General Tag Functionality
  • 13 Jun 2024
  • 2 Minutes to read
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General Tag Functionality

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Article summary


Regardless of the installation method chose, the end result of the tagging implementation is the insertion of multiple JavaScript files into the site that are loaded by the visiting client browser. These JavaScript files gather the desired data and send it to Webtrends SDC logging servers as a 1x1 pixel image request, known as a web beacon. Each page load or link click can trigger a new beacon to the logging servers, to be analyzed by the Webtrends Analytics engine. Additional events for video tracking or similar technologies may also occur.

JavaScript Files

The JavaScript files can be seen in the web browsers Developer Tools Debugger or Sources (Chrome) tab. The list of JavaScript files may vary on each installation method slightly. However, you should always expect the webtrends.js and webtrends.sp.js to appear in the debugger sources at a minimum. The webtrends.load.js file is always present in classic experience pages, however, it will be hidden in modern experience.

  1. webtrends.load.js - This is the loader file responsible for configuring the tag and initiating the loading of additional files.
    1. This file is embedded within the App-Extension and will not be directly visible in Modern sites.
  2. webtrends.js - This is the core library used to gather information and send the beacon hits* to Webtrends.
  3. webtrends.sp.js - This is an Tag Plugin that provides additional functionality to the base tag. This provides the SharePoint data and tracking for things such the SharePoint SIte URL or document clicks tracking.
  4. - This is an Tag Plugin that connects to the SharePoint User Profile Service to retreive User Profile data.
    1. This file is optional and may not appear in your installation.

There may be additional webtrends.xxxxxx.js Tag Plugins enabled in your installation that are optional.


The files names may also have additional text in them such as .min (a minified version), or 2013 (a SharePoint Version), or possibly a randomized string that acts as a GUID in modern tagging.

For example: webtrends.sp.min.js

Beacon Request

Each event tracked by Webtrends will send a beacon request to the SmartSource Data Collector server(s) via a secure connection (https).

The domain is following by a DCSID, which is a 30 digit data source identifier starting with the text dcs, followed by 22 randomized alpha-numeric characters, followed by an underscore, and finally four additional alpha-numeric characters.

The DCSID is followed by dcs.gif, which is the 1x1 pixel image file delivered by the server in response to the request.

The dcs.gif is followed by a series of query parameters in parameter=value pairs that contain the actual data sent to Webtrends for analysis.

The hit looks similar to the following:

Verifying Microsoft Edge
Verifying Chrome
Verifying FireFox

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