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One more small issue about the Portal Activity Report that sometimes confuses or vexes users is that reports are displayed in GMT, and not in the time zone of the user or the server running the user.  The short answer: that’s simply the way it.

How Data is Collected

A NetWeaver cluster may include nodes located in cities around the world. Events in each location are stored in the same database, and the event’s time is converted to GMT. So when a user accesses an iView at 9 p.m. in Germany and a user accesses an iView at 10 p.m. in Israel, the events are both recorded as having happened at 8 p.m. GMT.  All the data collected in the database is already converted to GMT. This part is easy.  The way data is collected is documented on the Help Portal at Creating Portal Activity Report iViews .

How Data is Displayed

Here is the vexing part for some. When you create an activity report iView, rows in an hourly reports are shown in GMT time.  For example, if you create a report to show the “Current Day’s Activity,” you see the current day as if you were sitting in Greenwich, England. That is, you see midnight GMT to midnight GMT.  The following shows the current day’s activity for logged in users. image One reason for this decision may be that it cannot be clear in what time zone to display the data. You could display it in the time zone of the server on which the iView runs, or in the time zone of the user running the iView.  In the end, the decision was made to show the data in the GMT time zone — the time zone in which the data is stored. There is no configuration option to alter this. NOTE: There have been cases where the selection of the hours for the report are understood to be in the time zone of the portal server, and are then converted to GMT when they are displayed. In other words, if you select 17:00 to 18:00 on a server located in Frankfurt, then the iView displays data for 16:00 to 17:00.  This problem may be due to different operating systems or different databases, and it is under investigation.

Empty Rows

Around about 2004 SP14, a change was made to only show rows that were non-zero.   In the past, if you had an hourly report for the current day and there was no data, you would get a report with 24 rows showing 0 in each row. Now, you should get an empty report with no rows, and a line that says there is no data.  Again, there may still be versions or bugs that cause rows with no data to display.

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  1. What’s the point of displaying a timezone that doesn’t make sense to the user who sees the report.

    Whatever the STORED time is – the least I would expect some ability to display the time in some usable and suitable format – including the users timezone (this is already done with other data).

    Storing the time in GMT is not a problem – but for goodness sake allow me to display it the way I need it. One suggestion could be:

    Day | Date/Time | Your Date/Time | Auth. Users …

    Whereby the Date/Time column is still showing GMT and the column “Your Date/Time” shows the GMT PLUS the time difference of the client ….

    Easy … isn’t it.

  2. Former Member
    Thanks Daniel for the blog. Your series of blogs throws light on some areas of Portal activity report that’s mostly unfriendly for anyone to interpret. I don’t see a reason for SAP to complicate it so much.

    Why does a Portal User Activity reporting tool needs to be so difficult to use and interpret for a software that’s been on the full scale development since last 3-5 years?

    User activity in Portals, in my opinion is the most important requirement for any portal. As the portal grows, one would like to know which content is frequently accessed? which one isn’t etc information to determine where to put ones energies in content management etc..

    SDN has been tremendour in helping users providing ad hoc solutions (like putting a counter in framework page.. similar techniques) to monitor usage stats. But I would like to see more from SAP as a tool support. Does anyone know if tools like webtrends work good with EP?

    I hope to see a better reporting tool for EP in the near future..


    1. Daniel Wroblewski Post author
      Hi Kiran,

      Sorry for the delay in responding. I agree with many of your reports, and the portal activity report should more user-friendly. (I don’t take it personally since I didn’t build it — I just help you and other customers use it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      As for future tools, there is an effort underway to build a better reporting tool, and perhaps even more importantly, to provide richer statistics — such as performance monitoring so you can see how each iView performs, or administartion information so you can see who is changing properties in iViews or who is adding users.

      All this should be unveiled around Tech Ed, though I cannot promise.

      As for integration with thrid-party tools, such as Web Trends, officially SAP does not support any integration. You can of course use the database tables of aggregated data however you want, including in other tools.

      Thanks for your comment.



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