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Cookies work the same way in webcenter sites as they work in your other applications. if the cookies created in other applications belong to the same domain that you are running webcenter sites, you can access it but not otherwise. So typically, if you create a cookie in a certain domain, you can access only in that domain. However, just fyi, there are third party cookies that can be created in a foreign domain as for ex, done in the cases where you have adobe sitecatalyst configured for your website, adobe creates the sitecatalyst cookies under your domain name.
As far as tracking old and new users, i am not sure if you meant the old users as users who had previously accessed the site even before you created the cookies. If yes then obviously they wouldn't be having the cookie so you can only track them by any other means like a web analytics tool if that was configured. However, For the new users who access your website after the cookies are implemented, you can track them as long as they don't disable/delete the cookies and use the same devices/browsers.
Thanks for your help. BTW, the domain that you mentioned is referring to Weblogic domain, right?
I meant the domain name in the url that you are using for your web site. If your weblogic is not using any alias then i presume it to be the same.
I know sitecatalyst can track the user in certain cases when you send a image request even if the user has disabled the cookies but not sure how sitecatalyst manages to do it. i guess may be with the ipaddress/mac combinations but not sure.
For tracking anonymous users, i think cookies are the recommended way but it can't always be correct because of the facts already mentioned. We cannot have control of what end users do with their browsers. If you need to persist this information then you need to capture it on the server with a unique key but that might impact the performance. So its a trade off between performance and accuracy of information