How to identify user in devtodev

Developer can himself/herself decide how to identify users of applications in devtodev. There are 2 variants available:

  1. Identification by unique device id.
  2. Identification by user id set by developer.

And for both variants, just after getting the data in devtodev for the first time, there will be unique devtodev id (for user or device) created.

 

Identification by unique device id

If developer does not set (or hasn't set yet) user id during SDK integration, then devtodev automatically uses device identifier:

Platform Main identifier Additional identifier
(if main identifier is not available)
Android Advertising ID id generated by SDK
it changes after device data cleaning and after deleting the app)
iOS IDFA

IDFV

Mac

ID generated by SDK using Hardware UUID
(can not be changed)

 

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10

Advertising ID

Identificaton using App Specific Hardware ID
can not be changed)

Windows (Standalone apps)

identifier generated by SDK
it creates once, then saves on the device)

 

Web

identifier generated by SDK
it creates once, then saves in localstorage or browser cookies)

 

Registration of new user is the appearance of identifier which did not exist in database when the first dataset came from SDK.

First dataset is sent just after SDK initialization it the code of application.

If the advertisind ID is changed, switched on or off, SDK notifies server about id replacement. So, the change of id does not create new users.

 

Usage:

This method is useful, if it is nessesary to calculate devices where the app is launced, but not users who do it. Or it is useful when the numbers of devices and users are taken to be equal.

Usually this type of identification is enough for mobile devices, if the application can't save user data on server to expand it to this device, another device or another platform (for cross-platform projects).

It is not recommended to use this method for web applications, but it is possible to temporary use it if the user does not identify (for example, if there is a demo access to the app before the registration).
 

Logic of identification by device id

#

Device

User id

devtodev Id

1

A

null

1

2

B

null

2

3

C

null

3

4

C

null

3

5

A

null

1

Every string corresponds with SDK initialization in the app.

  1. User has launched the app on device A. There takes place a registration of new user in the app by device id, the user assigns devtodev id=1.
  2. User has launched the app on device B. There takes place a registration of new user in the app by device id, the user assigns devtodev id=2.
  3. User has launched the app on device C. There takes place a registration of new user in the app by device id, the user assigns devtodev id=3.
  4. User has launched the app again, and the user was found by device C id. The user is still identified under id=3.
  5. User has launched the app again, and the user was found by device A id. The user is still identified under id=1. ‚Äč

Identification by user id set by developer

If the developer knows the unique user id, he/she can identify users with this ids, aside from devices where this id works.

This type of identification is not used by default, it works only if the developer sets the user id during SDK integration (setUserId method).

Usage:

This method is universal. The main reason of not using this method can be absence of unique user identifier.

This method is strongly recommended for apps where there is possible to save user data on server to use it then on the same or another device, and also for applications where different users can use the same device.

This method is obligatory for cross-platform projects, because user can use the devices of different platforms to change the data about himself/herself (for example, the progress into the game), and you want to use devtodev cross-platform analytics and analyze the whole project in block.

Attention! Web SDK can use 2 user identifiers at the same time. First one is set during SDK initialization, and it can be the only id (for example, id of user in social network), and the second one is set only for cross-platform projects. If it is the same value for your project, set id only during the initialization.

Moving from identification by device id to identification by user id

If the user id was not used earlier in the app and it is integrated in the new version of application (or user had no id for some time, and now it appears), then all the data got by device id is inherited by first set user id.

In this case identification by device id is replaced with identification by user id. Data about number of users is not changed, because registration dates are also inherited.
 

Logic of identification by user id

Moving to user id

#

Device

User id

devtodev Id

1

A

not set

1

2

A

not set

1

3

A

"John"

1

4

A

not set

1

5

A

"John"

1
 

  1. User launches the app on device A. There takes place a registration of new user in the app by device id, the user assigns devtodev id=1.
  2. User launches the app again and was found by device id. The user is still in database by devtodev id=1.
  3. There was the assignment of user id in setUserId method. All the data previously got from device A are now under "John" id. Device ID A is replaced by "John" in devtodev database. The user is still in database by devtodev id=1.
  4. The next launch of the app, and user id is not set by setUserId. SDK thinks that user id should be the same as in previous session. The user is still "John" under devtodev id=1.
  5. There's assignment setUserID="John" in this or next sesson. Devtodev id is not changed.

Several users on same device

#

Device

User id

devtodev Id

1

A

"John"

1

2

A

"Jim"

4

3

A

not set

4

4

A

"John"

1

5

A

not set

1

6

A

"Alex"

5

  1. User "John" launched the app again, he was found by user id. The user is still under devtodev id=1.
  2. User id "Jim" is set on the same device in this or next session. There were no data about such user in devtodev before. There takes place a registration of new user, and now he's under devtodev id=4.
  3. The next launch. User ID is not set with setUserId. SDK thinks that user id is the same as in previous session. The user is "Jim", and he's under devtodev id=4.
  4. User id "John" is set on the same device in this or next session. This user is already registered in devtodev, and he's under devtodev id=1.
  5. The next launch. User ID is not set with setUserId. SDK thinks that user id is the same as in previous session. The user is "John", and he's under devtodev id=1.
  6. User id "Alex" is set on the same device in this or next session.  There were no data about such user in devtodev before. There takes place a registration of new user, and now he's under devtodev id=5.

 

Same users on different devices

#

Device

User ID

devtodev Id

1

A

"John"

1

2

B

"John"

1

3

B

not set

1

4

B

"Alexia"

6

5

D

"Alexia"

6

  1. User "John" launches the app, he was found by user id. The user is still in database by devtodev id=1.
  2. There is a launch of the app on device B under user id "John" set by setUserId method. The user is already registered in devtodev, and he's still in database by devtodev id=1.
  3. There is a launch of the app on device B, but user id is not set by setUserID. SDK thinks that user id is the same as in previous session. The user is "John", and he's under id=1.
  4. There is a launch of the app on device B under user id "Alexia" set by setUserId method. There is no data about such user in devtodev database. There's a registration of new user, and she assigns id=6.
  5. There's a launch of the app on device D under user id "Alexa" set by setUserId method. The user is already registered in devtodev, and he's still in database under devtodev id = 6.

If it is possible to use the app for both registered and non-registered (who don't have permanent ID) users

#

Device

User id

devtodev Id

1

A

"John"

1

2

A

""

7

3

A

not set

7

4

A

"John"

1

5

A

"Jane"

7

6

A

""

8

7

A

"George"

8

  1. User "John" launches the app again, he was found by user id. The user is in database under id=1.
  2. User launches the app by demo access, user has not permanent id. setUserId ="" is set during initializtion. Since there's no user id, SDK will take this user into account by device id. Only John used this device before, there is no id of device A in devtodev database. The registration of new user takes place, the user is in database under id=7.
  3. The next launch is from device A, user id is not set using setUserId. SDK thinks that user id is the same as in previous session. There was setUserId ="" on the previous session, so the users was took into account by device id. The user still takes into account as devtodev Id 7.
  4. User "John" launches the app again, he was found by user id. He's in database under id=1.
  5. There's an assignment setUserID="Jane" on this or next session. User "Jane" did not use device A before, so it is assumed that Jane is user who previously used demo access, then registered and got the user id. Jane inherits all the data previously got by device id. Jane has not previously registered in devtodev, so she inherits devtodev id=7.
  6. There is new launch of app in demo access, and again user has not permanent id. setUserId ="" is set during initializtion. Since there's no user id, SDK will take this user into account by device id. Until this moment the device was used by Jane, she inherited id of device A and then replaced it by "Jane" in devtodev database. The registration of new user takes place, because there is no such id in devtodev database. The user is under devtodev id=8.
  7. There's an assignment setUserID="George" on this or next session. User "George" did not use device A before, so it is assumed that George is user who previously used demo access, then registered and got the user id. George inherits all the data previously got by device id. George has not previously registered in devtodev, so he inherits devtodev id=8.

FAQ

What can be the unique user id?

It could be any available identifier of user (but not device). Examples:

  • user id in developer server database
  • user id in social network
  • market game center id, publisher id
  • email
  • telephone number etc.

Moreover, if your project is cross-platform, use the id which available from all of the platforms.

When shall I assign the user id, before or after SDK initialization?

We recommend you to assign the user id before the SDK initialization. It is the most sustainable way to avoid data distortion.

In most of the cases, if you assign user id after SDK initialization, nothing is broken. But if several users use the app, or the project is cross-platform, then the data distortion is possible. SDK "thinks" by default that the same user launches the app next time. You have to use another user id to avoid it.

Let's have a look at the examples:

  1. User "John" launched the app and then close it. Then user "Jim" opened the app from the same device, but SDK did not know about it, so it thought is was John again. All events (before initialization of "Jim") belong to "John", so DAU, users online metrics, date of last John's visit, John's events and user profiles are become distorted.
  2. User "John" plays cross-platform game on his android pad. At friend's home, John installs the app on friend's iPad. Since the SDK initialization is before the moment of user id assignment, SDK takes device id into account. The new user is created on devtodev server with device (iPad) id. Then there's an assignment of "John" identifier, but server already knows such user and doesn't think that it is the user who inherited all the data from iPad device id before. So, the number of users, DAU and users online are distorted.

Is it possible to change user during the session?

When the app works, it is possible to change user an unlimited number of times (for example, to relogin the user). You just have to make an assignment using setUserId. In case of web SDK, if id using during initialization changes, you have to repeatedly initialize SDK with new id.

When changing the user, we recommend you to also assign the current user level to the user (if you have such parameter).

Is it possible to change user id?

If the developer needs to change the user id (for example, if developer wants to use another variant of identification), it is needed to use replaceUserId method once, otherwise users with new ids will be taken into account as new users.

Also developer shall do the same if it is possible for users to replace their id themselves (for example, to change their email which is used as login).

FAQ
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