This guide is aimed at helping you quickly get up and running with the JavaScript SDK.

The following sections cover the SDK installation steps and details on using the SDK to identify your website users and track their actions.

Setup requirements

To set up and use the RudderStack JavaScript SDK, the following prerequisites must be met:

JavaScript source write key
  • You will also need a data plane URL. Refer to the Glossary for more information on the data plane URL and where to find it.
The Setup tab in the RudderStack dashboard (seen above) has an SDK installation snippet containing both the write key and the data plane URL. You can use it to integrate the JavaScript SDK into your website.

Step 1: Install RudderStack JavaScript SDK

To integrate the SDK with your website, place the following version of the code in the <head> section of your website.

<script type="text/javascript">
!function(){var e=window.rudderanalytics=window.rudderanalytics||[];e.methods=["load","page","track","identify","alias","group","ready","reset","getAnonymousId","setAnonymousId"],e.factory=function(t){return function(){var r=Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments);return r.unshift(t),e.push(r),e}};for(var t=0;t<e.methods.length;t++){var r=e.methods[t];e[r]=e.factory(r)}e.loadJS=function(e,t){var r=document.createElement("script");r.type="text/javascript",r.async=!0,r.src="https://cdn.rudderlabs.com/v1.1/rudder-analytics.min.js";var a=document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];a.parentNode.insertBefore(r,a)},e.loadJS(),
e.load(<WRITE_KEY>,<DATA_PLANE_URL>),
e.page()}();
</script>

The above snippet lets you integrate the SDK with your website and load it asynchronously to keep your page load time unaffected.

To load rudder-analytics.js on to your page synchronously, refer to the minified or non-minified versions of the snippet below.

The above code snippet does the following:

  • Creates an array to store the events until the analytics object is ready.
  • Stores a list of methods to replay them when the analytics object is ready. These methods are:
MethodDescription
load()Loads rudder-analytics.js with your write key.
page()Records page views whenever a user visits a page.
track()Tracks user actions and important events.
identify()Associates users and their traits or actions.
reset()Resets the userid and the associated traits.
  • Loads the analytics object with your write key.
  • Makes the page()call to track the page view. It auto-captures properties such as path, referrer, search, title, and URL. If you want to override them, refer to the page API method.

Minified code

<script>
rudderanalytics=window.rudderanalytics=[];for(var methods=["load","page","track","identify","alias","group","ready","reset","getAnonymousId","setAnonymousId"],i=0;i<methods.length;i++){var method=methods[i];rudderanalytics[method]=function(a){return function(){rudderanalytics.push([a].concat(Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments)))}}(method)}rudderanalytics.load(<WRITE_KEY>,<DATA_PLANE_URL>),rudderanalytics.page();
</script>
<script src="https://cdn.rudderlabs.com/v1.1/rudder-analytics.min.js"></script>

Non-minified code

<script>
rudderanalytics = window.rudderanalytics = [];
var methods = [
"load",
"page",
"track",
"identify",
"alias",
"group",
"ready",
"reset",
"getAnonymousId",
"setAnonymousId",
];
for (var i = 0; i < methods.length; i++) {
var method = methods[i];
rudderanalytics[method] = (function (methodName) {
return function () {
rudderanalytics.push(
[methodName].concat(Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments))
);
};
})(method);
}
rudderanalytics.load(<WRITE_KEY>, <DATA_PLANE_URL>);
rudderanalytics.page();
</script>
<script src="https://cdn.rudderlabs.com/v1.1/rudder-analytics.min.js"></script>

In all the above versions, there is an explicit page call at the end. This is added to ensure that whenever the SDK loads in a page, a page call is sent. You can remove this call completely or modify it with the extra page properties to suit your requirement. You can also add page calls in your application in places not tied directly to page load, e.g., virtual page views, page renders on route change such as in SPAs.

Write key and data plane URL

To integrate and initialize the JavaScript SDK, you need the source write key and the data plane URL.

Alternative installation using NPM

While it is recommended to use the above-mentioned snippets to use the JavaScript SDK with your website, you can also use the NPM module to package RudderStack directly into your project.

To install the SDK via npm, run the following command:

npm install rudder-sdk-js --save

This NPM module is only meant to be used for a browser installation. If you want to integrate RudderStack with a Node.js application, refer to the RudderStack Node.js repository.

Using the exported object

Since the module exports the related APIs on an already-defined object combined with the Node.js module caching, you should run the following code snippet only once and use the exported object throughout your project:

import * as rudderanalytics from "rudder-sdk-js";
rudderanalytics.load(<WRITE_KEY>, <DATA_PLANE_URL>);
rudderanalytics.ready(() => {
console.log("We are all set!!!");
});
export { rudderanalytics };

You can also do this with ES5 using the require method, as shown in the following snippet:

var rudderanalytics = require("rudder-sdk-js");
rudderanalytics.load(<WRITE_KEY>, <DATA_PLANE_URL>);
exports.rudderanalytics = rudderanalytics;

The related APIs exported by the module are:

  • load
  • ready
  • identify
  • alias
  • page
  • track
  • group
  • reset
  • getAnonymousId
  • setAnonymousId

Sample implementations

Refer to the following projects for a detailed walk-through of the above steps:

Supported browser versions

BrowserSupported Versions
Safariv7 or later
IEv10 or later
Edgev80 or later
Mozilla Firefoxv47 or later
Chromev54 or later
Operav43 or later

If the SDK does not work on the browser versions that you are targeting, verify if adding the browser polyfills to your application solves the issue.

Step 2: Identify your users with the identify() method

The identify call lets you identify a visiting user and associate them to their actions. It also lets you record the traits about them like their name, email address, etc.

A sample identify call is shown below:

rudderanalytics.identify(
"12345",
{
email: "name@domain.com"
},
{
page: {
path: "",
referrer: "",
search: "",
title: "",
url: ""
}
},
() => {
console.log("in identify call");
}
);

In the above example, the user-related information like the userId and email along with the contextual information is captured.

There is no need to call identify() for anonymous visitors to your website. Such visitors are automatically assigned an anonymousId.

For more information, refer to the Identify section of the SDK documentation.

Step 3: Track your users' actions with track()

The track call lets you record the customer events, i.e. the actions that they perform, along with any properties associated with them.

A sample track call is shown below:

rudderanalytics.track(
"test track event GA3",
{
revenue: 30,
currency: "USD",
user_actual_id: 12345
},
() => {
console.log("in track call");
}
);

In the above example, the track method tracks the user event test track event GA3 and information such as the revenue, currency, anonymousId.

You can use the track() method to track various success metrics for your website like user signups, item purchases, article bookmarks, and more.

Step 4: Check ready state

There are cases when you may want to tap into the features provided by the end-destination SDKs to enhance tracking and other functionalities. The JavaScript SDK exposes a ready API with a callback parameter that fires when the SDK is done initializing itself and the other third-party native SDK destinations.

An example is shown below:

rudderanalytics.ready(() => {
console.log("We are all set!");
});

For more information on the JavaScript SDK API methods, refer to the JavaScript SDK APIs section of the SDK documentation.


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