March 21, 2019
  |   AEM, Analytics, Blog, Technical Development

Benefits of Migrating from DTM to Adobe Launch

Last year at Adobe Summit, companies that had Adobe Analytics implemented through DTM got the news that Adobe Launch was available to them.  DTM, while easier than hard-coding every page, still has a heavy reliance on IT resources and is not intuitive for deploying new marketing tools and tags.  Adobe Launch aims to make that process one that has less friction with time to market and less reliance on IT resources.

This two-part series looks at the new features and benefits of Adobe Launch and why your company should consider moving to the new tag management system from Adobe sooner, rather than waiting out to the very end, and the end is coming for DTM.

Upon release of Adobe Launch, companies weren’t forced to immediately move to the new tag management system.  Adobe considered that companies would need to plan for migration with both resources and budgets before announcing a timeline for sunsetting Adobe DTM.  In August of 2018, Adobe announced the end-date of Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM) would be December 31, 2020. There are a few milestones between then and now that will affect the consideration of migration from DTM to Launch.

Timeline for DTM Sunsetting:

  • July 1, 2019:  Clients still utilizing Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM) will no longer be allowed to create new properties within the system.  Existing properties will not be impacted and will still have the ability to be edited and published.
  • July 1, 2020:  Properties in DTM will enter a Read-Only mode. Tools, rules, and data elements will no longer be able to be created or edited. DTM environments will no longer be able to be published.  This will have no impact on previously published libraries.
  • December 31, 2020:  DTM will be permanently retired and go dark. Adobe will decommission the DTM servers, documentation will go offline, and communities will be removed. This will have no impact on previously published libraries.
  • For more information about Adobe’s plans for DTM, check out the post “DTM Plans for a Sunset” by Ben Robinson.

The eventual retirement of DTM leads companies to evaluate not whether they need to move to Launch, but rather plan out a roadmap for making that move.  Rather than procrastinating and waiting until 2020, there’s more than a few benefits to moving now.

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Event Listening / Detection Improved

DTM has some deficits when it comes to event listening.  The limitation comes from the need for DTM to put the event listener and what phases capture the events happening on the page.  The technical explanation can get complex quickly with layers and phases of data collection. In short, by default, DTM can only put the event listener in the document layer and not directly on the element in the bubbling phase.  There is a workaround by checking the “apply event handler directly to element” checkbox when writing the rule. This adds an additional event listener, but there are repercussions.

Launch offers a better approach by placing the event listener on the document layer in the capturing phase.  With this improvement, there’s no need in remembering to check the box to apply the listener to the element.

For more in-depth information on the difference between Launch and DTM’s handling of persistent data, check out “Event Detection: From DTM to Launch” by Aaron Hardy .

Asynchronous or Synchronous Delivery – Your Choice!

IT departments are notoriously worried about page performance.  How a tag management system delivers its tags and tools to the page.  Increasingly, businesses want to deliver tag management system instructions asynchronously.  DTM only supported synchronous delivery, but with Adobe Launch, teams can now choose between asynchronous or synchronous delivery.

If your IT department has ever complained about DTM’s limited synchronous delivery ability, you can now move to Launch and choose to deliver asynchronously.

Unlimited Number of Development Environments

The two environment limitations with DTM are gone with Adobe Launch.  That should be a shout of “finally” from your development teams. Launch now allows for unlimited development environments, a staging environment, and a production environment.  This is great news when you have several developers working in their own environments on different parts of your sites or applications.

Release Cycles that Enforce Governance

Now that Launch allows teams to create multiple development environments, there had to be some way to cohesively allow those multiple development environments to work together when it came to publishing and moving to the next environment.  Launch’s checks and balances within its publishing process assist in enforcing your company’s own internal governance.

The new process with promoting the libraries and publishing the environments, i.e. release cycles, ensures that a library is built before the coded is tested.  This process enforces “version control” and that governance is introduced in a more structured way.

Adobe alerts users if they try to save a change that someone else has worked on.  This gives developers the opportunity to cancel changes or accept the other changes.  The log overview documents all changes and ensures there is an overall control and a better overview of what is going into the libraries that are being built.

Open Sourced

Adobe has opened Launch to enable third-party vendors to build extensions and share them with the community.  Along with that, companies can also build their own private extensions in your own Launch library.

This can be powerful from a resource and time to market perspective.  If you have specific rules, events, or processes that need to be identical across numerous properties, rather than writing custom code in each property, a company can now create 1 extension that houses that custom code. It then can be implemented within that property.

If changes need to be made in the future, there’s an extension that needs to be updated and republished, then the update accepted in each property.  This is a lot more efficient than having to change out code in each environment that is tied to multiple properties.

And…. Much More

There are more benefits that companies can take advantage of in migrating to Launch sooner rather than later. The list we’ve compiled allows companies to really take advantage of the new technologies, governance, and efficiencies Launch has to offer. We’ll be looking at 5 more benefits in Part 2 of this series.

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Li Evans
Liana “Li” Evans is a published digital marketing author, speaker, and multi-solutions architect, with over 18 years’ experience in the online marketing industry. At Blue Acorn iCi, She works with clients who have complicated mar-tech tool stacks that need integration, implementation, and optimization in order to help them deliver the best user experience to their visitors. Outside the office, Li enjoys writing, karaoke and spending time with her 2-year-old son.
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