Alfresco Business Reporting 0.8 released

alfresco business reporting logoAlfresco is a great ECM tool. However, it is not very powerful in facilitating reporting against it’s own content repository. Therefore I started the Alfresco Business Reporting project somewhere in 2011. Back then, the tool started as a kind of JavaScript API for reporting. The concepts are the same, but the usability and user-configurability have increased dramatically since then. The tool is still based on extracting metadata to an external SQL-based reporting database. The idea still is that:

  • ‘The business’ should be able to run ‘reporting’, not external technical consultants or people with heavy weight Alfresco knowledge,
  • Reporting is based on standard tooling (read: Pentaho)

Now we are in April 2013, and I published the ‘latest and greatest’ version of the reporting tool. The reporting tool can do two things for you; Harvesting and Report Execution.

Easy Configurable

Harvesting This is the process of getting information out of Alfresco and into the reporting database. The tool will get all your business objects from Alfresco if they can be queried by Lucene/Solr/CMIS. It repects Alfresco’s Aspects and dynamically assigned properties. Tags, Categories, multi-values properties, and associations are captured. Versions are stored for documents as well as folders.

harvestingDetails

Standard you can get your logins and failed logins captured recorded and reportable. The tool will make your group members reportable, as well as auditing applications. Next to that the tool adds some fields that might come in handy at reporting time. As you can see abobe, you can configure the options you need.

Powerful

Report Execution You can create a Pentaho report definiton, store it in a folder in Alfresco to get it executed every hour/day/week/month. Per report you can configure the output type: pdf or Excel, and where the report should be stored. Off you go.

Power to the Business!

If you got the idea, you might parameterize your report, so the Alfresco configuration drives the output of your reports. You can use subreports to generate advanced and detailed reports showing the level of detail where you need it. You can combine all of the above and generate parameterized reports that can be ‘site-based’; with content of that particular site, and stored back into that Site.

Installation

The installation procedure had improved dramatically too. Now you can install the AMP into the repository, put a JAR into the shared/lib folder for Share, and off you go. The AMP installation will populate the reporistory with the minimum of configuration objects so you can start right away. You only need to create a (reporting) database and a JNDI connection. This tool should provide you with  reports against Alfresco 3.4 to 4.2, Community Edition as well as the Enterpise Edition.

Documented

The documentation is completely revised and recreated. Did I mention extended? The Wiki in GoogleCode is extended and enhanced. Next to that I prepared a series of blogs and screencams of how to create your own reports in Pentaho Report Designer, and how to configure the reports in Alfresco (Business Reporting).

Roadmap

The road ahead is paved.  For some of the next releases expect multi-database support (currently MySQL only), an administration panel, Cluster-proof cron-jobs, enhanced Harvesting, and way more. See the wiki for the actual list.

Challenge

I challenge you to use Alfresco Business Reporting. Send me your specific use of reporting in your business. Write a story how it improved the use of

EIM Book

Datavault implementeren met Pentaho Data Integratie

your application, include some screenshots if possible. And tell me your favourite report-still-to-be-created (preferably against standard Alfresco Share). I have some books for the ‘best’ stories or the best ‘wish-report’. Currently I got two copies of ‘Enterprise Information Management: When Information Becomes Inspiration‘ (an holistic approach to EIM) and Datavault implementeren met Pentaho Data Integratie

Download

You can download Alfresco Business Reporting at the Google Code site. Get the AMP for the repository and the JAR for Share. Let me know your experiences!

 

 

 

2013-04-24: Update project logo to comply with Alfresco’s trademark guidelines and policies

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9 Responses to “Alfresco Business Reporting 0.8 released”


  1. 1 Joseph John April 3, 2013 at 06:25

    Hi Tjarda
    Thanks for the blog, I will definelty try out. I have community edition, I will try out on it and send u the feedback.
    In the ‘Road Ahead’ section I would like to see when it will be coming with default alfresco installation

    • 2 Tjarda Peelen April 3, 2013 at 09:33

      Hi

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy the tool, I am looking forward to your feedback!
      I think you looked in the wrong ‘Road Ahead’ section 🙂 Alfresco manages and controls their Roadmap. I think you have to influence them, not me…

      If I read Alfresco’s roadmap correctly, they have -some- reporting features planned in their Cloud offering this year. Who knows what that means for the on-premise versions…

  2. 5 Rubie Casaña April 4, 2013 at 09:47

    Thanks for this great news Tjarda! Will test this one and give you feedback.

  3. 7 Greg Hermo April 5, 2013 at 07:55

    Looking good. Downloading now 🙂 Just a couple of questions though, I hope you don’t mind. Would this tool be able to produce the the ff:

    1. List of documents (title, date created, author, category, etc. all document meta) that can be filtered by category, by date of upload/creation and by user with the capacity to export to excel.

    2. Workflow history: who approved and rejected the documents including both active and completed workflow (similar with v4.2 but should include all completed workflows)

    Looking forward to your thoughts on this.

    Best regards.

    • 8 Tjarda Peelen April 7, 2013 at 23:42

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for your response.

      1. The tool can do about that. But remind that it is about pre-defined reports. You have to define the report definition up-front. That means it is not possible to filter afterwards. Harvesting and report generation are automated actions, without user interaction.

      2. For now the tool reports stuff that can be retrieved by Lucene query. (And auditing framework and users/groups, and Categories). I do have some plans for workflow stuff, but that is not on top of my list at this point in time. But you can always try to influence or contribute of course 🙂

      • 9 Greg Hermo April 12, 2013 at 11:32

        Hi Tjarda,

        Thank you very much for your response.
        I’ve successfully installed the add-on. It’s easier to install this time compared to the previous version. 🙂

        re: automated action — it is mentioned in the documentation that the execution can be overridden in the alfresco-global.properties. What are the default time of execution for the harvestDefinitionMoreFrequent and harvestDefinitionLessFrequent scripts?

        re: lucene query — I saw the the default query includes document ##document=TYPE:”cm:content” AND NOT TYPE:”bpm:task” … ###, however, the only tables generated in my MySQL database are groups, lastsuccessfulrun, person, reportingloginaudit and siteperson. Is there something wrong with my installation? Or do I need to adjust the default query in order to harvest data about the available documents in my repository and their tags, category etc…

        Again, thank you for the very nice add on. Hope to hear from you very soon.

        Best regards.


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