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Visitor Data Manager Tags

The visitor data manager is the data access method that Sites-Engage uses when processing rules. The visitor data manager enables you to gather, store, and retrieve visitor information from both the local, Sites database as well as various external databases -- Transact, for example.

When you create visitor attributes, history attributes, and history types for defining segments, the visitor data manager stores them in the local Sites-Engage database. If you are using Transact, you can select Transact visitor attributes when defining segments as well. Then, when a method that determines which segments a visitor qualifies for is invoked, the visitor data manager checks the appropriate database for the needed visitor data. It provides a single access method to all of your visitor data. For information about creating visitor attributes, history attributes, and history types, see the Sites Developer's Guide.

There are other visitor data manager object methods available with Sites. These object methods let you link visitor sessions marked with different identifiers by assigning the same alias to those sessions.

To maintain visitor session information after visitors end their sessions, you use persistent cookies. These cookies serve two purposes: to store the data and to mark the session with an identifier.

A visitor's Transact ID is also an identifier that can mark a visitor session. If a visitor performs an action on the site that requires him to log into Transact, his Transact ID is passed to his hard drive and identifies him as a valid user.

Use the VDM.RECORDHISTORY and VDM.SETSCALAR tags to write visitor data to the Sites-Engage database. Use the VDM.RECORDHISTORY tag to write a time-stamped record of the data defined in a history type to the database. This data could include information from several history attributes, depending on the history type. Use the VDM.SETSCALAR tag to write data for individual visitor attributes to the database.

Use the GET tags retrieve visitor data from either the local or external databases. (Note that whenever one of the COMMERCECONTEXT methods invokes a SEGMENT tag, they retrieve this data automatically -- you do not have to use the VDM.GET tags in those cases.)


Because the visitor data manager does not track revisions you cannot create segments based on changes in visitor data. For example, two sessions ago a visitor changed his job description from "technical" to "financial." When that change was written to the database, the value "financial" replaced the value "technical" and there is no record of his previous job description. Now, when segments based on job description are calculated, he qualifies only for the ones that include "financial" as an option.

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