IT Analytics offers customers unparalleled flexibility in the way they visualize, analyze, and consume their business critical data. In addition to providing users a valuable and comprehensive reporting solution out of the box, IT Analytics’ flexible architecture and use of standard technologies gives users several options for report creation. This article outlines the various way the same report can be created within IT Analytics.
Creating a Report – Pivot Table
This example shows how to create a report showing computers with critical patches through using the pivot table cube viewer in IT Analytics.
- In the Symantec Management Platform console, select: Reports > All Reports
- Open the IT Analytics folder and then expand the Cubes folder
- Select the Patch Management Cube.
- Click anywhere inside the cube to display the Field List.
- Drag and drop the Vulnerable Computer Count totals into the “Drop Totals or Details Fields Here” data pane.
- Drag and drop the Software Update - Severity attribute into the “Drop Row Fields Here” pane.
Drag Software Update – Severity up into the “Drop Filter Fields Here” pane. Click on the downward facing triangle next to the Software Update – Severity header to filer the result set. Uncheck all severity levels except Critical. Then click OK.
Drag and drop the Software Update - Reference attribute into the “Drop Totals or Details Fields Here” data pane.
Right-click on the Software Update – Reference column header and select Sort Descending. This will sort the number of critical patches with the most recent at the top.
The above example illustrates the ease of use with creating a report in IT Analytics, without previous knowledge of the Symantec CMDB schema or requiring any other programming skills. This very specific view can be saved for re-use or can be shared with other individuals in the organization.
Creating a Report – Excel
This example shows how to export a pivot table view from IT Analytics and work with it in Microsoft Excel.
- Staying with the above example without modifying the pivot table orientation, click the Export to Excel button in the toolbar of the pivot table browser. Note that to complete this step, Excel must be installed on the computer you are accessing the console from.
You should see the same report that was created in the pivot table format now within Excel. Note that even in Excel the same capabilities that were seen in the Symantec Management Platform console still exist, along with all the measures and dimensions that were available.
Locate and click the Computer – OS Name attribute from the PivotTable Field List pane on the right.
To regroup this report by Operating System Name first, click on the downward facing triangle next to the Computer – OS Name field in the Row Labels window in the bottom right, and select Move to Beginning.
- This will reorder the report to group computers by Operating System.
You can then drill down within each operating system and see the same critical software updates by specific computer OS type.
Creating a Report – Report Builder
This example includes building a report utilizing IT Analytics cubes in Microsoft Report Builder. Report Builder is a component included with SQL Server Reporting Services that allows ad-hoc reporting functionality, enabling end users to build their own reports and charts. Report Builder uses wizard driven steps to easily connect to data sources and locate the desired fields for creating a report. Users can then publish these reports back into the Symantec Management Platform console for viewing, as well as other venues like SharePoint and Reporting Services. For more information on using Report Builder, please see the Microsoft website.
- Within the Symantec Management Platform console, navigate to: Settings > Notification Server > IT Analytics, then click on Reports in the left menu tree.
- Click the Report Builder tab and then the Launch Report Builder button.
Allow a few minutes for the application to load. Note that depending on which version of SQL Server you have, you may have a different version of Report Builder. This example covers Report Builder 3.0, which comes standard with SQL Server 2008 SP2 or higher. Note that while SQL Server 2005 meets the minimum prerequisites for installation of IT Analytics, it will only include Report Builder 1.0. If possible, Symantec strongly recommends using SQL Server 2008 SP2 or higher to take advantage of new features included in Report Builder 3.0 for a more robust custom report authoring experience.
- From the Getting Started screen, select Table or Matrix Wizard.
- In the next step you will be prompted to choose a dataset. A dataset includes the desired fields and values to populate the report, similar to how the totals and attributes were selected when building a pivot table view in the first example. If this is the first time Report Builder has been used there will most likely be no dataset to choose from. Make sure the Create a dataset radio button is selected and click Next.
- The next step will prompt you to choose a connection to a data source. A data source is the repository where the data for the report is stored. In the case of IT Analytics, the data is stored in the Microsoft Analysis Services Database specified when IT Analytics was installed. If you do not know the Analysis Services Database name, the server where it resides, or have the credentials necessary to connect to it please contact your Altiris Administrator.
- To create a new data source, click the Browse button and navigate to the ReportServer/IT Analytics folder on the server that houses SQL Reporting Services. Within that folder there will be a data source called ITAnalytics. Select this as the data source for the report and click Open.
- Verify that the data source you just browsed to is displayed on the next screen of the wizard.
- Ensure the connection to the data source is valid by clicking the Test Connection button in the lower right of the wizard. Assuming the test succeeded, you should see the following message:
- Click Next and you will be prompted to design a query, which will make up the data set for the report.
- Click the button toward the top of the window and select the Patch Management cube.
- Now we can drag and drop fields the same way we did in the pivot table report from the first example. Expand Measures and Patch Vulnerabilities, then drag the Vulnerable Computer Count into the main query window.
- Expand the Software Update attribute and drag Software Update - Reference into the query window.
- Expand the Computer attribute and drag Computer – OS Type into the query window, just before Software Update - Reference.
- Expand the Software Update attribute and drag Software Update – Severity to the filter section, which is directly above the main query window.
- Check the Parameter box and under the Filter Expression dropdown, only select Critical and click OK. This will prompt the report to automatically filter by critical severity when executed.
- Click Next to complete the creation of the data set.
- The next step will prompt you to arrange the fields to display properly in the table. Drag Vulnerable_Computer_Count to the Values window and drag Computer__OS_Type and Software_Update__Reference to the Row Groups window. When completed, click Next.
- The next step will prompt you to choose the layout of the report. Accept the default settings and click Next.
- The next step will prompt you to select a style for the report. Choose a color scheme you prefer and click Finish.
- You should see a sample table on the report canvas. The data source and data set that display on the left navigation have already been created for you via the wizard. Rename the title of the report to Computers Requiring Critical Patch Updates.
- Resize the font of the title so that it fits within the given area. Also, widen the columns of the table so that you can read the column headers. You can do this in the same way you would with Excel, simply click on the line between the columns, and when a grey bar appears at the top of the table, then expand by dragging the columns.
- Preview the report by click the Run button.
- The report that displays should look similar to both the pivot table report in IT Analytics and Excel. Expand OS types to identify which critical software updates apply.
- Select the Design button to go back to the Design view.
- Click the icon in the Report Builder toolbar to save this report to Reporting Services IT Analytics folder and name it “Computers Requiring Critical Patch Updates”.
- To link this report into the Symantec Management Platform console open the console then navigate to the Reports > IT Analytics > Reports folder.
- Right-click on the Reports folder and select New > IT Analytics Report.
- In the Report Type dropdown box, select Report and then in the Report Name dropdown select the Computers Requiring Critical Patch Updates report. Then click the Add Report button.
- You should see a message saying that the report was added successfully.
Refresh your browser and expand the Reports folder.
Locate and select the report you just added.
IT Analytics provides users several ways to author custom reports, from simple drag-and-drop views to leveraging proven 3rd party applications, all in an effort to deliver flexible and robust reporting. Creating the above examples without IT Analytics would require advanced knowledge of the underlying database schema, as well as proficiency in writing SQL queries. By utilizing IT Analytics and the techniques described above, users can significantly expand their options for custom reporting with very little effort or programming experience.