User Storage Service Synchronous vs Asynchronous

User Storage Service is a service that stores the user information and VWO campaign-related decision-making details. User Storage Service provides persistent storage for the user-campaign details.

User Storage Service recommends having two methods set and get.

set method is called when a decision is made by our SDKs logic for a specific campaign and userId and User Storage Service is properly configured. Implementation inside set methods could be synchronous or asynchronous, based upon your requirements, since VWO SDKs do not rely on the return value from the set method,

get method, on the other hand, is called the very first time when API is triggered, after Whitelisting, if there, and ensuring User Storage Service is properly configured. This method is responsible for fetching the data from the DB/Storage. Instead of SDK re-evaluating the logic for the returning visitor for a specific campaign, this method gives preference to the already stored data.
Since SDK APIs are all synchronous in nature, it is mandatory to have the implementation of get method in a synchronous way.

Why not get method could be asynchronous?

If get method implementation is asynchronous, this means SDK's APIs would also return a promise instead of a boolean, string, or whatever type each API is currently returning.
Eventually, even if we are doing asynchronous work, the end result would still be synchronous i.e. final response from the API is dependent on the stored data.

That's why we have kept the get implementation to work synchronously but there's surely a way to tackle asynchronous behavior of your DB calls. Please refer to the section - What if our implementation to fetch data is asynchronous in nature? below.

Can't VWO handle the promise returned by get method?

We would have. But the point being, even if the get method returns data asynchronously, SDK's execution will have to be deferred till the response. This means the promise returned by the get method has to be wisely resolved or rejected by the implementation in order to let SDK work in the desired way.

This is nothing, but similar to synchronous behavior, where the SDK needs to wait for the data returned by the get method.

What if our implementation to fetch data is asynchronous in nature?

That's totally correct. If your code is asynchronous in nature, it's good. You simply need to create a wrapper to deal with getting synchronous data.

// Interaction with your storage service/db.
const customerStorageService = {
  get: async function get(userId, campaignKey) {
    const time = 1000;

    return new Promise((res, _rej) => {
     setTimeout(() => {
       let dbData = {
         id: 1,
         userId,
         campaignKey
        };

        console.log(`Got data:${JSON.stringify(dbData)} after ${time}ms`);

       res(dbData);
     }, time);
   })
  },
  set: async function set(data = {}) {
   const time = 2000;

   return new Promise((res, _rej) => {
     setTimeout(() => {
       console.log(`Data:${JSON.stringify(data)} saved after ${time}ms`);
       res();
     }, 2000);
   });
 }
}

// Pass this to VWO SDK at the time of launching it
let userStorageService = {
  get: (userId, campaignKey) => {
    // Do not implement it
  },
  set: (campaignUserMap) => {
    // can be async
    customerStorageService.set(campaignUserMap);
  }
}

// use VWO SDK
var vwoSDK = require('vwo-node-sdk');

// Instantiate the VWO SDK
var vwoClientInstance = vwoSDK.launch({
  settingsFile: settingsFile,
  userStorageService: userStorageService 
});

// Fetch the data from your service/db
var storedData = await customerStorageService.get(userId, campaignKey);
var options = {
  userStorageData: storedData
};

// Pass it in the options paramter
var variation = vwoClientInstance.activate(campaignKey, userId, options);

// Pass it in the options paramter
vwoClientInstance.track(campaignKey, userId, goalIdentifier, options);

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Passing Stored Data to APIs

userStorageData is the key that needs to be passed in the options parameter. The value should be the user-campaign map in the same format as VWO provides to the set method of User Storage Service.

Format for the userStorageData

userStorageData is a map where data is being stored with respect to a unique user ID and a unique campaign key.

Following keys are expected in the map:

Key

Type

Description

userId

String

Unique User ID which was provided at the time of calling the SDK API.

campaignKey

String

Unique campaign key, provided at the time of campaign creation, and passed when calling the SDK API.

variationName

String

Variation Name that was assigned to the user having the User ID

goalIdentifier

String

List of goals that has already been triggered for the campaign having campaignKey and for User ID, separated by a delimiter vwo.
Example: Campaign having three goals but only two have been triggered since now i.e. buy-now-clicked and product-bought goals.
'buy-now-clicked_vwo_product-bought'

Note: This is required in case of track API only. If you aren't calling track API, you can skip this parameter.

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Note:

VWO SDK validates the variationName and checks whether the variation exists in the campaign having the campaignkey or not. If the variation is found, SDK will use without looking into the User Storage service. If the variation of not found, SDK will jump onto the process of checking whether the user is eligible for the campaign or not and returns accordingly from the SDK API.

Below is an example of the map:

{
  userId: 'User ID',
  campaignKey: 'unique-campaign-key',
  variationName: 'Variation-1',
  goalIdentifier: 'buy-now-btn-clicked'
}

// goalIdentifier can be skipped if you aren't calling "track" API

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Please Note:

userStorageData can be passed via the options parameter in all APIs. This is currently only supported on Node.js SDK from v1.11.0 onwards.

User Storage Service:

get method should be synchronous. For asynchronous, call the asynchronous implementation and pass it to the options key in all the respective APIs.
set method could be asynchronous as per the above-mentioned implementation.

And, please remember to return the data in the same structure in the get method, as what VWO SDK provides in the set method.


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