Know the usage of your Alfresco repository

it happens now and then an organization puts a DMS in place, and starts working. Usually they don’t have a clear view on how their system is used. I work for just such an organization; lets start working and formalize afterwards. Therefore I got this idea to create a reporting add-on. The main idea is to use an existing easy-to-use reporting tool to configure the reports, based on Alfresco data. the resulting reports should be stored in Alfresco. There is of course the Birt extension in the Alfresco Forge, but lets face it, I cannot give Eclipse to the report-maintaining guys.

Yesterday night I found this “Alfresco generate reports with JasperReports” project on Google Code (with a pointer in the Alfresco Forge). This does exactly what I initially had in mind. One can create XML feeds in Alfresco. Use the XML feed, combined with  a JasperReports report definition, and store the output in Alfresco again. And all this using Alfresco server-side scripting, which means you can easily schedule the reports to be generated at night, and that you can include logic like sequentially execute all reports existing in a given Space. (Think of adding a report-definition aspect to the JasperReport definition  object in Alfresco containing the name/link to the xml data feed…) All I have to do is come up with a clever set of XML feeds to source the reports! I am working on this idea to frequently update my XML feed (stored as a document in Alfresco).

I can’t wait to play around with this (unfortunately, some work first…). Looking forward to the list of users not having their phone number and Skype details in their profile (which we also use as ‘phone book’ in Share/iGoogle), the list of Share sites that are most active, users most active and the people that need more attention, activity in Share sites over time. If we measure, we know if/how the system is used…

I will post an update with my findings of the usage of our own repository!


4 Responses to “Know the usage of your Alfresco repository”

  1. 1 Andre van der Wiel June 8, 2011 at 21:28

    Hi Tjarda,
    Tried this report example and it does its work.
    But do the report-maintaining guys like this ftl/xml/jrmx-shaping of their reports?
    Also did you try xsl-fo? I now Bas did 😉

    • 2 tpeelen June 9, 2011 at 00:37

      Hi Andre,
      My current opinion is that reporting based on an XML feed is nice for ‘lists’. I need usage per month etc, sql groupby, orderby and distinct like operators. Using xquery instead of xpath I can see it technically working, maybe.

      It is my purpose to provide reporting data to ‘the business’, so they can create their own reports, without the need for Alfresco knowledge and resources. That is why I need a BI tool. I roughly have 3 options: the XML feed (because it already exists), (my)sql, and nosql (mongodb?). Sql is not flexible in supporting Alfresco ‘s aspects. Nosql is, but has the disadvantage (like the XML feed/xquery) that you need uncommon knowledge anyway to create/maintain a report. MongoDB has the advantage that it seems to be able to deliver the constructs needed…

      Currently I consider plain sql again, with main reason that this allows a broad audience to create and maintain reports. Not technically exiting but usable.

      I do see use for the mechanism though; a JavaScript class/method to execute a report and store the result in Alfresco again. What I do need are clever scripts to get all objects and relevant related data. But the latter was valid for any of the solutions.

  1. 1 (How) Is your Alfresco repository being used? « Open Source ECM/WCM Trackback on June 25, 2011 at 23:04
  2. 2 Alfresco Business Reporting released « Open Source ECM/WCM Trackback on November 7, 2011 at 00:16
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