RapidSMS Xray

RapidSMS app for web and SMS split test experiments & event tracking

Below you will find basic setup instructions for the rapidsms-xray project. To begin you should have the following applications installed on your local development system:


Please note: at the time of this writing, Ubuntu installs an older, incompatible version of Redis (prior to the introduction of the BITOP and BITCOUNT commands). You can use the following PPA to install a more recent version:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/redis
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install redis-server

Install necessary python requirements with pip:

pip install -r requirements/base.txt

In your rapidsms project settings.py, add xray to your INSTALLED_APPS and add xray.context_processors.web_experiments to your TEMPLATE_CONTEXT_PROCESSORS

In your rapidsms project urls.py, add xray’s urls to urlpatterns:

(r'^xray/', include('xray.urls')),

You may need to run django’s collectstatic to ensure xray’s static assests are available:

django-admin.py collectstatic


rapidsms-xray uses Cleaver for split testing experiments. Please note that rapidsms-xray currently uses a custom fork of Cleaver pending upstream merging of the RedisBackend (which will be installed properly by python setup.py install or pip install -r requirements/base.txt).

To conduct web split testing experiments, add your experiments to your app’s context_processors.py which makes the experiment choice available in the RequestContext. You don’t have to put your experiments in a context_processor — its just a convenient location so they can all be in one place.

See xray/context_processors.py and thousand/templates/thousand/index.html for example usage.

To conduct sms split testing experiments, add your experiments to your app.py or handler and ensure that the experiments app is listed in your setting.py’s INSTALLED_APPS xray/app.py will deal with identifying experiment participation during the router’s filter phase, so experiments can be conducted in any of the subsequent incoming phases.

Please be aware that experiment participation is handled separately for web and sms split testing (specifically, web participant identity is cookie-based for non-logged-in uses and is user_id-based for logged-in users, whereas sms participant identity is based on mobile number) — that is, a web experiment participant cannot be scored by a SMS conversion event and vice-versa.

See xray/app.py for example usage.


rapidsms-xray uses bitmapist for event tracking and cohort analysis.

To use, import and instantiate xray.events.Tracker and then call my_tracker.web_event or my_tracker.sms_event with an event name and the user’s cleaver identity. xray.rolodex.Rolodex caches identity information for quick user lookup and issues a unique integer for each web and sms user. These unique integer ids are used by bitmapist to track event participation using Redis bitmaps for fast, arbitrary querying. See the bitmapist documentation for additional information. See xray/app.py and xray/views.py for example usage.

When performing custom event analysis, use the Events classes (with separate Web and SMS* classes for each time period) in xray.events rather than the bitmapist classes — rapidsms-xray adds prefixes to namespace the bitmapist keys as well as prefixes to separate sms and web events. xray.events.Tracker‘s event methods add the appropriate prefixes, so you will only need to worry about them if you are accessing bitmapist or the stored data in Redis directly.


rapidsms-xray includes a dashboard summarizing experiment and event participation as well as drilldown pages showing experiment details and cohort analysis of event participation.

Current Release:


released Aug. 6, 2013

Package Type:

RapidSMS Application


Evan Wheeler ([email protected])