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As Mel Carson recently reported in his announcement of the adCenter Analytics Beta refresh, adCenter Analytics plans to adopt Microsoft Silverlight for some parts of the UI. The first Silverlight features have now been released, so you can try them for yourself.
To use the Silverlight versions, you need to select the ‘Enable Silverlight’ check-box on the profiles page.
Next, if you haven’t installed Silverlight already, you’ll need to click the ‘Install Microsoft Silverlight’ link that appears in place of the calendar when you view your reports.
Silverlight is installed as a small browser plug-in—it’s quick and easy, and you don’t need administrator privileges, although you may have to re-start your browser. And yes, multiple browsers and operating systems are supported.
The first and most obvious enhancement is the new Silverlight Calendar control. In its compact form, it’s just a single line:
Clicking on the arrow to the right expands the calendar:
This offers a much slicker user experience than the old calendar (that’s one of the strengths of Silverlight). It’s also much easier to select custom date ranges, using the date picker.
The second enhancement is in the Treemap reports (see previous blog posts on Treemapping), which has been replaced with a new Silverlight version. In this example, we can see web site traffic segmented by visitor occupation.
The functionality is similar to the old version, with a few small enhancements such as the ability to retain your selected cells when changing size/color settings, and the ability to remove cell selections from the ledger. But again, the big improvement is in the user experience, which with Silverlight is much more responsive and attractive than before.
Jonathan Tuliani is a Program Manager on the Microsoft adCenter Analytics team in Dublin, Ireland (blog, site).
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