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EPP/Obsolete/Framework for Visual Analytics of user tracking information

Note: The contents of this page is obsolete, but it may still contain some interesting tid-bits.


The purpose of this project is to create a framework for the visual analysis of user interactions for applications built on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) and Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP). The framework was built using the mechanism of the Usage Data Collector from the Eclipse Packaging Project (EPP) as a data source. The framework can display data collected by the Usage Data Collector in RCP-based applications and in RAP-based Ajax applications. The principal idea is to build a framework for visual analysis of clicks and the execution of actions within RCP-based applications. The framework can be operated interactively and presents the statistical data via an overlay (cp. Google Analytics Site Overlay).

This project is part of 2008 Google Summer of Code.


Milestone plan

Milestone Date Description
M1 June 6 Specification of data model
M2 June 13 Specification of framework architecture
M3 June 27 Expansion of Usage Data Collector
M4 July 04 Proof of concept
M5 July 18 Visualization
RC1 August 1 Bug fixing
RC2 August 8 Documentation

Feature list

The framework consists of two main components:

  • the Usage Data Collector (UDC) which provides usage information
  • the Visual Usage Analytics (VUA) that represents the visualization

The EPP UDC was enhanced to run in both RAP and RCP platforms and tracks UI interactions on the SWT level. The VUA can be directly integrated with the application to be investigated and can be activated on demand. The actions it trakcs and the displayed overlay must be compatible with RAP and RCP applications.

  • Usage Data Collector
    • compatibility with RAP and RCP by using singlesourcing techniques
    • tracking of the widget use
    • additional recorder availabel based on Java Message Service (JMS)
  • Visual Usage Analytics
    • compatibility with RAP and RCP by using singlesourcing techniques
    • user-friendly UI design
    • toolbox provides quick access to controls (start, stop, reports, etc)
    • extensible and flexible architecture
      • queries can be added with extensions
      • UI contributions to access VUA can be set in a declarative and programmatic way
    • optional security component

Getting the source

Sample Visual Analysis for a RAP-Application

To demonstrate the framework, we applied it to an application written for the Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP). We took the example of the "add /remove from schedule" functionality and made it accessible via both the context menu and the toolbar.

In the illustrations below, we have overlayed the context menu and the toolbar to make the options visible at the same time.


Visual Usage Analytics in action.


Ideas for improvement

Please feel free to submit proposals or comments.

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