Getting Started: Technical Architecture and Hosting

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DTM Technical Architecture and Hosting

DTM allows you to easily deploy and manage tools, tags, and scripts on your site, but how does DTM really do it? This article walks through DTM’s primary architectural components and the related business decision - hosting.


The primary components of the DTM technical architecture are the web management application, the staging and production JavaScript libraries and the embed code.

The web management application is the online interface that you log into to manage your DTM implementation. This is where you’ll create and configure tools, rules, and data elements and manage the deployment of these configurations to your site(s).

A web property in DTM is a collection of tool, rule and data element configurations.

Each web property is associated with one staging JavaScript library and one production JavaScript library. These libraries are generated by the web application and contain the unique set of configurations in that web property.

The staging JavaScript library contains all of the latest tool, rule and data element configurations in the web property. This library is automatically updated with any change in the property and is intended for testing in staging environments or for local production testing via the DTM switch plugin.

More information on the DTM switch plugin is available here:

The production JavaScript library contains only tool, rule and data element configurations that have been approved and published through the web property workflow. This library is intended for the production environment.

Both the staging and production JavaScript libraries can be hosted in the following ways.

  • External hosting via Akamai – library hosted on Akamai’s servers
  • Self-hosting via SFTP or library download – library hosted on your servers

Choosing a hosting option(s) is a decision your business will need to make. Check out the following option comparison and use case examples to help facilitate this decision.

Use Case Examples

Scenario - I prefer to involve IT as little as possible and have a need for a reliable file hosting method outside of my own site infrastructure.

Solution - Leverage Akamai hosting in all environments.


Scenario - I want to have complete control over file delivery in my production environment; however, speed and agility is more important than file control in my staging environment.

Solution - Leverage Akamai hosting in staging environments and FTP delivery in production environment.


Scenario - Certain sections of my site deal with highly confidential information. Security is the most important thing on these pages but isn’t necessarily as important on other pages of my site.

Solution – Leverage library download hosting on secure pages and Akamai hosting on non-secure pages.


All hosting options are available to enable and configure in the ‘Embed’ tab in your DTM property.

Regardless of hosting option chosen, the JavaScript library is served on your site via the installed embed code. Each hosting option provides a unique set of embed codes that reference the applicable file location configured for that hosting option.

The embed code consists of two code snippets – the header and the footer code. 

The header code is responsible for calling the associated JavaScript library from the host location and serving it on your site. This code snippet should be placed in the head section of the site code as close to the opening tag as possible.

The footer code is responsible for identifying the end of the page for timing control. This code snippet should be placed in the body section of the site code as close to the closing tag as possible. 

The appropriate placement of both the header and footer embed code snippets is critical to the effective deployment of the DTM JavaScript library.


Pro-tip: Although you can use more than one hosting option, you must ensure only a single embed code reference is included on any given page. Duplicative or improper placement of the embed code can result in unexpected library behavior.

In conclusion, here’s a visual of how the discussed DTM architecture components work together to effectively deploy and manage tool, tags and scripts on your site.

More information on hosting options is available here:

Up next in the five part Getting Started series: Planning your migration to DTM.


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The Creativity Conference

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