Using Reporting Effectively
In Ingeniux CMS, you can run reports on all of your content items and major system operations. In this article, we'll explore the different types of reports you can run in the CMS, as well as best practices and recommendations for creating an effective reporting strategy.
In Ingeniux CMS, you can run reports on all of your content items and major system operations. In this article, I’ll provide information on how to run reports in the CMS, as well as my recommendations for generating effective reports.
Where to Find Reporting Features in the CMS
There are 4 different places to use reporting features in the CMS:
- Administration > Workflow > Reports: Use these reports to get the status of items in your workflows, filterable by which workflow you are interested in examining. Sort by any of the columns and make batched workflow actions on any of the selected items.
- Administration > Publishing Monitor > View More: Here you can see details of all the publishes and replications that have happened. The logs are read-only, but you can download the XML and import it into an outside product for further parsing.
- Administration > Maintenance > Log Viewer: Use these logs to see actions that are taken in the CMS by users and by the system. The default log collection shows standard actions, warnings, and errors. To adjust the amount of data logged go to Administration > System Options > CMS Logging.
- Administration > Reports: Here you can customize and run reports on most of the standard systems in the CMS. Keep in mind that these reports don’t reach deeply into the other systems that have their own reports.
Take advantage of tools in the CMS to help you remember to run reports from the Administration > Reports area. For example, you might want to add in a parameter for the ID of a section of the site tree to set up a schedule for a report to be run on that section regularly, then have it sent directly via email to the owner(s) of that section. You can schedule reports in the Schedules tab on the report you are working with.
Write Efficient Queries
When writing the XPATH for a report in Administration > Reports try to be as targeted in your node searches as possible. Writing in the names of nodes, and full paths to them, is much more efficient than wildcards or recursive queries with //. You can also use parameters to limit the scope of your reports. Trying to run unfocused reports on large sites will be quite slow and take up processing power needed for users working in the CMS.
Use Unique Schema Names
To employ this tip, you’ll have to start in the planning stage. When you are initially building your site schemas you can make decisions that will help you better report on your content. One of the easiest things to query and report on is the root schema name for the content items in your site tree. One of the built-in reports allows you to query by partial schema name and you can use this to your advantage to see the status of content items by individual schema, or by batching up schemas that have a similar prefix. Since you can take actions in the reports, this can help you do things like send a batch of content live all at once based on the schema.
Split Up Content with Workflows
The only filter available in Administration > Workflow > Reports is the individual workflows that you have in place. For the most effective use of the reporting tool and its ability to mass-transition (i.e., approving or opening for edit) items through workflow, you can create multiple workflows to separate different types of content. The easiest way to split items up is by type (e.g., page, component, and asset). You can also use other logical delimiters such as different websites, different sections of the site, or different processes. Doing this will allow you to more easily locate items that need to be mass-transitioned.
When you are trying to make multiple workflows to keep content types separate, it’s often very effective to copy a workflow. The only caveat with this tip is that new workflows often mean new PCRs, so keep the amount of administrative time in mind as a balance when making these decisions.
Customize for Deeper Reporting
If there isn’t already a report that meets your needs, the CMS APIs are quite robust and anything you can’t achieve with standard reports could be customized. You can have your developers learn to write API calls to get the data you need and output it in any format using standard ASP.Net. If you don’t have the in-house resources to achieve this, detail your needs and send them to your Account Manager who can get Ingeniux Development Services to step in and develop what you need for reporting purposes.
Do you have a report that helped you out in your CMS administration? Let us know in the comments!