Event tracking

GitLab provides Tracking, an interface that wraps Snowplow for tracking custom events. It uses Snowplow’s custom event tracking functions.

The tracking interface can be imported in JS files as follows:

import Tracking from `~/tracking`;

Tracking in HAML or Vue templates

To avoid having to do create a bunch of custom javascript event handlers, when working within HAML or Vue templates, we can add data-track-* attributes to elements of interest. This way, all elements that have a data-track-event attribute to automatically have event tracking bound.

Below is an example of data-track-* attributes assigned to a button in HAML:

%button.btn{ data: { track_event: "click_button", track_label: "template_preview", track_property: "my-template", track_value: "" } }

We can then setup tracking for large sections of a page, or an entire page by telling the Tracking interface to bind to it.

import Tracking from '~/tracking';

// for the entire document
new Tracking().bind();

// for a container element
document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', () => {
  new Tracking('my_category').bind(document.getElementById('my-container'));
});

When you instantiate a Tracking instance you can provide a category. If none is provided, document.body.dataset.page will be used. When you bind the Tracking instance you can provide an element. If no element is provided to bind to, the document is assumed.

Below is a list of supported data-track-* attributes:

attribute required description
data-track-event true Action the user is taking. Clicks should be click and activations should be activate, so for example, focusing a form field would be activate_form_input, and clicking a button would be click_button.
data-track-label false The label as described in our Feature Instrumentation taxonomy.
data-track-property false The property as described in our Feature Instrumentation taxonomy.
data-track-value false The value as described in our Feature Instrumentation taxonomy. If omitted, this will be the elements value property or an empty string. For checkboxes, the default value will be the element’s checked attribute or false when unchecked.

Tracking in raw Javascript

Custom events can be tracked by directly calling the Tracking.event static function, which accepts the following arguments:

argument type default value description
category string document.body.dataset.page Page or subsection of a page that events are being captured within.
event string ‘generic’ Action the user is taking. Clicks should be click and activations should be activate, so for example, focusing a form field would be activate_form_input, and clicking a button would be click_button.
data object {} Additional data such as label, property, and value as described in our Feature Instrumentation taxonomy. These will be set as empty strings if you don’t provide them.

Tracking can be programmatically added to an event of interest in Javascript, and the following example demonstrates tracking a click on a button by calling Tracking.event manually.

import Tracking from `~/tracking`;

document.getElementById('my_button').addEventListener('click', () => {
  Tracking.event('dashboard:projects:index', 'click_button', {
    label: 'create_from_template',
    property: 'template_preview',
    value: 'rails',
  });
})

Toggling tracking on or off

Snowplow can be enabled by navigating to:

  • Admin area > Settings > Integrations in the UI.
  • admin/application_settings/integrations in your browser.

The following configuration is required:

Name Value
Collector snowplow.trx.gitlab.net
Site ID gitlab
Cookie domain .gitlab.com

Now the implemented tracking events can be inspected locally by looking at the network panel of the browser’s development tools.