By Ken Jones
Device detection is like oxygen for the mobile internet. It keeps your site and advertisements optimized and well analyzed. And, like oxygen, once you have it, you might forget it’s there. Unfortunately, that oxygen can get stale and unless you continue to take deep breaths, your performance will suffer.
Healthy device detection requires you keep two elements of the solution up to date:
1) the API which contains the logic for device detection, and
2) the snapshot XML file which contains the universe of devices.
Many WURFL users may not know how critical it is to keep the API up to date. If you neglect updating the API, you will miss out on several fronts:
In short, while you may not want to rush to update the API minutes after a newer version is released, updating the API once every quarter or two is highly recommended. Just so you know, 34% of our support requests are from customers who have failed to update their installations and only recognized issues when their data started looking way out of whack.
Updating WURFL’s snapshot XML should be done frequently – preferably on a weekly basis. This update very important – especially if your customers rely on your device accuracy (like advertising networks). In this previous blog, we analyzed what we called the “half-life” of user-agents from devices. The key takeaway is this: if you wait one year to update the XML, then your device accuracy drops to roughly 38%.
Why does this happen? New models arrive. Operating systems update. Browsers change. This all contributes to a rapidly changing universe of user-agents. That is why you need to keep WURFL both the logic to identify user-agents (the API) and the device models (XML) up to date.
We’ve made updating your XML easier. Starting with API 184.108.40.206, WURFL Updater is now built into our API. It will automatically check for a new XML snapshot from your customer vault, download, and reload the engine. It can do this with no interruptions to serving requests. Check the documentation for your API. Below is the configuration for the Java API’s updater (note that the xxxxx is replaced with your personal access token).
String rootPath = "wurfl.zip"; WURFLEngine engine = new GeneralWURFLEngine(rootPath); // remember to modify the url below with your personal WURFL Snapshot url WURFLUpdater updater = new WURFLUpdater(engine, "https://data.scientiamobile.com/xxxxx/wurfl.zip"); updater.setFrequency(Frequency.DAILY); updater.performperiodicUpdate();
You can log in, download, and install the latest API from your customer vault. If you need help or have questions, then our enterprise support team is always here to help you get optimal performance from your WURFL solution.