Changes/Fixes to the Portal Activity Report
SAP has invested a lot of effort in ironing out some of the problems with the activity report, and has published a central SAP Note 998653 that describes all of the problems, fixes and related notes for the activity report in SAP NetWeaver 2004 and 2004s (7.0). The following are some of the highlights of the issues and changes. All changes are expected to be made to 2004 SP Stack 21 and 2004s SP Stack 13.
Aggregation of Data in a Cluster
In a cluster environment, problems can occur because the aggregation application is run repeatedly on each node, even though there is only a need to run it once, as there is only one database. Occasionally, a problem with synchronization can occur that will cause the aggregation application to halt and stop creating data for the reports. Without going into more detail, you should check out SAP Note 1054145.
GMT and Report Interval
When a fixed period is specified for an hourly report, the user specifies a time in GMT (whether he realizes it or not); this is the way the feature is supposed to work (despite objections from some of you). That is, if he selects 2 to 4 p.m. GMT time, that’s what is displayed. But when a user picks a fixed period with an interval of daily, weekly, quarterly or monthly, it doesn’t work this way. The user does not have to pick a start and end time (since it’s not an hourly report), yet the implicit time of midnight to midnight is assumed to be local time, and is adjusted to GMT. So if a user in Germany picks May 1-7 with a daily interval, the first row would show from April 30 at 11 p.m. to May 1 at 11 p.m. The real problem is this: the aggregation of data occurs at midnight, yet the report is looking for data at 11 p.m. So many reports show no data even though data does exist. This problem has been fixed for the next release.
Adjusting Fixed Period for the Interval
Ever wonder what happens when you pick a time period that doesn’t correspond to the report interval? For example, you pick a 9-day period for a weekly report? Or a 43-day period for a monthly report? You get the idea. Up until now, to be honest, I’m not sure it is clear how the report would handle this. But for the next release, the time period is expanded, if necessary, to fit the interval. The start time is moved earlier and the end date is moved later. For example, if you specify a monthly report from May 15 to June 15, the period is automatically adjusted to May 1 to June 30, and the report displays two rows of data. The same is true for weekly and quarterly reports.
The Future of Activity Reporting
In addition, to improvements in the Portal Activity Report, there is work on two new tools for reporting on activity, which should provide a richer set of data on portal activity, and greater freedom in displaying the data. Among the new types of data collected is performance data, that is, how long an iView takes to display its content. In addition, more information is collected on administrator actions, for example, what administrators changed what content in the PCD, or created or deleted which users. In addition, I believe there will be greater freedom to access the raw data, and to use BI, Excel or whatever tools to display and breakdown the data. I will write about the changes and improvements as soon as I get more concrete information.