Snowplow Inspector debug tool now validates schemas

Thursday 15 March, 2018 | By: Simon Rumble

Snowplow Inspector use around the world Last June we released our debug tool Snowplow Inspector and we’ve watched as hundreds of Snowplow users around the world have used it to make sense of their Snowplow tracking.

Latest version

Snowplow Inspector new design Jethro has been hard at work improving the debugger. First he ported it to Typescript for better maintainability, then he reworked the design to be more readable and useful. Following that he’s added a really useful new feature.

Schema validation

Snowplow Inspector new design The exciting new feature in the latest version is the ability to validate custom schemas within the debug tool. Custom schemas allow you to define your own event model to record details of events and the context in which they occur. Rather than shoehorn your event model into a static set of Custom Dimensions, you can model things using JSON, enabling really expressive data models that map very closely to your applications’ internal representation of things.

Custom data models require that you define a schema that tells Snowplow what is allowed and not allowed in the model. If an event doesn’t validate against the schema, it will end up being sent into the Bad Rows. You want to get things working in your development, staging and test environments before pushing changes to production and ending up with a lot of important events in Bad Rows.

Get set to validate your custom schemas

Out of the box Snowplow Inspector points at the standard Snowplow schemas. Once you start creating your own schemas you’ll want to point at your schema repository. Right-click on the Snowplow Inspector icon in your browser toolbar (it may be hidden under the hamburger icon ☰) and select Options. You can also click on Unrecognised in the debugger itself.

Snowplow Inspector options

Enter schema repository URLs for any custom repositories you use, one per line. You’ll need to enable access to the repository from wherever you’re running Chrome with IP whitelisting or similar.

Install the extension

To install the extension, go to the Chrome store and click Add to Chrome.

Feedback and changes

The extension is released under the GNU Public License, so you’re free to fork it and make changes. Check out the Github repo. If you find any bugs or have any feature requests, create a Github issues. Jethro is remarkably responsive to feature requests!

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