Legacy DTM and the New Launch – A Closer First Look

This past week at Adobe Summit, we announced Launch — our upcoming, next-generation, tag management capability — which is built into the Adobe Experience Platform. At Summit, the Launch team was in high gear with a full slate of sessions surrounding the Adobe Experience Platform, including a mainstage demo during the keynote presentation; a full-day user group session on CAB day; four brand new, sold out technical labs; and numerous presentation sessions delivered to more than 600 attendees.

The 20 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Launch
With so many announcements coming out of Summit, there’s been some confusion about the upcoming Launch product release. So, let’s look at the most frequently asked questions and clarify some things.

1. What Is Launch?
Launch — the next generation of our dynamic tag management capability — is built into the Adobe Experience Platform and enables clients to:

Launch — an advanced JavaScript delivery system that evaluates both conditions and executed actions to efficiently and effectively deploy client-side libraries and products — provides a highly scalable approach to managing and building extensions, alongside a robust set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for programmatic interaction with the Adobe Experience Platform.

2. I Heard Launch Is Already Available; How Can I Gain Access?
Unfortunately, Launch is not yet available in production. The product team is just finishing up the alpha program, and we’re about to start the beta program. If you’d like to be considered for participation in the beta program, please email your account team and ask them to forward your request to the beta program manager.

3. If It’s Not Available Now, When Will It Be Released?
The official release date for Launch is “soon.” The product team is working very hard to make Launch ready for general availability (GA) as soon as possible. As we close out the alpha program and start the beta program, we remain focused on making Launch the best it can be for a production release as soon as possible.

4. Is This Just an Updated DTM?
No, Launch is an entirely new product with a new code base. The system has been re-architected from scratch using modern front-end development practices and an API-first approach — everything is built upon a robust set of APIs, making the system very powerful and very flexible.

5. Will Legacy DTM Still Be Available?
Yes, Legacy DTM (the existing production version) will be supported for the foreseeable future. Adobe will continue to fix any significant bugs and ensure consistent performance. At this time, no major feature enhancements are planned for Legacy DTM.

We’re working to make the migration process from Legacy to Launch as easy as possible, so customers can take advantage of more than 20 new features, extensions, and APIs that will be available with Launch.

6. How Much Will Launch Cost?
There is no additional charge for Launch — it will be available for any Adobe Experience Cloud customer.

7. Will I Have to Change the Embed Codes in My Current DTM Implementation?
Good news — no, you won’t have to change your staging or production embed codes if you’re currently using the Legacy DTM system. You can continue to work in your existing DTM company and web properties without worrying at all about changing those embed codes. The product team has not finalized the migration process just yet, but we’re working to make it as easy — and as automated — as possible.

8. I heard There Are Plug-Ins Now. What’s That About?
Launch is built into the Adobe Experience Platform and is fully extensible. Customers, Adobe Partners, agencies, and marketing or advertising technology vendors will soon be able to build Launch extensions that add new functionalities or modify existing ones. The system allows our Partners and clients to build, manage, and update their own integrations. This is just one way in which we’re opening up the Adobe Experience Platform so that customers and partners can build products and businesses on the Platform, and everyone can more easily connect our technology to marketing and advertising technologies from other vendors. Over time, this will become the place for customers to install and configure all their client-side technologies.

9. Those Extensions Sound Cool, but Will all Third-Party Tools Be Available Right Away?
When Launch is released, we plan to have extensions available for all Adobe solutions and for a select group of independent vendors. The product team is already working closely with several technology partners to ensure these extensions are available when Launch is released for GA. After the initial release of Launch, we’ll work to expand the number of extensions as quickly as possible. Since extensions can be built, managed, and updated by the Extension Developer, vendors won’t have to wait for Adobe engineering to build them — so this should be a very rapid process going forward.

10. When Will Clients or Partners Be Able to Build Extensions?
Launch will open its virtually self-service portal when it’s released for GA, enabling extension developers to build their own integrations with the Adobe Experience Platform.

11. Is Launch Secure Enough to Meet My Company’s Security Standards?
Yes, Launch is SOC–2 and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act ready. Launch also offers the capability of being self-hosted, as the JavaScript libraries can be served from either the customer’s own servers or the content delivery network (CDN) of their choice. This enables IT and security teams to run automated testing; to check the files into their own version-control system; and to fully comply with any internal production-migration processes, security-related or otherwise.

12. I Have a Project Coming up Very Soon. Should I Wait for Launch to, Um, Launch?
Customers who either already use Legacy DTM or currently deploy DTM should continue to do so — don’t wait. Move your projects forward using the existing Legacy DTM, and when you’re ready to move to Launch, we’ll have a migration process in place that’s as easy and as automated as possible — no on-page embed-code changes and automatic migration of rules and data elements, for instance.

13. Which Capabilities in Legacy DTM Won’t Exist in Launch?
Absolutely none — every capability that currently exists in Legacy DTM will also be available in Launch.

14. What New Capabilities Will Exist in Launch That Don’t Exist in Legacy DTM?
Launch will deliver four new major capabilities that aren’t available in Legacy DTM, including:

  1. Quick and Easy Deployment of Non-Adobe, Client-Side Browser Technologies — Using extensions, clients and Partners will be able to control in-browser technologies simply in the interface without managing custom code.
  2. Precise Organization and Management of Libraries — Enterprise-grade publishing will enable users to compartmentalize and control each piece in their libraries and deploy exactly what they need, where they need it, and when they need it.
  3. Robust Approval Workflows — Flexible approval workflows will allow custom processes to match users’ existing internal approval processes.
  4. Granular Rights Management — Administrators will not only designate which extensions are available to each user — as well as those that aren’t — but also determine which areas within Launch are accessible to certain users.

15. Does Launch Support Single-Page Apps and My Favorite Framework?
Yes, Launch gives users and extension developers flexibility in collecting, managing, and distributing data within single-page application experiences and Ajax-heavy webpages or websites, regardless of their development-framework preferences — whether their favorite is Angular, React.js, Ember, Meteor, or any other development framework.

16. Does Launch Support Dynamic Data Layers?
Yes, Launch includes an extension that specifically listens for changes in dynamic data layers.

17. Which Event Types Does Launch Support?
Event types are available through extensions. The preloaded DTM extension includes 30 built-in event types. Other extensions may add additional event types. For example, the YouTube extension includes four video event types: play, pause, end, and time played. Through extensions, Launch can support any other browser event types or synthetic event types such as specific visitor-activity sequences.

18. Will Launch Affect the Speed of My Website?
Launch is designed to deliver and run marketing and advertising technologies on your website as efficiently as possible using today’s best practices. When used properly, Launch has proven to improve website performance more than alternative methods of providing similar functionality.

19. Which Browsers Will Launch Support?
Browsers supported in Launch’s client-side libraries:

Browsers supported in the Launch application interface:

In Legacy DTM, we support older versions of Internet Explorer; but, over the last few years, the percentage of overall web users who have older, outdated browsers has dropped to a very, very small segment for our clients. Most of our clients now leverage more modern web-platform features in current browsers and create better user experiences like single-page applications and interactive, Ajax-heavy websites and webpages. As most of our clients move to more modern approaches with their sites, they demand a solution like Launch that enables those approaches.

20. Does Launch Work on Native Mobile Apps?
Adobe continues to recommend the Mobile Services/App SDK (Software-Development Kit) to implement data collection and delivery in a native mobile app environment. Adobe mobile services has streamlined the process with a single SDK that works with multiple Adobe Experience Platform solutions. Going forward, clients will see additional tag management-like functionality in the Mobile Services interface, as the Launch and Mobile teams continue working together closely to create more seamless Cloud Platform access and user experiences.

Hey! You Haven’t Answered My Question!
These are the questions that customers and Partners have asked most frequently since the Launch announcement at Adobe Summit. If you have other questions about Launch, feel free to ask them on the Adobe Community’s main Launch page.

Launch is just one example of where our platform is headed — to becoming more open, more integrated, and (as always) increasingly dedicated to customer success.