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OP Labs SDR Help Documents
OP Labs SDR Help Documents
Luiza Gircoveanu avatar
Written by Luiza Gircoveanu
Updated over a week ago

Table of Contents

SDR Builder Overview

The ObservePoint SDR Builder is an OP Labs tool that allows you to create and manage a map of all your analytics variables in a Google Sheet. It sits between your Adobe Analytics and ObservePoint accounts to help you create a reference for your data collection and create custom rules to validate your analytics audits. Speak to your ObservePoint Customer Success Manager if you're interested in this functionality.

Warning: The SDR Builder is a powerful tool that can save you a lot of effort in creating or updating your SDR. But because of that power, it also can upload settings to your analytics account and modify your report structure and variable settings.

What is an SDR?

The term SDR stands for Solution Design Reference, an Adobe Analytics term that has widespread adoption in the world of web analytics. It’s also known as a variable map, a tech spec, or a site reference. But whatever it is called, it is an essential document that describes how your analytics implementation collects and stores data, listing each dimension and metric and documenting how they are populated. It is based on the requirements for the web site and created by the lead analyst and lead developer in order to have a document that any developer or analyst can use to set up analytics on any new page or site or to understand the data that is being collected.

Creating an SDR

The SDR Builder button enables several functions that helps you generate an SDR by importing all your variables and their settings from Adobe Analytics and create validation rules for each of them. The tool automatically creates about 90% of the information most SDRs would have by default as it imports your Adobe variables and their settings. You’ll create the rest of the SDR with the functionality in this tool.

Warning: Clicking Update Settings to Adobe writes all the settings in the variable tabs to Adobe Analytics. This is very powerful and could result in your settings being changed. For example, if you change the label of eVar 6, the new label will be overwritten to the variable inside Adobe Analytics. Only use Update Settings to Adobe if you are sure you understand the implications.

Step 1: Generate a Template

Click the Generate button to create tabs for all your variables into the SDR. This creates blank templates for Adobe eVars, s.props, events, and ListVars, which will be populated in step 3 from your report suite. Use these sheets as the foundation for your variable documentation.

Skip the Generate Validation button for now and continue on to selecting a report suite.

Step 2: Select a Report Suite

From the drop-down list of report suites, choose the one for which you want to create an SDR. If you want to create several separate SDRs, try to choose the report suite that most closely reflects the variable settings you want to document. The report suites come from the list stored in Config tab when you first saved your credentials in Settings.

Step 3: Get the Variables

Once you select the report suite, click Get Variables to import all the variables and their settings for that report suite. This may take up to a minute and you’ll see each of the Adobe variable tabs get populated.

Step 4: Generate Validation

Before you can generate validation rules, you must set up the Config tab with scope definitions, delimiters, format, and set methods (see Configuring SDR Builder). Defining these in the Config tab streamlines the configuration for the variables.

When you’re finished setting up the Config tab, return to the SDR Builder and click Generate Validation to aid you in populating the rules for the variables.

Step 5: Configure the Variables

Each variable sheet has yellow-headed columns, which indicate where you can create custom rules for the variables. Manually creating rules for each variable is very time-consuming and tedious, however, once you have settings created in the Config tab, populating the following columns for each variable becomes much easier and faster than having to type in everything from scratch.

Set the following columns for each variable you have enabled. The validation rules come from the settings on the Config tab and can be chosen in each cell.

Scope: Where in the site does this variable get populated. The Scope column is based on the same column in the Config tab.

Top 5: This shows the five most frequently collected values for this variable.

Delimiter: Choose a delimiter if the variable uses uses one (such as for a listVar or listProp). Format: The format is the character pattern the for the variable. It could be as simple as lowercase alphanumeric characters or complex such as a page-naming scheme. There are several common out-of-the-box formats on the Config tab. Use any one of these, or create additional ones in the Config tab.

Approved Values: This holds a list of acceptable values. It is usually only used when there are a finite list of possibilities, such as membership status (bronze|silver|gold), or days of the week (Sunday|Monday|Tuesday etc.).

Auto RegEx: This column may be populated automatically with the Generate Regex button. To fill out this column, click the Generate RegEx button. The tool progresses variable by variable through Adobe Analytics for the last 30 days and tries to make a Regular Expression out of the values. If there are less than 25 values, the tool will create a large Regular Expression with ORs (“|”) between each value. If there are 25 or more values, it is too large and will not attempt to create a regular expression. This method won’t be appropriate for every variable, but for those variables where it works, it will save you a significant amount of time on them. Set Method: Choose the method that sets the value for this variable.

TMS Rule: If this variable is set by a tag management system, choose the rule that sets it.

DataLayer Var: If the variable is set by a data layer object, enter the notation for accessing the value through the data layer. For example, the object that reflects whether a user is logged in or not might be accessed from the data layer like this: digitalData.shopper.authenticatedState

The whole concept behind the SDR Builder is to help you solve the very difficult challenge of creating and maintaining a reference for all the variables on your site. The added advantage is that once the variables are all documented, the tool can then automatically generate custom rules inside of ObservePoint to validate your data collection plan.

Update Settings to Adobe

Any changes you make to the Adobe variable settings can be updated to Adobe Analytics. Once your changes are made in the SDR Builder, upload them by choosing the variable type (eVars, props, etc.) and clicking Update Settings to Adobe.

Warning: Updating Settings to Adobe will permanently overwrite the original variable configuration settings. Best practice is to make a backup copy of each variable sheet with the original settings so they can be restored if necessary.

Configuring the SDR Builder

When you’ve entered and saved your credentials, SDR Builder creates a sheet called Config. This contains the login credentials to use the API for both your ObservePoint and analytics accounts. Other tabs are created automatically as you use the tool.

The Config tab lists all the report suites in your Adobe account so you can conveniently select the correct one for different functions in the tool. This tab is automatically created when you save your credentials in Settings. If you ever need to regenerate the sheet, return to Settings, re-enter and save your credentials again.

The other columns help you create custom rules for your Adobe variables, which you can then import into ObservePoint. Many of these columns correspond to columns on the Evars, Props and Events sheets and are used to help you generate custom validation rules in ObservePoint.

Warning: If you add additional content to this tab, make a backup copy of it because any custom values you add will be removed when the Config tab is regenerated.

Scope: Define each of the main sections on your site, including product areas, blogs, company information, and so forth. This is the most important area for creating variable rules. These definitions should match the values you have in the Site Sections (channel) variable.

Scope Def: Enter a Regular Expression to define each of the site sections. Generally these definitions follow your URL paths. Examples:


Scope Definition (Regular Expression)


Looks for anything in the products directory.


Looks for anything in the blogs directory.

Help & KB

Looks for URLs with kbid and title in the query string.

European News

Looks for year/month/day, followed by the region, article name and html extension.

Delimiter: If your variable values use delimiters, make a complete list of them here to be referenced by the individual variables.

Format: These are common Regular Expressions that define what kind of characters are allowed in variables. Add custom rules to this list in Regular Expressions (see to test your formulas). Set Methods: This includes all the ways in which the analytics variables are set. They might be set by a tag management system, from a processing rule, from the data layer, hard coded on the page, or any combination. Add any other methods your site uses that are not listed here.

Warning: The Config tab contains essential login and credential data and allows you to create custom rules based on your data. It must not be deleted. However, if it is deleted, you can reconstruct it by re-entering and saving your credentials in the Settings.

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