In EQATEC Analytics the number of installations is counted based upon the number of unique, anonymous identifiers that has been encountered within the current 30-day period. This anonymous identifier is obtained by the monitor library when communicating with the EQATEC servers and is stored on the PC or device. This anonymous identifier is then passed along with all data to the servers and is used for uniquely identifying the number of installations.
So when counting installations the EQATEC servers are really counting the number of unique anonymous identifiers for a given period of time. Let's see how this surfaces in an EQATEC account.
In the screenshot above, taken from the Account page in the web client, the account have 1649 installations for the current period. This means that the EQATEC servers have seen data from 1649 different unique identifiers in that time period for all product belong to this account. But how does installation compare to users and machines?
The monitor library that you include in your application will store the anonymous identifier it receives from the server (along with other metadata) somewhere on the file system of the machine or device that your application is running on. The specific location where this data is stored is important in terms of correlating the installations reported in the application to machines and/or users.
On platforms that does not support multiple users (such as mobile phones) the installation count will be equal to the number of devices (with one exception, see below). On platforms with multiple users accessing the same software such as on standard computers, the location of this meta data becomes important. Let's take a few examples:
Please note that the numbers will also be affected by the indirect removal of the meta data (for instance, by a re-installation of the computer or a factory reset of the device) since a new anonymous identifier will be assigned on the next communication with the EQATEC servers.
Yes, you absolutely can. All monitors have built-in default locations for storing this data and most monitor libraries offer the ability to override this default location. This is done by assigning a new IStorage implementation to the IAnalyticsMonitorSettings.StorageInterface property which controls the location for the meta data. You can implement the required interface yourself but we highly recommend that you make use of the various CreateStorage(...) methods on the AnalyticsMonitorFactory for creating specialized instances of the storage interface that can be assigned to the StorageInterface property. For instance, the .NET library provides overloads for storing in IsolatedStorage (with various settings) and in specific folders on the filesystem.
The same thing applies to virtualized environments such as Citrix, where users are mounted on different machines. When you instrument an application that is to be deployed in such an environment, you should make sure that the meta data file is stored such that it roams along with the user profile. This can e.g. be done by using the CreateStorage overloads that accept a specific folder path which you can then programmatically supply as a location within the user profile,
Hope this helps to clarify how installations are counted in EQATEC Analytics. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas on this.
Boyko is a software developer at Telerik.