What is the Distribution Service? - Part 1.
The Distribution Service is an area that acts as a dashboard for your Pugpig app. It sits between your CMS and the app itself, to provide one central location where you can access all information and features of the app. It helps to catch content and authentication errors, provides a test centre for your third party login and also shows you other information such as analytics, push notifications and store reviews.
It's easy to navigate the distribution service: simply use the left hand toolbar to access the different services available for your app.
In part one of this Pugpig Pointers session we’ll look at the following tabs:
- Content Sources
KNOWING YOUR DASHBOARD
The dashboard gives a quick overview on your app's stats, including monthly bandwidth usage, active users, app store ratings and content feed status. Each widget shows when it was last updated and the status of that addon e.g. green/amber/red. If you hover over the ‘?’ icon it will display a description of that widget. The ‘More Info’ button at the bottom of the widget will take you to the related page within the Distribution Service which contains more information. You may also spot a little arrow on some of the widgets, these will take you to the relating web page, i.e. to the iTunes Store listing of your app.
Errors and warnings
Errors and warnings will appear at the top of the page under ‘Summary of problems’. Anything in yellow is a warning (don’t worry, it doesn’t mean anything is broken) and most likely means that some areas have been updated.
Errors appear in red and mean something needs to be looked in to.
Depending on your setup with Pugpig you may have more than one Content Feed. A Stage or Development Feed are used internally by us (and potentially your own tech team too). It’s worth mentioning that the Dev and Stage feeds can often show warnings as we try not to let these update automatically - nothing to worry about, but do ask us if you have concerns!
For now, let’s focus on the Main Content Feed. AKA, where the magic happens. Here we’ve plugged in your CMS feed and the content gets processed through here before it hits the app - letting us get all kinds of data on your content!
For example, we can show how many editions in total have been processed, show the edition cover of the latest edition and when the content feed was last updated.
So what are the key features?
Probably the most powerful button for your editors - Update Content. This action needs to be triggered to push any new articles/editions or changes to content through to your app. By clicking this button all changes on your CMS will be pushed through to the app.
However if you may not want all the changes from your CMS to be pulled through to the app. In which case you can update editions individually.
“What is the difference between update and force update?” I hear you ask...good question. Update just looks for content changes, force update re-pull the entire edition again from the CMS, meaning it will also update styling changes.
Going a level deeper, and clicking in to one of your editions will provide even more information. From here you can see data on how each article is performing - number of screen views and time spent on the article.
You can also generate an MP3 file for your article that you can upload back into your CMS.
Click inside an edition and then the relevant page to grab your deeplink.
By clicking on the edition title, you can also view the pages in order of most viewed/most time spent by clicking on the column headers to order by ascending/descending. Views are unique users and time is average duration in seconds. NOTE: these analytics display analytics from the page in the last 30 days, so may not have much/any analytics from back editions.
Nice and brief on this tab. We use Fastly as our CDN provider to provide faster download speeds of your content. This tab is where you can see the amount of data your app is using each month. It will show you what your current percentage for the month is, any burst rates and how big your current plan is.