Synchronizing user data

Last updated January 16, 2019

Syncing user IDs between OpenX and yourself enables you to make informed bids based on user information.

You have two decisions to make when setting up user ID syncing:

  • Who stores the user data, you or OpenX? It is strongly recommended that OpenX store the data. This arrangement accelerates the bidding process and reduces processing overhead for you.
  • Who drops the pixel to initiate the sync, you or OpenX, or both? It is strongly recommended that both you and OpenX initiate the sync because it ensures maximum user reach across Ad Exchange.

If you are not sure about the best approach, contact your Platform Development Manager (PDM).

Who stores the user data?

Either you or OpenX can store the user data.

The following two scenarios illustrate how syncing flows, depending on your data storage preference.

If OpenX stores your user IDs

As previously mentioned, this is the strongly recommended arrangement.

  1. You, OpenX, or both parties drop the pixel sync URL.
  2. OpenX sends you a sync request:
    1. If the user is known, you redirect back to OpenX using the RTB data URL with the relevant buyerA company that pays a demand partner to purchase ad inventory on OpenX Ad Exchange. user ID set to the rtb parameter:

      http(s)://us-u.openx.net/w/1.0/sd?id={account_ID_assigned_by_OpenX}&rtb={YourUserId}

  3. After the user is synced, OpenX includes the user’s RTBReal-time bidding, auctioning online inventory within an ad exchange. Buyers bid for the impression based on the value of the user, whereas the seller sets pricing floors and awards the impression to the highest bidder. The auction process takes place in milliseconds, which is why the process is referred to as “real-time.” data value in the BidRequest.user.buyeruid field within the bid requestWhen OpenX Ad Exchange receives an ad request, it sends a communication containing details about the impression to selected real-time bidders to solicit bids for it..

If you store OpenX user IDs

In preparation for this flow, provide your PDM with the appropriate URL that OpenX should call to initiate the user sync.

  1. You, OpenX, or both parties drop the cookie matching URL, where the r parameter is set to your pixel sync url:

    http(s)://us-u.openx.net/w/1.0/cm?id={account_ID_assigned_by_OpenX}&r={yourdestinationURL}

  2. OpenX 302-redirects to the URL set in the r parameter and appends the OpenX user ID.
  3. You receive the pixel sync URL with the OpenX user ID and can decide whether to store the mapping.
  4. OpenX sends this OpenX user ID in BidRequest.user.id field within the bid request

Tip: It is recommended that you start cookie syncing several weeks in advance in order to build up an adequate cookie pool before launch. OpenX will provide you with the necessary pixel sync url.

Who drops the pixel?

As previously mentioned, it is strongly recommended that both you and OpenX drop pixels to initiate the sync. This ensures maximum user reach across Ad Exchange.

If you drop the pixel, create a simple 1x1-pixel image, invoking one of the pixel-sync URLs, depending on who stores the user data.

If OpenX drops the pixel for you, provide the appropriate URL to be wrapped in an image pixel to be maintained by OpenX.

Templates for URLs, along with your partner ID, are available in Traffic Shaper on the Summary tab on My Account > Real-Time Bid Settings.

Using the cookie-mapping URL

This URL is invoked if you store user data for syncing.

  1. Get your RTB data URL from your PDM, or use the URL template in Traffic Shaper to construct your RTB data URL. To find the template, go to the Summary tab on My Account > Real-Time Bid Settings. For example:

    Cookie mapping URL template

    In the URL template, yourdestinationURL is the location of your user data.

  2. Wrap the URL in an image pixel.

  3. Drop the pixel in the appropriate location or provide it to OpenX Ad Exchange, depending on who initiates the sync.

The OpenX Ad Exchange user ID is appended to your destination URL, which is the user synchronizationA process by which a mapping is established between your cookied users, those of the OpenX Ad Exchange, and the advertisers who participate in the OpenX Ad Exchange. This mapping enables all parties in the advertising value chain to identify a user across different systems. endpoint hosted on your servers. Nothing else is appended to the redirect URL.

Tip: Your destination URL should end with an argument name and the equivalent of an equal sign (=).

For example, a destination URL of:

http://myservice.com/usersync/openx?id=

Would result in a 302 redirect to:

http://myservice.com/usersync/openx?id=2370e610-d4dc-11e0-9572-0800200c9a66

Where: 2370e610-d4dc-11e0-9572-0800200c9a66 is the ID for the user.

Using the RTB data URL

When you send user data to Ad Exchange, it stores the data and sends it as part of the RTB bid request in the BidRequest.user.buyeruid OpenRTB field.

  1. Set up to 200 bytes of your own data against an Ad Exchange user.

  2. Get your RTB data URL from your PDM, or use the URL template in Traffic Shaper to construct your RTB data URL. To find the template, go to the Summary tab on My Account > Real-Time Bid Settings. For example:

    RTB data URL template

    In the URL template, yourdestinationURL is your RTB data.

  3. Wrap the URL in an image pixel.

  4. Drop the pixel in the appropriate location, or provide it to OpenX Ad Exchange, or do both, depending on who initiates the sync.

If OpenX is managing the pixel drop, you must provide a URL that first calls your own servers and then redirects to the appropriate Ad Exchange URL with the relevant RTB data included.

You can set up your traffic sets to only be solicited for bids when impressions include RTB data.

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