News & Events

Last update: June 2021

2021-06-30

Why You Don’t Need Backend Integration for Advanced Notification Segmentation

At OpenBack, we’ve spent years assessing the mobile engagement industry to determine what works, and what can be improved, streamlined, or made more efficient. In building our patented hybrid mobile edge computing platform, our goal was to solve the two primary painpoints in sending push notifications:

  • Unreliable delivery of notifications
  • Non-compliance with data privacy regulations

We succeeded in those aims, our innovative use of edge computing to process user data entirely device-side has resulted in multiple additional benefits. One of these is that developers have greater control and insight over what happens to push notifications after they deliver to the device, with OpenBack offering a wide range of metrics for your push campaign.

Another key benefit to doing all data processing device-side is that OpenBack integration is simple and straightforward.

Download our NEW Metrics & Measurement Playbook to learn how to optimize your push campaign!

OpenBack’s Device-Side Integration

Our competitors in the mobile engagement industry require complicated, multi-integration backend process to set up their SDKs. For OpenBack, our integration takes place entirely on the device. This makes it easy and intuitive, and should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

Simply add the OpenBack SDK (using Gradle for Android or Cocoapods or Carthage for iOS). Or, to integrate OpenBack manually, add the OpenBack.framework to the Embedded Binaries section of your project. Moreover, we recommend using the most up-to-date version of the OpenBack SDK, which updates regularly.

For iOS devices, the next step is to configure OpenBack using your unique App Code on our dashboard. Then add the App Code to the Info.plist and configure the Project Settings according to your preferences.

Finally, you set up APNS (OpenBack does not need APNS to work, and if your app has a reason to bypass APNS – such as for COPPA compliance, etc. – you can skip this step) and verify configuration.

This simple, 4-step process is more or less the same for Android, except that you will add the OpenBack SDK using Gradle. Then, add the App Code to Manifest, using meta-data tags inside the <application> tag.

You will then initialize the OpenBack SDK with your app context, and set up Firebase Cloud Messenger. (Again, skip this step if you don’t want to use FCM to delivery your push notifications.) Finally, you verify the OpenBack integration, and you’re ready to get on your way.

With our reliable delivery, you can deliver timely notifications based on in-app events. And you can customize whether to factor in a delay for delivery, which can be can be configured locally on the device or on the OpenBack platform. For example, say the specified event that signals notification delivery is “building started.” If your app knows it’ll take 4 hours for that to build, you can signal the event and delay the notification to deliver 4 hours later.

Integration: Custom Segments/Events

With OpenBack, your app can set custom segments (which our competitors call “tags” or “attributes”) and use them to deliver a message. This allows you to target the right users with the right segments or events. In order to achieve this, the value set by the mobile app must match the value set in the push notification. You can set this up through the OpenBack Dashboard or OpenBack API. You can also include the values set in your content for personalized messages.

When possible, developers should set their custom segments before starting OpenBack. Replacements are then done using a subset of mustache format: {{ trigger.customSegmentX | default }}

customTriggerX is for backward compatibility, and corresponds to customSegmentX. There is a total of 10 custom segments availabe.

integration custom segments

Developers can then set or clear custom segment value as a string, a long, a double or a list of strings. For example, the Java script for setting a custom segment is:

Using OpenBack’s device-side integration, it couldn’t be easier to set up, manage, and improve your push notification over time. You can even use Custom Segments to create different user groups for A/B testing. First initialize the SDK, then you can randomly assign each user to a different group. When performing A/B testing, you can specifically target certain groups. To quickly assign a user to a random group, you can use the following example code:

// generate a random number
Random random = new Random();
int group = random.nextInt(5);
OpenBack.setCustomSegment(OpenBack.CUSTOM_SEGMENT_1, group);

For a step-by-step guide to OpenBack integration, take a look at our 2-minute tutorial below:

Or, get in touch with one of our experts to learn more.

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