Free Utility Provides Better Reporting for Teamstudio Adviser

By Brian Arnold

You may be familiar with Teamstudio Adviser, our tool for cataloging and reporting on your IBM Notes Domino application landscape. Or, you may already be a user of Adviser. Since we first launched the product, customers have been asking about ways to create completely configurable reports of the data that Adviser provides.

While Adviser includes a vast array of reporting options, there will always be some way to slice or dice the data that we didn’t anticipate, or that is just so specific to one customer’s needs that it doesn’t make sense to include it in the base product.

To address that issue, with effect from v6.5 of Adviser, we added the ability to extract data from the various modules (Catalog, Usage, Complexity) into a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file. These files can then be used in external reporting engines so that you can create custom reports for your organization in other reporting tools (e.g. Microsoft Excel or Power BI).

The one limitation to what is already provided is that the data that is extracted is for the one module of Adviser that you are in. But what if you want to report on data from multiple modules?

Currently in Adviser, if you need to report on data from both the Catalog and Usage areas you would have to use the existing data extracts and then within the reporting tool "join" the data from the two CSV files using a primary key for the data relationships.

Although this is a very workable solution and common within relational databases, it requires additional effort and knowledge of the Adviser data.

Based on client requests, we made the decision to make this simpler. That is why today we are releasing a new utility that will allow you, the Adviser user, to create a CSV file which can join the data from the various areas of Adviser into a single file!

The new utility is very simple to use and also allows you to create the CSV files on a scheduled basis. This can also assist you with creating reports on a weekly basis without the need to extract the data from Adviser manually.

The new utility is used from within your IBM Notes client. When you open the utility you will see a "New Schedule" button which, when clicked, launches the wizard where you can select the data you want extracted.

Below is an example of what the wizard looks like:

Click to enlarge

Within the wizard you can select the various different data values from each of the three modules within Adviser. You can then resort the data into the order in which you want to have it extracted. The data from each module will still be together, but the CSV file that is generated will contain all of the data you selected (i.e. the Catalog data will be first, then Usage data second and finally Complexity data third).

The wizard also allows you to specify when you want the data extracted from Adviser. You simply select the day(s) when you want the data extracted and the time of day to extract it.

In order for the data to be extracted according to the schedule, there are two methods for deploying the utility:

  1. Server-Based Schedule: The utility database must be placed onto a Domino server. The design of the database will then need to be signed by a Notes ID that has the ability to run unrestricted agents. The Notes ID will also need ACL access to the utility database and the instance(s) of Adviser that you want to extract the data from.

  2. Local Schedule: the utility database can be used with the schedule on your local instance of IBM Notes. You will first need to enable your Notes Preferences to allow for local scheduled agents to run. This setting can be found under “File->Notes Preferences->Basic Notes Configuration”

Once you have selected where the scheduled data extracts will be run, you can select the day(s) and time to run the extracts. One note of caution if you intend to use the utility locally though: Your IBM Notes client (and your computer) must be running at the time when you schedule the extract to occur. If you schedule it for 3AM but your computer is not running then the schedule will be missed.

As for where the CSV file will be distributed, there are two options:

  1. File System: you can indicate where on your file system you would like to have the CSV file created. This can be any physical, mapped or network drive location, as long as the Notes ID that signed the database has the authority to create new files in the directory selected.

  2. Email: You can specify recipients of the CSV file within the wizard. When the scheduled extract occurs an email will be sent to the people you indicated as recipients. They will receive an email similar to what is pictured below:

You can obtain this new utility from the following URL. The utility does not require any licensing to operate. The utility is supplied “as-is” without any warranty or support, although we are always here to help you use this utility and new enhancements will be coming in the near future.

We thoroughly hope you enjoy the new Adviser Data Extraction utility. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us by clicking below.