CODI 2005 – Day Two (am)

Now You’ve Bought Web Reporter, So What? …So You’ve Bought Web Reporter, Now What? (Thurman Smith – thurman.smith@sirsidynix.com)

As we’ve just put our order in for Web Reporter, I’m trying to attend as many of the Web Reporter sessions as possible!

Thurman based his session on one he runs regularly (that should be freely available on the SirsiDynix web site?)

Here are my notes…

  • Web Reporter has over 100 general reports built in
  • due to differing databases, some of the delivered reports are broken but support are able to fix them
  • desktop client software used by Web Reporter admins, but end users use the web portal (i.e. web browser)
  • Web Reporter comes with 3 levels of users:
    • Web Reporter User – least powerful, can run/print reports (but cannot export to Word/Excel)
    • Web Analyst – also export reports, can create reports from a template (but not from scratch)
    • Web Professional – also create reports from scratch, can save new reports to the public folders (where other users can access them)
  • …there’s also an Administrator login, but it wasn’t too clear when this should be used
  • Web Reporter monitors the named users (rather than simultaneous users), but (ignoring ethics, etc) several users could share the same named login
  • because MetaData is stored in the Horizon database, it gets backed up when you run your main Horizon backup process
  • terminology:
    • facts – columns in the database that contain numeric data that it makes sense to run calculations against (e.g. age, number of CKOs) – facts are not displayed in reports, but are wrapped in metrics
    • attributes – all other columns (e.g. borrower name
    • metrics – calculations on facts (e.g. the number of times a book has been checked out in a month)
    • filters – return a subset of results that make sense (e.g. filter by certain borrower types), this is the same as the SQL “where” clause
    • prompts – allow you to create an option that allows the user to specify specific choices (e.g. which locations do you want to run the report against?)
  • you can create new folders for each user, location, etc and then copy the reports that they want into them
  • some of the Web Reporter reports duplicate Horizon Item Editor reports
  • reports can be easily manipulated – e.g. “page by” location can be dragged down into the report to show all locations in a single report (but only Web Analyst/Pro can do that)
  • to print reports, use the built-in Web Reporter print icon rather than using the web browser print button
  • Web Reporter uses a cache, so that running the same report again will display the cached version – but the administrator can define how long the cached version is valid for (i.e. how long before it becomes stale)
  • metrics must always appear on the right-hand side of the report – you can add more than one metric to a report
  • if you modify one of the default reports, then you should save it to a new folder (or it might get overwritten by a project upgrade)
  • you need OLAP services to get the full functionality (do we even have this?!?!?)
  • easy to add totals to a report
  • you can view the SQL that runs by looking at the “report details” (in one of the drop-down menus)
  • the look & feel for each report can be easily changed using “auto styles”
  • for reports that take a long time to run, use the subscription options to schedule the report to run:
    • make sure that the schedule times are realistic (i.e. not the every 15 minute default)
    • scheduled reports sit in the cache waiting to be viewed
    • try to avoid running scheduled reports at the same time as Day End, etc
    • to email reports to the user, you need to use NarrowCast
  • NarrowCast might be an optional extra purchase (I don’t remember it being listed in our Web Reporter quote – I hope we get it!!!)
  • you need to be careful not to filter by too many options, otherwise you might end up with no results

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