After toying with SmartTarget and Fredhopper for a few weeks, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s bloody complicated. Technically, it’s all nice enough, but there are so many (sub)systems involved and documentation and config files are all over the place.
So I thought it might help people if I explained how to perform some basic tasks. Today, we’ll be creating our own ‘footprint’. In case you don’t know what footprints are, checkout this post.
Quick summary: a footprint is a way for an editor / content manager / marketer to override the claims which are used to determine which personalized content items to show. Oh, and by the way: footprints are available within Experience Manager only!
Over the past months a number of people have been working hard to beef up the current implementation of DD4T for Java, as was announced during the SDL Tridion User Group Benelux Meeting at Trivident last October.
As the work is now in its finishing stage, the time is right to reveal the changes that have been made to make working with DD4T for Java a better experience and to mature the framework to a level where it truly becomes a full framework in support of the Tridion Content Delivery Stack, as well as in terms of following standard Java practices.
The expected release date of version 2.0 is January 30th, 2015. Read on to see the long list of changes.
[Update: The release date of version 2.0 is rescheduled to March 2nd, 2015]
Ever since the acquisition of the ecommerce search and recommendation engine Fredhopper by SDL in 2010, the market has eagerly anticipated what the result of this merger would mean for them. The combination of Tridion and Fredhopper was released in 2011 and baptized SmartTarget. But it wasn’t until the release of the latest version, SmartTarget 2014 SP1, that this integration was seen as stable and production-ready.
As Nick Roussakov explains in his excellent post, it is very easy to integrate DD4T and SmartTarget 2014 – at least, no harder than it is to implement SmartTarget on any type of system.
If you are implementing the java version of DD4T things are even easier. First of all, you can simply add the out of the box Add to SmartTarget TBB to a dynamic DD4T component template. This will make sure that the component presentation is available in FredHopper – as described by Nick.
In a DD4T implementation, your templates generate data (XML, JSON) instead of HTML. It’s the web application which turns this data into good-looking HTML pages (or so one would hope).