The Next tag is our Early Adopter program for the AB Tasty tag. It is a specific and early branch, where we put our latest optimizations and features that have been internally tested and validated but that are awaiting a more global validation (early adopter feedback) before being deployed to all users.
By joining the program, you will be able to test our latest improvements and new features instantly.
How to join the program?
In the Framework section of your AB Tasty account, you can see which branch of the tag you are on. We currently have 4 branches running:
- Latest: the public and most used branch, referred to as the “default” branch;
- Next: the early and advanced branch you are able to test;
- Deprecated: an old branch that will be unsupported soon;
- Unstable: an experimental internal branch. You shouldn’t be able to see this branch.
If your tag is set on Latest, you are free to join the Next program by clicking Learn more and Join now from the popin. However, you can’t join the program on your own if you are on the Deprecated or Unstable branch.
After joining the Next program, you must refresh your tag to push the modifications live. Otherwise, the changes will be pending.
How to leave the program?
From the Framework section, if you are already on the Next tag, you can choose to instantly leave the program by clicking Leave program. You will be able to rejoin the program anytime.
After leaving the program, you must also refresh your tag to push the modifications live. Otherwise, the change will be pending and you will still be operating on Next.
What improvements are included in the Next tag?
As of today and for the Winter 2022 iteration, we have mainly introduced two elements.
Super dynamic imports
We have reduced the tag size to 2 kB. This means that we have removed most of its content in order to put it as dynamic imports.
When you first access a website hosting AB Tasty, the 2 kB tag will download every additional resource it requires (campaigns, dependencies, analytics, etc.) and store it in the browser cache. Unless these resources change (when creating a new campaign for example, or if we push a new release), they will remain cached for one year. This means that on a regular basis, a browsing or returning visitor will only download one 2 kB file, which will drastically speed up the overall AB Tasty tag and improve your website performance.
The 2 kB tag and its dependencies
The ultimate best practice is to minify this script. Minifying means making it as tiny as possible while keeping it functional. This involves removing spaces, comments, line breaks and even renaming functions.
Minifying your custom scripts would make reading them nearly impossible, so we decided to do it for you each time we compile your tag. Your custom scripts will remain readable while being optimized when served to your visitors.
This optimization comes with a price. If your custom script had an issue (like a syntax error), we used to keep compiling your tag and serve a failing campaign to your customers. This was resulting in a campaign failing to display or displaying with errors.
Are there any limitations?
As said before, this new version changes the way we handle your coding issues. We now add additional security when you push modifications live on your website, but you will need to be aware of this effect to understand why a tag refresh keeps failing.
Also, since we are now using a lot of dynamic imports, you need to make sure you are not preventing our tag from downloading what it needs. This is particularly important if you are self-hosting or caching our tag.
The procedure to follow if you are in one of these situations is available in your technical documentation.
Is it changing the way AB Tasty works?
No. At least not for this iteration. Your dashboard will remain the same and you will keep using AB Tasty in exactly the same way.
You might notice minor changes in the way of QAing your campaigns or investigating the tag on your website. However, if you aren’t a tech-aware user, you shouldn’t spot any differences.
Is it safe?
It is safe. However, keep in mind that it is an early version for a reason. It has been tested internally, as well as with several customers that have already joined the Next program. We can’t assume we have been running this tag on 100% of the possible configurations and environments. This means you might fall under a configuration that breaks our tag, even though it shouldn’t happen. The worst case scenario is that your campaigns and data collection will no longer work. By joining the Next program, you accept the tiny possibility that something may go wrong.
In any case, you can switch back to the Latest tag any time without notifying us (but we expect your feedback!). Just remember to always refresh your tag after you make a change.
Will there be a new iteration of the Next branch?
Probably. The Winter 2022 program is already the second iteration of our Next program. It is most likely that a third iteration will come after we decide to close this one.
When closing the first iteration, we decided to automatically migrate back all Next users to Latest except for those who explicitly asked us to stay on Next. We will keep you posted about the end of the current iteration.