Tracking Methods Overview

A Tracking Method is used to determine how Visits & Pages are identified during processing.

Angelfish has six Tracking Methods to choose from: two are JS-based (using JS Page Tags), and four are log-based (using existing log data).  The correct Tracking Method to use depends on the data in your log files.  

If you're not sure which Tracking Method to choose, please open a support ticket and include 5-10 hits from a recent log file - we'll let you know what your options are.

  • Each Profile uses one Tracking Method
  • The JS-based Tracking Methods send one tracking gif for each Pageview
  • Visitors who block JS can be seen in a Profile that uses a log-based Tracking Method
  • Pageviews in log-based Tracking Methods are defined by the Page File Types setting
  • Historical logs can be processed with one of the log-based Tracking Methods

Tracking Method Details


AGF is conceptually similar to other JavaScript tracking solutions: each page of your website needs to reference a JavaScript file (angelfish.js).  When a visitor comes to your website, angelfish.js loads, assigns a unique visitor ID, and makes a gif request (agf.gif) for each pageview.  By default, this gif request is stored in your web server's log file.

AGF is a good solution to use with any of your websites.  But if you want to track web applications where the vendor doesn't provide log files (e.g. SharePoint Online), AGF is the only Tracking Method to use.

Helpful Links


The UGA tracking method is able to generate reports from the tracking requests made by Urchin or Google Analytics tracking code. One of the many ways this tracking method can be used is to "migrate" data from Urchin to Angelfish. If you have log files that contain __utm.gif requests, simply reprocess them in Angelfish!

UGA can also be used by Google Analytics (universal analytics) customers that keep a backup copy of GA tracking requests.

Helpful Links

SID: SESSION ID (log-based)

Many websites automatically assign a unique ID to each visit. This ID is stored in a cookie and expires when the visit ends. Here are some examples of common session cookie names:
  • ASP.NET_SessionId

With the SID Tracking Method, Angelfish uses this unique ID to identify Visits.

USR: USERNAME (log-based)

The USR Tracking Method utilizes usernames to identify Visits & Pages. The USR tracking method is also able to track unique visitors across multiple devices - the username is the visitor ID.  

Many internal websites and applications log the Username (e.g. SharePoint On Premises), which means USR is a great choice for Intranet websites.


The IPUA Tracking Method has been used by web analytics products since the late 1990's.  It works...but it tends to overstate traffic.

Each Visit to your website has an IP address and a user agent. During processing, Angelfish uses each unique IP address & user agent combination to calculate Visits.

If you use IPUA in a Profile, you'll want to use Filters to remove Visits from:
  • Crawlers, bots, and spiders
  • Spammy IP addresses (e.g. referral spam)
  • Irrelevant Browsers & Platforms

We also recommend using the "Ignore Inflated Visits" feature in IPUA Profiles, in the Advanced tab of each Profile.

IP: IP ADDRESS (log-based)

IP is ideal for logs that use the CLF format.  During processing, Angelfish assigns a Visit to each unique IP address.  Similar to IPUA, IP tends to overstate traffic and we recommend heavy use of Filters.

IP is a "last resort" Tracking Method - it should only be used when no other options are available.
Creation date: 4/18/2022 3:13 PM      Updated: 3/14/2023 8:25 PM