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Populo technical overview

Populo is a Zengenti hosted service that has a number of integration points with the Contensis content management system. Being a hosted service, updates can be made without being tied to a Contensis release; allowing for incremental changes to be made and the ability to introduce new features.

There are four core components to Populo:

  • A Contensis published website
  • JavaScript tracking script
  • Populo Service
  • Contacts API

Contensis published website

While Populo is an independent service of Contensis, at the time of writing Populo can only be used with a Contensis published website. It relies on a license key, security token for authentication, the forms module and Contensis controls to submit explicit data to the service.

Tracking script

The tracking script is a snippet of JavaScript that is added to every page of a website when Populo is enabled. The tracking script runs in the browser when the client visits the page (if JavaScript is enabled) and collects visitor data and sends it to the Populo service.

The tracking code is loaded via a REST call to https://cdn.zengenti.com. The file (currently known as contact.js) is typically 44Kb. Assuming browser caching is enabled in the browser, it downloads contact.js only once at the start of the visit.

Cookie

In addition to transmitting information to the Populo Service, the tracking code sets a first party cookie (If cookies are enabled in the browser) on each visitor’s computer. This cookie stores anonymous information, and is called _pk_id.*.

The cookie is used to determine if the user has visited the site before and provides a way of tracking a particular visitor, it has a two year expiration.

Populo service

The Populo service is a centrally hosted service by Zengenti located in our UK data centres. Data is sent from the front end website to the service over https to the following endpoint: https://populo.zengenti.com

Contacts API

The Contacts API is a RESTful API with a .NET client wrapper that can be used in razor and bespoke projects that provides programmatic access to read and write Populo contact information. The ability to query contact data, update contacts and more. The REST API is secured using an OAuth 2 Client Credentials Grant.