click tracking on a file server?

not a web server - no apache, no sql, etc.

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4 Replies - 752 Views - Last Post: 09 February 2010 - 11:53 PM

#1 stmute  Icon User is offline

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click tracking on a file server?

Posted 02 February 2010 - 02:40 PM

I should probably provide some background information so you understand where I'm coming from...

My place of employment has a fairly large network with satellite offices around the state. Consequently there is an entire division devoted to maintaining that network.. a division I'm not a part of. Our business is not an entirely technical one, as a result most of the employees are not "computer people". I come from a technical background with some computer experience, but my knowledge is amateur level. I know enough to realize how little I know. That does however mean that whenever something "computer related" comes up, I get volunteered, but it's fun so I'm cool with that. Our IT division has found it necessary to restrict the employees access to the internet. You try to view porn.. you get a stop sign in your browser window, the event is logged and your office manager gets regular updates on who is testing the boundaries of what we can and cannot access. We are also restricted on what tools we can and cannot play with. Don't want us creating or installing something that might cause a security problem or infect the network. Really it all makes sense. It does make the less confident people a bit nervous about browsing the net though because even mundane things greet you with a stop sign (personal web hosting, sports and entertainment, job hunting sites, humor, etc) and unfortunately access to the net is a tool we need to take advantage of to do our jobs effectively. So I created a web page on our local file server with links to websites that are "safe" and important for our job, as well as links to some important files and folders that are elsewhere on the intranet but are difficult for the less technical to navigate to. Over the last several years it has grown to about 100 links and most people in the office have it set as their homepage now.

My little pet project is on a file server, not a web server. It's just a .htm file with a little javascript here and there. It's just a glorified link list. It's a big list though that's broke down into categories, but I'm still not satisfied with the interface. I'd really like to be able to get a general idea of which links people use the most and which ones people hardly ever use. I'm interested in click tracking but since it's not hosted on a web server I'm guessing there's little hope of doing anything with CGI or SQL. From all the digging I've been doing it seems like tracking clicks to both external links and links to file like .pdf files on our intranet is tricky. Like everyone out there I want to have my cake and eat it too... for free... so I've been looking for freeware and javascript solutions but I'm hitting a pretty solid wall. Again, I'm an amateur and from what I'm coming to understand about javascript, it's not the answer. From what I understand javascript won't let you modify/create files so adding +1 to the google.com tally isn't possible. Maybe you can clarify that for me.

So, is it a lost cause?

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#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: click tracking on a file server?

Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:02 PM

That is correct. If you need to write or modify files you will need access to a server side langauge. Now, I am not positive that this will fulfill all of your desires, but you may be able to add google analytics to your site (I believe they may have a client-side version of it, that will just require sending an ajax call to their servers when the page is loaded - though I am not positive, it may be server-side as well...).

If you were to do this with a server you would likely want to have access to MySQL and PHP (they are pretty big names in web development).
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#3 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: click tracking on a file server?

Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:23 PM

I have a snippet for this in C/C++, but until the snippets are replaced, it'll have to wait :)
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#4 stmute  Icon User is offline

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Re: click tracking on a file server?

Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:18 PM

It's funny you should mention Google Analytics. In the middle of writing that post my ADD kicked in and I wandered around the Google Analytics site a little and wondered if I'd end up aborting the post before it was finished. I started feeling like I was following a false trail and ending up on a wild goose chase though so I came back and finished the post. I'll have to dig some more though if there's a chance there is a client side version.

Appreciate the suggestion!
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#5 stmute  Icon User is offline

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Re: click tracking on a file server?

Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:53 PM

Just a little update, it definitely appears that Google Analytics may be the best free option I have. I'm still trying to get it to work though. Unfortunately, what I'm trying to do isn't officially supported. Officially only webpages that are accessible via a FQDN can be verified before Google Analytics will start gathering data. The file server I'm using obviously won't allow that. But all is not lost.. not yet. Unofficially there are many posts out there that suggest it's still possible. There's a large number of developers that want to use it on their intranet but Google says they can't due to their non-FQDN (http://intranet). Some suggest it's as easy as adding:
pageTracker._setDomainName("none");


Which I tried, but it failed. Other posts say that's not enough. Like I said above, Google Analytics will simply ignore all the data that's being sent to it, until it can access a webpage that has the tracking code "installed" for verification. Then it will start gathering data. At that point it really doesn't matter where the data is coming from, so long as it has verified that the code is installed somewhere that it can reach.

So that's what I've done. Signed up for a free webpage and tossed the code in the index.htm file and then I created a new GA profile to accommodate the new address. (I couldn't figure out how to modify the existing profile to redirect it to the new address) It took a couple of days before it started tracking the page, but that at least works. Then I changed the code on the page I actually want to track to point it to the new UA-#######-2 ID.

Well, unfortunately it's been sitting like that for a couple days and it still doesn't seem to be working. Troubleshooting it is a slow process. It takes 24-48 hrs before data shows up on Google Analytics so I make a change and wait a couple days to see if it had any effect. All the while I and my coworkers are clicking on links and generating data that seem to be going into the abyss.

In any case, I'm still fighting. Hopefully my next post will be a victorious one that includes the solution for other readers.
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