Adobe DTM soon to Launch… Launch?!

Confused? don’t be. Adobe DTM, which was formerly known as “Satellite” and acquired by Adobe in 2013 is changing it’s platform and also rebranding it self at the same time. Because the tag management system was state of the art “back” then, it made sense for Adobe to find a strong solution that already existed on the market that they could incorporate into their own existing eco-system. Fast forward to May 2017 and we are seeing the rise of the new and stronger Adobe Launch. So what is launch, and how does if differ from DTM and most important of all.. how does it differ from other powerful tag management solutions? I will in this post try to give our perspective on how Adobe Launch will change the game for existing Adobe solution users.

What is the difference between Launch and Adobe DTM?

The difference is in the architecture of the tool and how Adobe has managed to flip the current solution around to make it future proof and more open sourced. Instead of having a closed system where Adobe dictates which tools are available and how they are injected onto your website, they now offer a much more open and flexible solution that gives the control to the end user. So how does this work in practice?

Ideally the solution will consist of a market place with “apps” that can be loaded through Launch and onto your website. The same solution is seen in Ensighten and Tealium and it makes sense that Adobe is going down that path. Implementation/technology partners often have requirements that go beyond what we would define as a “standard implementation” and will at the end of day ensure that most of the solutions don’t have “hacks” built into them as it’s often seen in DTM today.

With the introduction of Launch, Adobe will be introducing features that are worth mentioning here as they will fundamentally change the way we use DTM today.

Think “if” and “then” statements:

If you are familiar with if statements, then you will love Adobe Launch. They have turned the rule based setting upside down, so from now on, you will not have any “tools” trigger automatically unless there is a rule that returns true for a defined “if” condition. What does this mean for you?
This is great news. Now we are able to control whenever Adobe Analytics should trigger and not make a “return false” statement in the code editor to stop the initial load if you are working with technology such as Single Page Applications. The benefit of the conditions also makes the necessary use of Direct Call rules more redundant. Now we can create custom events for Single Page Applications and better control when the tracking should fire off and never worry about server calls and if they are fired twice. More control and more flexibility within launch is the key here.

DTM is the controller, and your apps are the ones to be executed:

The new Launch will have “DTM” as an app and this is mainly to ensure that the end users don’t have to change the code at their end. So the javascript will stay the same on your website but you will have to install “DTM” inside “Launch”.
DTM will control the rules for you, such as.. (if “user spends more than 60 seconds on page” then “execute some code”) the if statement will be controlled by DTM and the “then” will be either your custom code or an app you have installed from the App library that is inside Launch, this could be Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Audience Manager, Facebook pixels and the list goes on. Again… we get so much more flexibility and less hacks.

Release cycles:

Yes, the way you release code is changing drastically. But fear not, even though it does seem a bit overwhelming with the process, it’s a process that ensure governance and takes into account that Adobes toolset is often used by large companies where organisation structures go beyond rooms, countries and departments.

And Let’s just be honest, we don’t see many companies on Adobe’s platform unless they mean serious business. We still see many mid-size companies using Google Analytics and their free version where data collection is exceeded daily.

The idea behind the release cycles is that you will need to build a library before you will be able to test your code, that means that “version control” is introduced in a more structured way and Adobe will alert users if they try to save a change that someone else has worked on, so you will have the chance to cancel your change and accept the other change or vice versa, everything is documented in a log overview that ensures that there is a overall control and better overview of what is going into the library that you build by the push of a button.
More environments can be created now, before we only had staging and production, but now you can have unlimited amount of environments.

Open source means build your own extensions:

Adobe is opening up the ability for third party vendors to build extensions to the community (the app library space) but also locally to your own Launch library. Imagine if you are a publisher and have to create new report suites more than once a week because there are so many sub branded websites that are controlled/developed by agencies but the Adobe Analytics structure is more or less the same.

Imagine if you could build a extension that took all the existing information from your DTM property and copied that out to a entire new property within seconds and pushed it live as well? That is possible with the new launch, because you can create a simple form that users can use and at the same time have your service speak to Adobe’s API and that way create fully automated processes.

Adobe Launch is currently in an early Alpha and not open to the public, which is also the reason no pictures have been attached to this post. But as Adobe Solution partner we will keep posting new information as it gets revealed to us.

Stay tuned and we are super excited to work with the new Adobe Launch product.

Additional information can be found here: 

Official page for Adobe Launch

Adobe blog about Adobe Launch (by Jeff Chasin)