_record
rake db:migrate

MongoDB

Run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:mongoid

Kafka

Add ruby-kafka to your Gemfile.

gem 'ruby-kafka'

And run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:kafka

Use ENV["KAFKA_URL"] to configure.

Fluentd

Add fluent-logger to your Gemfile.

gem 'fluent-logger'

And run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:fluentd

Use ENV["FLUENTD_HOST"] and ENV["FLUENTD_PORT"] to configure.

RabbitMQ

Add bunny to your Gemfile.

gem 'bunny'

And run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:bunny

Use ENV["RABBITMQ_URL"] to configure.

NATS

Add nats-pure to your Gemfile.

gem 'nats-pure'

And run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:nats

Use ENV["NATS_URL"] to configure.

NSQ

Add nsq-ruby to your Gemfile.

gem 'nsq-ruby'

And run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:nsq

Use ENV["NSQ_URL"] to configure.

Amazon Kinesis Firehose

Add aws-sdk to your Gemfile.

gem 'aws-sdk', '>= 2.0.0'

And run:

rails generate ahoy:stores:kinesis_firehose

Configure delivery streams and credentials in the initializer.

Logs

rails generate ahoy:stores:log

This logs visits to log/visits.log and events to log/events.log.

Custom

rails generate ahoy:stores:custom

This creates a class for you to fill out.

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::BaseStore
  def track_visit(options)
  end

  def track_event(name, properties, options)
  end
end

See the ActiveRecordTokenStore for an example.

How It Works

Visits

When someone visits your website, Ahoy creates a visit with lots of useful information.

  • traffic source - referrer, referring domain, landing page, search keyword
  • location - country, region, and city
  • technology - browser, OS, and device type
  • utm parameters - source, medium, term, content, campaign

Use the current_visit method to access it.

Events

Each event has a name and properties.

There are three ways to track events.

JavaScript

ahoy.track("Viewed book", {title: "The World is Flat"});

or track events automatically with:

ahoy.trackAll();

See Ahoy.js for a complete list of features.

Ruby

ahoy.track "Viewed book", title: "Hot, Flat, and Crowded"

Native Apps

See the HTTP spec until libraries are built.

Users

Ahoy automatically attaches the current_user to the visit.

With Devise, it will attach the user even if he or she signs in after the visit starts.

With other authentication frameworks, add this to the end of your sign in method:

ahoy.authenticate(user)

Customize the Store

Stores are built to be highly customizable.

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  # add methods here
end

Exclude Bots and More

Exclude visits and events from being tracked with:

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  def exclude?
    bot? || request.ip == "192.168.1.1"
  end
end

Bots are excluded by default.

Track Additional Values

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  def track_visit(options)
    super do |visit|
      visit.gclid = visit_properties.landing_params["gclid"]
    end
  end

  def track_event(name, properties, options)
    super do |event|
      event.ip = request.ip
    end
  end
end

Some methods you can use are request, controller, visit_properties, and ahoy.

Customize User

If you use a method other than current_user, set it here:

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  def user
    controller.true_user
  end
end

Report Exceptions

Exceptions are rescued so analytics do not break your app. Ahoy uses Safely to try to report them to a service by default.

To customize this, use:

Safely.report_exception_method = -> (e) { Rollbar.error(e) }

Use Different Models

For ActiveRecord and Mongoid stores

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  def visit_model
    CustomVisit
  end

  def event_model
    CustomEvent
  end
end

More Features

Automatic Tracking

Page views

ahoy.trackView();

Clicks

ahoy.trackClicks();

Rails actions

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  after_action :track_action

  protected

  def track_action
    ahoy.track "Viewed #{controller_name}##{action_name}"
  end
end

Multiple Subdomains

To track visits across multiple subdomains, use:

Ahoy.cookie_domain = :all

Visit Duration

By default, a new visit is created after 4 hours of inactivity.

Change this with:

Ahoy.visit_duration = 30.minutes

ActiveRecord

Let’s associate orders with visits.

First, generate a migration and add a visit_id column.

class AddVisitIdToOrders < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def change
    add_column :orders, :visit_id, :integer
  end
end

Note: Use the uuid column type if the id column on visits is a uuid.

Then, add visitable to the model.

class Order < ActiveRecord::Base
  visitable
end

When a visitor places an order, the visit_id column is automatically set. 🎉

Customize the column and class name with:

visitable :sign_up_visit, class_name: "Visit"

Doorkeeper

To attach the user with Doorkeeper, be sure you have a current_resource_owner method in ApplicationController.

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  private

  def current_resource_owner
    User.find(doorkeeper_token.resource_owner_id) if doorkeeper_token
  end
end

Geocoding

By default, geocoding is performed inline. For performance, move it to the background with:

Ahoy.geocode = :async

For Rails 4.0 and 4.1, you’ll need to add activejob_backport.

To change the queue name (ahoy by default), use:

Ahoy.job_queue = :low_priority

Or disable geocoding with:

Ahoy.geocode = false

Track Visits Immediately

Visitor and visit ids are generated on the first request (so you can use them immediately), but the track_visit method isn’t called until the JavaScript library posts to the server. This prevents browsers with cookies disabled from creating multiple visits and ensures visits are not created for API endpoints. Change this with:

Ahoy.track_visits_immediately = true

Note: It’s highly recommended to perform geocoding in the background with this option.

You can exclude API endpoints and other actions with:

skip_before_action :track_ahoy_visit

Development

Ahoy is built with developers in mind. You can run the following code in your browser’s console.

Force a new visit

ahoy.reset(); // then reload the page

Log messages

ahoy.debug();

Turn off logging

ahoy.debug(false);

Debug endpoint requests in Ruby

Ahoy.quiet = false

Explore the Data

How you explore the data depends on the data store used.

For SQL databases, you can use Blazer to easily generate charts and dashboards.

With ActiveRecord, you can do:

Visit.group(:search_keyword).count
Visit.group(:country).count
Visit.group(:referring_domain).count

Chartkick and Groupdate make it easy to visualize the data.

<%= line_chart Visit.group_by_day(:started_at).count %>

See where orders are coming from with simple joins:

Order.joins(:visit).group("referring_domain").count
Order.joins(:visit).group("city").count
Order.joins(:visit).group("device_type").count

To see the visits for a given user, create an association:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :visits
end

And use:

user = User.first
user.visits

Create Funnels

viewed_store_ids = Ahoy::Event.where(name: "Viewed store").uniq.pluck(:user_id)
added_item_ids = Ahoy::Event.where(user_id: viewed_store_ids, name: "Added item to cart").uniq.pluck(:user_id)
viewed_checkout_ids = Ahoy::Event.where(user_id: added_item_ids, name: "Viewed checkout").uniq.pluck(:user_id)

The same approach also works with visitor tokens.

Querying Properties

With ActiveRecord, use:

Ahoy::Event.where(name: "Viewed product").where_properties(product_id: 123).count

Note: If you get a NoMethodError, upgrade Ahoy and add include Ahoy::Properties to the Ahoy::Event class:

module Ahoy
  class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
    include Ahoy::Properties
    ...
  end
end

Throttling

By default, Ahoy uses rack-attack to throttle requests to Ahoy endpoints. Turn this off with:

Ahoy.throttle = false

The default limit is 20 requests per minute. This can be overridden with:

# limit number of requests to 100 requests every 5 minutes
Ahoy.throttle_limit = 100
Ahoy.throttle_period = 5.minutes

Native Apps

Visits

When a user launches the app, create a visit.

Generate a visit_token and visitor_token as UUIDs.

Send these values in the Ahoy-Visit and Ahoy-Visitor headers with all requests.

Send a POST request to /ahoy/visits with:

  • platform - iOS, Android, etc.
  • app_version - 1.0.0
  • os_version - 7.0.6

After 4 hours of inactivity, create another visit and use the updated visit id.

Events

Send a POST request as Content-Type: application/json to /ahoy/events with:

  • id - 5aea7b70-182d-4070-b062-b0a09699ad5e - UUID
  • name - Viewed item
  • properties - {"item_id": 123}
  • time - 2014-06-17T00:00:00-07:00 - ISO 8601
  • Ahoy-Visit and Ahoy-Visitor headers
  • user token (depends on your authentication framework)

Use an array to pass multiple events at once.

Reference

By default, Ahoy create endpoints at /ahoy/visits and /ahoy/events. To disable, use:

Ahoy.mount = false

Upgrading

1.4.0

There’s nothing mandatory to do, but it’s worth noting the default store was changed from ActiveRecordStore to ActiveRecordTokenStore for new installations. ActiveRecordStore will continue to be supported.

Optional Consider migrating ahoy_events table to have the following multi-column index as this may benefit query performance depending on your usage:

add_index :ahoy_events, [:name, :time]

json -> jsonb

Create a migration to add a new jsonb column.

rename_column :ahoy_events, :properties, :properties_json
add_column :ahoy_events, :properties, :jsonb

Restart your web server immediately afterwards, as Ahoy will rescue and report errors until then.

Sync the new column.

Ahoy::Event.where(properties: nil).select(:id).find_in_batches do |events|
  Ahoy::Event.where(id: events.map(&:id)).update_all("properties = properties_json::jsonb")
end

Then create a migration to drop the old column.

remove_column :ahoy_events, :properties_json

1.0.0

Add the following code to the end of config/intializers/ahoy.rb.

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  uses_deprecated_subscribers
end

If you use Ahoy::Event to track events, copy it into your project.

module Ahoy
  class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
    self.table_name = "ahoy_events"

    belongs_to :visit
    belongs_to :user, polymorphic: true

    serialize :properties, JSON
  end
end

That’s it! To fix deprecations, keep reading.

Visits

Remove ahoy_visit from your visit model and replace it with:

class Visit < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :user, polymorphic: true
end

Subscribers

Remove uses_deprecated_subscribers from Ahoy::Store.

If you have a custom subscriber, copy the track method to track_event in Ahoy::Store.

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  def track_event(name, properties, options)
    # code copied from the track method in your subscriber
  end
end

Authentication

Ahoy no longer tracks the $authenticate event automatically.

To restore this behavior, use:

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  def authenticate(user)
    super
    ahoy.track "$authenticate"
  end
end

Global Options

Replace the Ahoy.user_method with user method, and replace Ahoy.track_bots and Ahoy.exclude_method with exclude? method.

Skip this step if you do not use these options.

class Ahoy::Store < Ahoy::Stores::ActiveRecordTokenStore
  def user
    # logic from Ahoy.user_method goes here
    controller.true_user
  end

  def exclude?
    # logic from Ahoy.track_bots and Ahoy.exclude_method goes here
    bot? || request.ip == "192.168.1.1"
  end
end

You made it! Now, take advantage of Ahoy’s awesome new features, like easy customization and exception reporting.

0.3.0

Starting with 0.3.0, visit and visitor tokens are now UUIDs.

0.1.6

In 0.1.6, a big improvement was made to browser and os. Update existing visits with:

Visit.find_each do |visit|
  visit.set_technology
  visit.save! if visit.changed?
end

TODO

  • real-time dashboard of visits and events
  • more events for append only stores
  • turn off modules

No Ruby?

Check out Ahoy.js.

History

View the changelog

Contributing

Everyone is encouraged to help improve this project. Here are a few ways you can help: