One of the great partners that I have worked with on the Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework (MSAF) has been PreEmptive Solutions. For Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is partnering with PreEmptive to provide application reporting for phone application with their Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone. Because of the overlap in functionality between the Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone and the Analytics Framework, I’ve put together this short list to help you differentiate the two:
- You can use Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone alone, with the MSAF, or use the MSAF without Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone.
- Both allow you to track application events, including user interaction events.
- You would use the MSAF where you want use analytics services that you are already using for your website like AT Internet, Webtrends, or Google Analytics.
- The MSAF has been optimized for media scenarios using the Silverlight Media Framework and IIS Smooth Streaming Client.
- The MSAF has an interface optimized for designers using Expression Blend to add tracking to the user interface that they created. The MSAF has specific handlers and trackers that are specialized for the Silverlight controls on Windows Phone whereas Runtime Intelligence for WP works on a general event model.
- Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone has some capabilities that are out of scope for the MSAF. · Specifically, the MSAF does not
- Integrate with the XNA framework
- Inject opt-in/opt-out switches and extensible dialogues
- Capture unhandled and handled exceptions (NOTE: this is not yet supported by Runtime Intelligence for WP7 either, but I am told this is coming before the end of the year)
- If you want to track analytics to your own service endpoint instead of a third party, you can either
- Extend the MSAF framework to your own tracking behavior
- Create a network endpoint that supports the ServiceOrientedAnalytics behavior protocol.
- Runtime Intelligence for Windows Phone also allows you to specify your own endpoint and it transmits SOAP signals – with our without SSL encryption.
PreEmptive Solutions has been among the earliest supporters of the MSAF and supports it today. While they have not committed to a date for WP7 MSAF support, they have confirmed that it is on their roadmap. At that point, the integration options will become even more seamless.