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Mysteries of the Portal Activity Report II

This blog is like a Hollywood sequel, something like Jaws II, where the frightening main character comes back to do more mayhem and mischief.  In this case, its the Portal Activity Report that shows the number of logged in users. The Mysteries of the Portal Activity Report explained that the statistics may not show what you had expected, because the report shows unique IDs that visited the portal and not total logons. This may cause you to see fewer logons than you expected, and may cause reports where a weekly report has numbers less than the sum of the daily reports for that week.  This week, we take a look at an even more serious issue: some logged in users may not be tracked at all.

Logons are NOT Monitored

You can get a report that shows how many users logged on during a specific period (we already know that this means unique users). But you should know that logons are not monitored.  Instead, users are considered to have logged on only when they visit an iView or page that is being monitored for hits. The actual logon is not monitored.  And this means that if a user does not navigate to a montitored iView or page, the user is not listed as having logged on.

Monitoring iViews and Pages

To explain, let’s first talk about the report that shows hits for specific content, that is, for specific iViews and pages.  There is a report that shows the number of hits to each iView or page. But it only monitors iViews and pages that are set to be monitored. This is done by setting the Monitor Hits property, as shown below: image If set to true, the iView is included in the report (if it was accessed, of course). By default, the default framework page iViews — like content area, TLN, DTN, masthead and so forth — are set not to be monitored because most customers are not interested in monitoring these iViews.  In addition, if you never want to get a report on iView and page hits, you can turn off monitoring of all iViews and pages by setting a service property in the service configuration iView, as shown below: image

Affect on Logged on Users Report

The setting for monitoring iViews and pages are designed to filter the content that you want in the hits report, but it also affects the logged on users report.  As we mentioned, logged on users are not tracked when logging in (as you might expect) but when navigating to an iView or page that was monitored. During that request, a record is added to the database indicating the user logged in (if a record does not already exist for the time period — remember, unique IDs are tracked, not actual logons).  So, if a user logs on, and then navigates only to pages that are not monitored, the user never is shown in the logged on user report.     What’s more, some customers are not interested in monitoring what content was seen, just how many logons there were. So if you configure the set activity report service to not monitor any iViews and pages, then you also wont monitor logons.

The Good News

Sorry for confusion. Here’s the good news:  First, you can change the settings to track what you want. If you want to track logons, you can set the logon iView to be tracked or some other home page iView, and then all users will be tracked.  Second, improvements are being to provide a greater amount of information on users and their activity, including performance of iViews, navigation patterns and the like. This will be coming soon.  

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  • Hi Daniel

    There have been quite a few comments in the portal forums about the fact that the report reports in UTC/GMT..

    Can you please discuss this in your next blog?


  • Any comments or best practices regarding monitoring the USERIDs?  Would this only be viewable from the hourly report?  Does it cause a noticable hit in performance?
    • Hi Jeff,

      I will try to find out more later today, but there is expected to be some performance from monitoring user activity per page, this is why the Monitor Users property is set to false by default for all pages (users to iViews cannot be monitored). How much of a hit I don’t know; I would have to ask the performance group.



  • Hi Daniel,

    Thank you very much for this interesting Blog, I start understanding the reports I issue.

    But … I do not understand next :
    For Week 42 (Mon 15 to Sun 21-Oct-2007)
    My daily report :
    Day Date/Time Authenticated Users Anonymous Users
    Mon 15. Oct 2007 18 0
    Tue 16. Oct 2007 32 0
    Wed 17. Oct 2007 59 0
    Thu 18. Oct 2007 54 0
    Fri 19. Oct 2007 33 0
    Sat 20. Oct 2007 5 0
    Sun 21. Oct 2007 6 0
    My Weekly report :
    Day Date/Time Authenticated Users Anonymous Users
    Mon WW 42, 2007 18 0

    For the authenticated users, I would expect to have at the minimum the max # users of the daily report fot that week.

    What didn’t I understood properly ?

    Thank you and kind regards