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 Server-to-server ad calls

Solution

Last updated on July 20, 2016

Typically, ad serving involves a client (such as a web browser or app) making requests directly to PixFuture. A server-to-server ad call is an alternative implementation where you proxy ad requests: the client talks to an intermediate (third-party) system, which then makes calls to PixFuture. This approach applies to any programmatic integrations, such as custom mobile device implementations, custom desktop applications, and other device-to-server scenarios.

For example, if you have an Ad Marvel account, you can make server-to-server ad calls between Ad Marvel and PixFuture (ask Account Manager to setup “OpenX” as an ad server as we use OpenX ad server). To set this up, contact your Ad Marvel account manager and provide them with your PIxFuture delivery domain and ad unit ID. AdMarvel will then set up the server-to-server integration and incorporate OpenX report data in your AdMarvel reports. For details, see AdMarvel demand partners.

To help solve special integration issues, PIxFuture supports various types of server-to-server implementations through ad requests.

Important: Proxied ad requests do not comply with some IAB specifications. Work with your PixFuture account manager to ensure a complete and proper integration via server-to-server ad calls.

To ensure that ad serving features (such as frequency capping and targeting) work properly, follow these guidelines when making server-to-server ad calls:

·       User IDs. If you are using typical web ad requests, PixFuture uses a cookie which contains a unique user ID. The cookie is either i if you are using the .openx.net domain to fetch ads, or OX_u if you are using another domain. Ideally, you proxy this cookie from the client to the Ad Server. This requires:

·       Extraction of the Set-Cookie header that PixFuture sends to pass the cookie to the client

·       Retrieval of the cookie sent by the client to your servers

·       Forwarding the cookie to PixFuture Ad Server

Alternatively, you can use the xid parameter.

If you are using the .openx.net domain to fetch ads, PixFuture also sets a pd cookie. This cookie contains the timestamp, which can be used to expire, so that pixels can be re-dropped. OX_u contains the timestamp as well as the unique user ID.

·       HTTP headers. PixFuture uses the following HTTP headers, which should be forwarded from the client or set up to reflect realistic values in your server:

·       Accept-Language

·       Host

·       Referer

·       User-Agent

·       X-Forwarded-For

Important: The User-Agent header is critical for validating requests against known spiders and bots. You must forward the exact client user agent string or ensure that any custom user agent is pre-pended with "Mozilla Compatible".

·       Query arguments. In addition to required ad request parameters, we suggest you provide additional information in your server-to-server ad requests. For example, the tz (timezone) parameter is recommended.