Adobe Launch vs. Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager: Why Migrate?

, Posted by Francesca DelGuidice in Blog

If you’ve heard about Adobe’s new tag management system but need more info, read on.  Our Technical Analyst Francesca DelGuidice describes the key similarities and differences between Adobe’s DTM and Launch and the benefits of migrating.

Adobe Launch was released to all customers in March 2018 after 2 years of design work from the same people that originally built Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM).  With DTM earmarked to be sunset in 2020 the conversation about migrating to Launch is becoming more relevant than ever.

So what are the key similarities and differences between Adobe Launch and DTM?

Similarities between Adobe Launch and DTM

1) The concept of a web property is the same across both platforms. A property generates all the code that is required to track user interactions across web or mobile application.

2) Both platforms support event handling and event tracking. Page load, event-based, and direct call rules are all supported.

3) The W3C Digital Data Layer API is also supported by both platforms via the Adobe Context Hub tool/extension.

4) In terms of deployment, both DTM and Launch support FTP and Akamai (cached) hosting Launch has the edge however, with unlimited environments supported.

5) The final direct similarities are the various plug-ins, particularly Chrome extensions, that support both platforms. The best example is the Google Chrome Extension Tagtician, which helps users debug the tagging they write for both platforms.


Key User Interface Differences between Adobe Launch and DTM

1) The most noticeable difference between DTM and Launch is the navigation menu, where some DTM concepts have been split, and some joined together.

2) In Launch, the Rules tab has been split in two. Rules still exist, but now so do Data Elements. This ensures the data elements are separate in your property which makes them a massive plus point for Adobe Launch as it opens up the ability for greater implementation customisation.

3) DTM provides the embed code for the tracking code for the various environments (e.g. staging or production), whereas Launch asks you to manage these environments yourself. Additionally, embed has now split into Adapters and Environments. This allows for more implementation specialists to work on different environments at the same time and speed up production.

4) Launch has a more rigorous (and convoluted) deployment process which enforces testing across at least three environments (development, staging, and production), whereas DTM allows a publish into production with a single approval.  

6) The final difference worth noting in terms of navigation UI is the way DTM’s Tools have become Extensions. The main difference here is that Launch’s extension library is open for users to contribute to by building and submitting their own extensions, which was not possible within DTM.


Benefits of migration

The UI improvements are not the only reasons to migrate to Launch. There’s other benefits to consider:

  • Better workflow: Launch gives you access to Development, Staging & Production environments. DTM only has two environments per platform, whereas Launch gives you an unlimited number.
  • Better performance: Launch is asynchronous which makes page load and efficiency a priority – a single embed tag in the <head> of the page is all that is needed, and the resultant code is 60% lighter than DTM code with the same tracking.
  • Utilises Java script: HTML-based tags can now be embedded using JavaScript rather than by iframe.
  • Enhanced configuration: Beacons are now controllable as an event, meaning better performance as event tracking does not need to be performed on every event. Variables can also be cleared as an action, meaning cleaner code and less chance of variables bleeding into events where they don’t belong.
  • Intuitive navigation: Better UI, making navigation more intuitive and encouraging faster deployment of technologies.
  • Increased accuracy: More opportunities to customize data elements for quicker and more accurate hacking rules.



Adobe reports that a large number of their customers have already migrated to Launch from DTM and that Launch has been so successful that in June 2018 they released an automated migration tool to help import/export properties from DTM to Launch. It is worth looking at Launch now, if not for the benefits listed above, then to keep ahead of the curve for when DTM is no longer supported at all.

For help or advice around Adobe Launch migrations please contact contact us.