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RIM Releases Free Analytics Service for Developers – Java Only for Now


I have to commend RIM on some fast turn around for their Analytics Service Beta. Usually RIM announces services, SDKs, and APIs about a 12 to 18 months before they actually release them. With the Analytics Service they announced it in late September 2010 and now in the end of February we have a public beta available. There are some catches though. The new Analytics Service SDK is only available for Java BlackBerry Smartphone apps so that keeps PlayBook and WebWorks developers out in the cold for now.

Other than that the Analytics Service Beta remains free and is still powered by WebTrends. It includes an SDK, developer documentation, and a web reporting interface.

Here is a high level view of the information it provides developers:

  • Overview metrics showing active users, new users, frequency of use, engagement in duration and depth of use, number of screens viewed, and conversions
  • Detail in usage of screens, content, media, features, products, in-app search, and in-app ads
  • User information including country and language, device characteristics, carrier, connection type and errors

Features include:

Enterprise-class analytics

  • Put over a decade of digital analytics experience on your side by using an analytics tool powered by Webtrends


  • With the addition of just a few lines of code to your app, automatically enable basic measurements such as screen views, sessions, unique users, technical platform data and country location data
  • Immediately start viewing reports with a zero learning curve, web-based reporting interface


  • Choose from provided convenience methods to measure specialized metrics appropriate for your app like app ad performance, most popular search terms, media consumption and custom conversion events


  • Export reports by file download or REST API
  • Import data into Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheets for additional analysis and display options

You can learn more about the Analytics Service Beta over at this link on RIM’s website. Alternatively Distimo already offers a service like this for free which is already out of beta.

Full announcement below:

7 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. this is really good for developers!

  2. They are really opening up. Actually, the processes are getting easier and streamlined these days

  3. Sounds good to me.

  4. Why don’t they release all at once? So everyone could have snow ball fights in the snow… figuratively speaking

  5. I know I’m a bit of a broken record about this kind of thing, but I have to say it again.

    If you’re a developer, please think twice before integrating these kinds of tools into your app. At the very least, be aware of what you’re really doing.

    RIM/webtrends provides some nice analytics tools at no seeming cost, which is pretty good on the surface. However, when you look a bit closer at it… it’s good for you, but pretty bad for your users.

    My own app phones home (if the user opts in), using a simple HTTP api; the data itself is gathered anonymously and committed to my database, where it is securely maintained. I use this data in the same way we use all analytics – to see how people are using my app, how many people, what kinds of devices, etc — and then using that data, I improve the app where I can.

    There is a key difference, though, between using a system you create yourself; and using the one that RIM is now providing. WHen you create it yourself, the data goes to you. When you use RIM’s, it goes to Webtrends. Further: if the user has other apps installed that use this API, *that* data goes to webtrends. Quite possible if they visit web sites being tracked by webtrends, that data too goes to them.

    I think you begin to see the picture: in exchange for some nice charts, you’re giving Webtrends a complete profile of your users’ habits — right down to which applications they use, and how often they use them. Essentially you’re selling your users’ data — for a pittance, and quite possibly without their consent.

    I’m not suggesting to avoid these tools entirely — I just want to strongly emphasize the need to be aware of what you’re actually doing when you integrate them into your apps. It’s not as simple as getting new tools for free — there is a price being paid, it’s just not you paying it.

    If you do need to use them, make sure to inform your users and get their opt-in. Many people *will* opt in (as I”ve learned with BBSSH), but to barter away their usage data without their consent – without even their knowledge – is more than a little underhanded.

    • Oops- I forgot to mention that this really applies to both analytics tools, and ad toolkits. They have the same capabilties.

    • The real shame here, is that like pretty much all “hosted services”, there really aren’t equivalently feature-laden software packages that you can self-host.

      If there was a ready-to-go library with both client and server-side components, that could do everything Webtrends offers (but running on your own server), I think plenty of people would be up for it. But the only way for such a product to even work would be for it to either be free and community-developed (fat chance amongst most mobile devs), or quite expensive to offset development costs.

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