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Use Usage Reporting in Your Android Application

See how the Usage Reporting feature can help provide information on how your app is being used.
You will learn
  • How the Usage Reporting feature works
  • How to customize the consent screen
  • How to further instrument the Wizard app
  • How to add code to enable auto-upload of usage data based on the client policy
flyingfish162Bruce MengNovember 18, 2022


  • Step 1

    As shown in the tutorial, Try Out the SAP BTP SDK Wizard for Android, ensure that Enable Usage Reporting is checked when creating the app.

    Enable Usage when Creating App

    When the app is first installed, a consent screen will automatically be shown to users.

    The app must first receive permission to collect usage information from the user.

    1. Tap ALLOW to allow the app to record how the app is being used.

      Consent Screen

      If DENY was selected, the user’s choice can later be changed in the app’s Settings screen.

      Usage in Settings

      Once you try to enable Consent to Usage Collection, the consent screen will be displayed again to confirm your choice.

    2. From the Settings screen, tap Upload Usage Data.

      Click Upload Usage

      The Consent to Usage Collection will be disabled and cannot be enabled if usage was not enabled in the Mobile Services cockpit.

    3. To review this policy setting, in the Mobile Services cockpit, access Mobile Client Usage and User Feedback by navigating to Mobile Applications > Native/MDK > > Mobile Client Usage and User Feedback.

      Access Mobile Client Usage and User Feedback

      The Client Usage Configuration specifies whether uploads of usage data are allowed and the time interval between automatic usage report uploads.

      The preset value for Upload Report After is 0 (usage reports will not be uploaded automatically), which we will use in the implementation of automatically uploading usage reports to the server. Finally, click Save to save any changes.

      Enable Usage in Client Policies
    4. If an empty usage report notification is shown when Upload Usage Data is selected, navigate away from the app by going to your phone’s Home screen and re-entering the app. Then try uploading the usage report again. Placing the app in the background will complete or end the current usage session. Partial sessions can not be uploaded.

      Empty Usage Report Upload Attempt

      If Upload Usage Data was successful, then a Toast message should pop up informing you that the usage information has been uploaded to the server.

      Successful Usage Upload

    Which of the following actions must be taken to enable usage in an app?

  • Step 2
    1. To view the application usage report, go to your management cockpit under Analytics > User Data.

      View usage report

      Different charts become available when you select between Sessions, Demographics, and Behavior in the drop-down (green) box. The mark in the yellow box controls whether to display filters that are in the red box right below.

    2. To download the usage report, go to Mobile Applications > Native/MDK > > Mobile Client Usage and User Feedback. You can filter the data by changing the value of the Last 7 Days dropdown. Click the Download icon to export the filtered data to a .csv file.

      Download Usage From Management Cockpit
    3. Open the downloaded clientUsage_uploads.csv. The file contains usage entries from the app that record different actions, such as button taps and timers.

      Column Description
      APPLICATIONID Identifies the app the usage report events were generated from
      DEVICEMODEL Device type (Samsung, Android Emulator, etc.)
      DEVICEPLATFORM Android or iOS
      DEVICEVERSION Device software version
      REGISTRATIONID A unique ID generated when you first register your device
      USERSESSIONID A unique ID generated every time the application is re-opened
      RECORDKEY What kind of information is being described (information about the device (DeviceInfo), an event within the application (BehaviorEvent), etc.)
      RECORDTYPE BehaviorEvent type (e.g. viewDisplayed, userInteraction)
      TIMERSTART Time the event began
      TIMERDURATION How long an event ran for, in seconds
      I_SCREEN Screen resolution of the device using the current OSLifecycle state as the key
      I_VIEW The name of the Screen/View where BehaviourEvents are generated
      I_ELEMENT UI element or screen control that was interacted with
      I_ACTION Action that the user performed
      I_VALUE Value related to the interaction, if applicable

      In the following example, there are three different Android devices with varying software versions.

      CSV Information on Device Specifications

      In the next example, the timer recorded how long the user kept the application active on their device before exiting for five different sessions. Recording how long users spend in the application is a typical measurement. You can also specify other processes to time, such as application startup, data requests, or the time taken to open an offline store.

      CSV Information on Session Times

      A session is typically defined as how long the app has been open for in the foreground, but different records within the application can also be modified to act as sessions.

    4. There can be multiple USERSESSIONIDs associated with a single REGISTRATIONID. REGISTRATIONID is independent of your username and you can see a complete list of all user registrations for the app in the Mobile Services cockpit by navigating to Mobile Applications > Native/MDK > > Mobile Settings Exchange > User Registrations.

      User Registrations

      In the following example the same user registered on two different devices and ran three user sessions.

      Session Descriptive Information

    When the application is initially launched, the report will contain entries that describe the device screen, memory and networking capabilities in a condensed form in four columns, marking the end of a session.

    I_VALUE Description
    EnterApplication Screen resolution of the device (I_SCREEN)
    location Location permission for the application (denied or authorized); if authorized then it will list the latitude (I_VIEW), longitude (I_ELEMENT), and city (I_ACTION)
    device Reiterates the screen resolution (I_SCREEN and I_VIEW), device platform (I_ELEMENT), and specifies the device language (I_ACTION)
    memory Device RAM (I_SCREEN), internal storage (I_VIEW), and available space on the SD card (I_ELEMENT)
    Device Information in First Entries

    The app also records a few of the screens that user opens, and more usage reporting statements can be added in the code to track other specific screens.

    In the example below, the user navigated to the Entity List screen, accessed the categories at positions 6 and 1, then entered the Settings screen.

    Recording screens that users enter

    What does the Usage Reporting feature do?

  • Step 3

    The Usage feature can be used to instrument an app to track things that might provide insight into a user’s behaviors.

    The following steps record how often users start adding or updating products but cancel their changes. This is somewhat similar to a metric in a shopping cart type app, where it might be interesting to know how often items are added to a shopping cart, but the sale is not completed.

  • Step 4

    Mobile Services provides a Client Usage Configuration under Mobile Client Usage and User Feedback specifying whether uploads to Mobile Services are allowed and how often they should occur. The following instructions demonstrate how to modify the app to read and store the configuration (same as the concept of the following policy) and upload the usage data to Mobile Services using the specified interval.

    See Client Usage and Step by Step with the SAP BTP SDK for Android — Part 8 — Client Usage for further information on usage.

    Congratulations! You have learned how the usage feature can provide insights into how a deployed application is being used!

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