Friday, 16 November 2012

SharePoint Page View Counter

In my last post [SharePoint Hit Counter] we looked at a solution to add an ad hoc hit counter to selected lists. While this solution could be tweaked to work with any kind of list, I wanted to look at a more global solution that could track unique visits and store them in a more centralised location.
This solution uses a web control which is referenced in the site's masterpage. When the masterpage is hit, the URL, logged in user and today's date are written to a centralised list. The control itself just renders the number of visits to the current page. The code behind perofrms a check to see if our Sats list exists and creates it if it doesn't.
If your site uses two master pages - one for Site and one for System pages - then you can apply it to one or both. In may case, I only referenced the control in my custom master. The reason for this is that I only wanted to target Publishing Pages. For starters, the URLs cleaner and I already had a separate solution in place for these. Feel free to modify the solution to suit your needs.

The Masterpage

If you already have a master page feature then you can just make the required changes and add the control where you like.
This requires two additions to be made. A tagprefix at the top of your page which registers our tagprefix name and associates it to our assembly code. I used the same namespace as my previous list stats solution for consistency.
And then a reference to your control where you would like to see it appear. I chose to place mine to the right of the breadcrumbs but it would go just as well in the footer.

The List

In this case I chose to add the list creation code into my control class. There are many (possibly better) ways to do this, such as via feature receiver or list template. The benefit to this method is that if the list is ever re-named or deleted (by accident or design), it will be recreated automatically on the next page view.

The Web Control

The web control itself is quite simpe and has no properties or controltemplate for redering. Add the appropriate references and using statements to your project, and a brief description of what it does.
Then can then begin defining our control class. The first thing we need to do in this case is to make sure our list exists and, if not, create it. The following is a useful means of getting a list by name, which allows you to pass in the SPListCOllection of your choice.
We then override the OnLoad method and begin by getting our current context items. Then open our elevated priviliges block, open a new SPWeb object and grab the values we want to capture for the Stats list.
Then we check to see if our list exists and create it otherwise. I also decided to create a custom view and make it the default. I chose to group by Title (URL) and display Page name, Date of view and the User.
And if it does exist, we query it and update the list only if the current user has not hit the page today.
Now all that's left is to override the control's render method and display the view count on the page. The query simply gets all items from the Stats list that match the current URL.


The final result is simple but effective. as in my previous post, you could take this a step further by creating a stats viewer web part. But in my case the custom list view which I added a Total for to the Date field, provided everything I needed.
As usual, all feedback on how you might improve this solution is welcomed.

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