What Is MetaRouter?

Overview

In this article, we will be discussing the various aspects the encompass the MetaRouter platform. If you have not seen our Client-side vs. Server-side tracking guide, we recommend reviewing that before continuing on.

In a nutshell, MetaRouter is a first-party, server-side customer data infrastructure that eliminates the need for third-party, client-side tags for common advertising, marketing and analytics vendors. Within this infrastructure, we have added a few key features and tools that we will further explain in this guide and throughout our documentation ecosystem.

The MetaRouter Platform

MetaRouter is composed of a few different components and features that, when put together, encompass our entire platform:

Event Generation

MetaRouter will help you produce events with the open-sourced Analytics.js spec. This spec simply replaces the vendor-specific tagging you might perform for Facebook, Google, and other vendors. Behavioral data, page view data, identity and more can be tracked with this spec, and it is this very data that represents your raw event stream that will be processed through the MetaRouter platform and forwarded to your vendors via our Integrations.

For more information on Analytics.js, please see this guide.

Server-Side Identity Enrichment

Earlier, we mentioned that our platform replaces client-side tagging with a server-side data infrastructure. In order to ensure that vendors can consistently identify users (including anonymous users) with a server-side event stream, MetaRouter enables the enrichment of vendor-specific identifiers into an event stream. This is generally performed by making an API call to a vendor's server, and receiving the vendor identifier in response. The exact process this occurs with can differ per vendor- you can read more about server-side identity enrichment and our Sync Injector javascript library here.

Data Streaming Architecture

The core piece of the MetaRouter platform can be considered the data streaming architecture that must be installed in a private, single-tenant cloud environment on our cloud or yours. This architecture is responsible for ensuring that your events are validated for required data inputs, transformed according to your preferences, and ultimately are accepted by your integrations.

A key component of this architecture is our Internal Message Queue, which has been optimized to handle event volumes for the world's largest and most demanding organizations. It can hold events when downstream services or vendor APIs are experiencing difficulty, retry unsuccessful send attempts, and accept replayed raw events from data lakes.

MetaRouter will handle the vast majority of an architecture install, but you will be responsible for certain aspects of the install depending on your platform preferences.

Platform UI

The Platform UI is where you will visualize your cloud environment and integrations, configure various event transformations, and manage other platform settings.

Event transformations are an important aspect of the MetaRouter platform, as we give you full control over how your data inputs are transformed into outputs that are sent to your vendors. For more information on transformations, see this article.

Integrations

MetaRouter manages a library of integrations that have been specifically configured to forward server-side event data to your vendors. This can mean either posting events directly to a vendor's API (typically meant for offline or server-generated data), or manipulating the events in such a way that they can be accepted by an existing client-side API.

Check out our list of integrations here.

Compliance

A side-benefit of server-side identity enrichment, the MetaRouter Compliance Module can hook into user consent banners, control the processing of customer data according to user preferences, and in cases where desired, completely block a vendor's access to user tracking on a given website. This is possible because MetaRouter enriches vendor identifiers into a MetaRouter-controlled first-party cookie, rather than letting third-parties set and read their own cookies.

For more on how our Compliance Module works, see this link.