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Administrators always want to know who is doing what in the portal — who is entering the portal, what iViews or being run, which users are viewing which pages.

The Portal Activity Report gave you some of this information; now, since SAP NetWeaver 2004 SP Stack 15, it gives you more, and it is also easier to set up.

The changes I’m going to describe were first put into SAP NetWeaver 2004s, and then into 2004 for SP Stack 15.

Portal Activity Report

First, a quick overview of the Portal Activity Report.

You can create an iView that displays data about who entered the portal and what iViews were run. The following is example of an iView that displays who entered the portal over the last 20 days, and the number of hits for each user:

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You create a portal activity report by creating a new iView from the Portal Activity Report template, and then you open the iView for editing to configure it.

The editor has two panes:

  • Type of Report: In this pane, you decide what type of information you want to display, such as the number of users over a specified period or the number of hits for each iView.
  • Report Period: In this pane, you specify the reporting period, and the interval, that is, how to break up the data. For example, you can get a report for the last month, and see the data broken up per day.

The following is the editor for a Portal Activity Report iView:

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How It Works

Just a few words on how the Portal Activity Report works.

The data collection service monitors activity in the portal, and creates a record in the portal database for each action, let’s say, each time someone logs on or views an iView.

Every so often, a standalone application aggregates the data, getting rid of the raw data. The data can be aggregated for different time periods, for example, for each hour, day or month, based on the configuration of the aggregator application.

Here’s a quick overview of the process:

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New for SP15

The following are the major changes for SP15:

  • Data Collection Service: You no longer have to start the data collection service — it is automatically started when the portal is installed.
  • Aggregation Application: You no longer need to deploy, configure and start the application. At one time, it was thought that the aggregation application might be a severe drain on performance of the portal, that it was delivered as a a separate application to be deployed on another machine. But it was shown to not affect performance, so now it is bundled together with the portal and automatically started.
  • New Reports: The following additional reports or options were added:
    • Weekly Intervals: You can now break down a report by week (and not just by day, week, month and quarter).
    • User Reports: You can create reports that show what users logged on during a specified period, as well as the number of hits generated by each user.
      In addition, the report that shows how many times each iView was viewed, also now shows which users viewed the iView.
    • New Reporting Period: Reports can now display information for the current day, or for the previous hour, day or week. In earlier portal versions, you could only specify a fixed time period.

For more information about portal activity reports, see http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04/helpdata/en/58/728ea01cf64fff996b827f2a06f9b1/frameset.htm.

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7 Comments

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  1. Rika Ng
    Thanks, Daniel. Good to know that the aggregation is now automated, less sysadmin work needed.

    Do you happen to know whether there is some out-of-the-box method to measure clickthroughs and clickstreams? Or the download rate of individual files? I’m trying to assess if there’s any way to implement web analytics and this Portal Activity Report seems to be the only thing that vaguely resembles that.

    cheers,
    Rika

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    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Rika,

      I am not familiar with any metrics like these. I have sent a message to development on this matter, and will post their reply.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Daniel

      (0) 
      1. Rika Ng
        Hi – Daniel,

        Thanks for acting on my reply.

        The target audience for clickthroughs are really the content creators: to them, number of users logged in or number of pages served may not be sufficient.

        Consider the following example:
        1. Content creator creates information about a company event in the portal.
        2. Content creator also create an advertisement for the company event, which links to the event.
        3. If visitors click on the advertisement, they will see information about the event and hopefully they will register for the event.

        Such a clickthrough will be an indication of interest for the event, which allows content creators to assess whether the email is successful or not. Clickthroughs that translate to event registration is a positive KPI for the content creator.

        So far, that’s just one way to use web analytics via a simple clickthrough mechanism but I’m sure you can see the potential benefits it brings to demonstrating the ROI of a portal implementation.

        cheers,
        Rika

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  2. Eric Wootan
    Thanks for the article.

    As good as these reports are, I can’t find a way to sort them.  When I create a report for most visited pages and iViews, I’d like to sort from the most to the least number of hits.  Am I missing this piece of configuration somewhere in the properties?  Is it available?

    (0) 
    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Eric,

      As of now, you cannot sort the reports.

      My understanding is that for the next major release, there will be much more flexibility in creating reports. In essence, data will be collected and users will use BI to create any type of report they want.

      Daniel

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  3. Chris Bahr
    Hi, thanks for the article. However I have a question: you said, “In addition, the report that shows how many times each iView was viewed, also now shows which users viewed the iView.”

    I’m wondering how one would set the iview to do this, as I don’t see this option in NW04 SPS 16.

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  4. Kiran Kumar
    Although the portal activity report is improved, I still feel it’s not mature enough to really serve it’s purpose. SAP suggests going against the database tables to pull more information and display in a custom application (WebDynPro?). Did anyone do it?

    Thanks,
    Kiran

    (0) 

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