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I write a set of productivity tools that sells online and have tens of thousands of users. While we do get very good feedback, this tends to come from only the most vocal users, so we fear we might be missing the big picture.

We would like to know if there is any off the shelf (or nearly so) solution to capture usage of different features and to report usage patterns and trends over time.

Note: These tools are native apps, not web-based. I know about Google Analytics and the like. They're great, but I'm looking for native code solutions.

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We have had the exact same requirement. But as we develop embedded systems that aren't connected to the web all the time, the only way for us was to store this information in a separate log file –  ollifant Feb 4 '12 at 12:27
ollifant, that's actually our setup as well; sorry I didn't make this clear. Did you find a good solution? –  Riviera Feb 20 '12 at 22:41

3 Answers 3

Depending on your setup, you may be able to use web tools - just have the app send a request to a URL that is unique to the feature being used.

Naturally this would need to be opt-in and would only work when the user is connected, but that's still a much more inclusive data set than you currently have.

You could handle offline usage also as long as the app is sometimes online, but that gets a bit more complicated as it may interfere with things like tracking the time spent on a particular page.

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I will focus on free solutions here.

Many applications are tracked using Google Analytics and this is the easiest solution. You get all the premium features with it such as geolocalisation and segmentation.

  • Warefeed, the open source minimalistic solution

Warefeed is a minimalistic tracking and reporting tool written in PHP & Javascript. I wanted to tracking everything including things outside our application from the advertising to the sales & support. I needed the raw data to analyse it in Tableau and easy to use interface to create monthly reporting for the board.

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Thanks Pierre, but I'm looking for something to embed in my native client apps, not websites. On the other hand, Warefeed is a nice find to consider in addition to Google Analytics for my web work. –  Riviera Feb 20 '12 at 22:40

I believe that dotfuscator does what you're looking for.

Track session runs, feature adoption, usage patterns, and system profiles across clients, clouds, servers, and mobile platforms with little to no additional coding. Analyze and export reports using the Runtime Intelligence Service™.

(emphasis mine)

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