Posts in Category "Reporting"

Avoiding Inaccurate Completion Reports when a Meeting is Part of a Curriculum

When a meeting is part of an Adobe Connect Curriculum, a trainee can click on the Meeting and complete the Meeting task prescribed in the Curriculum prior to the Meeting taking place.

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One way to help manage this is to choose the Meeting options to block Meeting access illustrated in the screen captures below:

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The Meeting access options may be inconvenient to use, so here is another option to add a Meeting to a curriculum, while at the same time restricting the ability for a trainee to complete the Meeting task prior to the Meeting taking place:

Step one: The first step is to set a date and time under the Meeting properties. Make sure the date and time correspond to when the Curriculum task takes place. Note that this date and time has no effect on when the Meeting can be used. It is strictly an administrative tool to help with Meeting invitations and has no effect on when the meeting can be opened, Meeting persistence, etc. In this example I have set the meeting to October 22, 2014 at 12:45 for 1 hour:

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 Step two: Download and unzip the Meeting Curriculum Wrapper: https://platinum.adobeconnect.com/lmfc/default/launchMeetingInCurriculum.zip

Note that it is zipped twice to facilitate download:

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Step three: Identify the Meeting sco ID from the Meeting that you wish to add to the Curriculum and copy it to the clipboard:

The Meeting SCO is in the Meeting URL:

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Note: You can also see the Meeting sco ID by pasting ?mode-xml at the end of the Meeting URL and reading it from the output:

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Step four:  Edit the index.htm in the unzipped LaunchMeetingInCurriculum folder by pasting in the Meeting sco ID from the Meeting that you wish to add to the Curriculum. Use your favorite text editor such as notepad or textpad. Where the index.htm reads,  Enter the SCO of the Meeting, Virtual Classroom or Seminar var meetingScoID_str = ‘1660065186’; change the default Meeting sco ID, 1660065186, to the Meeting sco ID of the Meeting that you wish to add to the curriculum, in the case of my example here, the Meeting sco ID is: 502114549. Be sure to save the changes:

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Step five: Zip all the edited contents of the LaunchMeetingInCurriculum folder and rename it to represent the Meeting that you wish to add to the Curriculum. This will help you identify it and differentiate it from other Meetings with which you use this wrapper:

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Step six: Upload the edited zip file to the Adobe Connect Content Library:

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Step seven: Import the wrapper from the Content Library into the Curriculum:

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Note: Import options; the wrapper is Content and points to the Meeting:

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Step eight: Test the Curriculum item; unless the time and date coordinate with the actual Meeting schedule, the pop up will deter the trainee from gaining premature access to the Meeting and skewing the Curriculum completion report:

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 Conclusion: With proper management and administration, an Adobe Connect Curriculum accurately measure the progress and completion of trainees. There are two ways to prevent a trainee from completing a Meeting curriculum task prior to the meeting taking place, the first is to block access to the Meeting and the second is to use the Meeting Curriculum wrapper.

Query for meeting host usage

Problem: How to know the host usage for connect account?

Environment: Hosted/Licensed

Reason: An account administrator would like to know how many meeting hosts are on the account in order to know their license utilization.

Solution:

  • Adobe connect provides system usage report where you can check the meeting host usage on your account.
  • In order to pull up this report, you have to navigate to Reports tab -> System usage.
  • In system usage report from the drop down select Group as a report type, now point meeting host group.
  • Filter the report date wise and generate the report.

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  • Watch a video tutorial here

XML API Tips: Internal-error When Executing Reporting Calls

Periodically when executing a reporting API call, you may get an unexpected return as shown below:

<results>
<status code=”internal-error”>
<exception>java.sql.SQLNonTransientConnectionException: [Macromedia][SQLServer JDBC Driver][SQLServer]Cannot open database “XXXXXXXXX” requested by the login. The login failed.</exception>

</status>
</results>

Where the ‘XXXXXXXXX’ would be the database name of the database your request was trying to hit.

This is expected if you are making one of the ‘reporting database API calls‘ during the exact time that the db is locked for a small restore.  As previously discussed, the reporting database is not real-time. It is synched occasionally and can be behind by as much as 24 hours.   That error (you would see it in the logs and in your response) is thrown when the DB is being restored.  When the db is being restored, the DB is locked down and the result will be a failed login (internal-error).  The reporting DB is log shipped every 15 minutes.  So every 15 minutes there will be a small restore.  All you’re application needs to do is retry when you get that message.  It could be as much as a minute of downtime, but most of the time is less.

 

XML API Tips: Reporting API Calls and the Reporting Database

One common question from API developers revolves around the existence of our reporting database vs our production database on Adobe’s Hosted platform.  There are a few API calls that will hit the reporting database rather than production, to retrieve information.  This is by design and is to prevent some of the more expensive APIs from being run on a multi-tenant environment’s production database.  The current calls that are redirected to our reporting database and not to our production (real-time) database are:

/api/xml?action=report-bulk-consolidated-transactions
/api/xml?action=report-bulk-objects
/api/xml?action=report-bulk-questions
/api/xml?action=report-bulk-users
/api/xml?action=report-bulk-slide-views

As you can see, these are all the ‘bulk’ API calls.  There is one additional call that is currently (as of Adobe Connect 9.2.2) being directed to the reporting database rather than production, and that is:

/api/xml?action=report-quiz-results

This action will be shifted to the production database in the next major release of Adobe Connect.

The reason this is important is that the reporting database is not real-time like production.  It is delayed, sometimes up to 24 hours.  So it is recommended that if you need to have real-time information in your application, you avoid making the calls above and use other APIs to retrieve the desired data.

Connect Reports Never Returning Data in Firefox

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The Adobe Connect Reports module is Flex based and for longer queries (reports on courses or curricula with large enrollments for example), sometimes the report can take many minutes to return data back to the browser.  Previously we have worked on issues with the reporting module in which the busy cursor (spinning wheel) continues to spin indefinitely and doesn’t return data because the query took too long to return.  We have made adjustments to the DB views and code to fix the performance of the reports in the latest versions of Adobe Connect and up until recently, we had solved this problem for users running the latest versions of the application.

However recently we have seen with newer versions of the Firefox web browser, the reports once again spin indefinitely and not return data in the Flex based reports in some instances where the queries are large.  Investigation into this lead us to determine that after a period of 5 minutes, we saw a socket write error in the debug log like the one below:

[05-29 10:15:30,623] http-80-15 (INFO) Exception caught in Rows.parse(), e= org.xml.sax.SAXException

ClientAbortException:  java.net.SocketException: Software caused connection abort: socket write error

After changing various FireFox timeout settings to no avail, we noticed the following newer setting ‘network.http.response.timeout’, which was introduced in Firefox 29 (the current version is 30). The default value for this timeout is 300 seconds (5 minutes).  In previous versions there was no default value.

After changing it to a longer value, the reporting now works in our testing. With the current implementation of the reporting module, there is no way for Flex to detect that the http response has timed out. Until we can address this in the Flex code and provide a warning, we just have to be mindful of this setting in FireFox.

To change this setting, you simply type this in the Firefox browser address bar: about:config and hit enter.

You will see a page with all of the configurable settings.  Search for ‘network.http.response.timeout‘ to isolate just the one setting you need to change (there are a lot of settings to scroll through otherwise).  The default value is 300 seconds (5 minutes).  If you are running into the situation where your reports are not coming back with data (and you are running the latest version of Adobe Connect , 9.2 and above), you can adjust this setting to see if it helps (if you are using Firefox as a browser).  If you anticipate users having to run large queries (like curriculum reports with large enrollments in the 1000s of users), you will need to adjust this setting.

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Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar. Then search for ‘network.http.response.timeout’

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Modify the value by clicking on the 300 value itself and then entering the new value when prompted.

 

 

Using the XML API and Microsoft Excel to obtain additional reporting from Adobe Connect

Sometimes customers need a custom report that is not included in the normal reports in the Adobe Connect UI.   They can obtain this data by running an API call, however the results get displayed in a browser (in an XML result set) and is not in a user-friendly format as-is.  In lieu of actually building an application that can parse and display the XML in a nice format for the user to be able to display in a useful manner, we can simply use Microsoft Excel to display the data in a nice tabbed report format.

An example of this would be as follows:

Say, you want to report on what users are in a particular group within Adobe Connect, and there is no good established report to actually display this data (other than in the datagrid in the Users and Groups area)…

Here’s what you can do.

Log into the account in a browser, as an admin.

Run the following API (or any API you need to run to obtain the data you are looking for):
http://connectURL/api/xml?action=principal-list&group-id=XXXXXXX&filter-is-member=true

Where:

action=principal-list
group-id= principal-id of group you want to report on
filter-is-member=true

 The results will get returned in the browser in XML format (as seen in the screenshot below):

Save the current page as an XML file by going into the browser options and select ‘Save As’ and make sure you save the page as ‘.xml’.

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After saving the XML locally, open up Microsoft Excel (on Windows) and select Data > From XML Data Import.

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Click OK through all the next pop ups that show up after selecting the XML file and just select the defaults:

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Once the data loads in the worksheet, it will be formatted in a nice tabbed display as you see below:

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Brad’s Short-list for Connect Cluster SaaS Monitoring Options

There are many options on the monitoring theme that are worth considering when trying to decide how to keep trach of Connect server resources in a cluster. Articles describing clustered environments are on the Connect Users Community : http://www.connectusers.com  Simply search the User’s Community using the keywords: cluster, pool, edge, SSL, etc.

To effectively monitor your Connect cluster SaaS options can sometimes be cost effective than home-spun solutions; here are some staff picks with some commentary:

Sumologic- It resembles Splunk. The main difference is that Sumologic is hosted and managed externally and Splunk is hosted and managed on-premise. With Sumologic, there is not any need for software licensing, hardware investments or internal administrator expertise.  Splunk offers a similar service called splunk>storm, but it is not as mature as Sumologic and lacks some of the alerting capability found in Sumologic.

Loggly - An alternative to Sumologic could be Loggly which offers a similar service; it seems that the alerting service is not exactly built in.  It requires a little more work and is called AlertBirds.

Note: It is possible to take an on-premise option like Cacti and port it to Sumologic, so you could effectively kill 2 birds with one stone.  You can setup a forwarder in 30 seconds and be searching the logs in no time at all.

Monitis – Provides capabilities similar to those of Nagios along with external monitoring.  The Monitis community writes custom monitors thereby enriching the options.

LogicMonitor – An alternative to Monitis could be something like LogicMonitor.  You may be able to port your existing Nagios checks over to it (check and verify).  This si a simple solution, installing the monitor and having basic checks like CPU, Memory, Bandwidth, Disk Usage, Disk IO and external ping, http, https and udp monitors setup would take all of 20 minutes.

Pingdom- An alternative to RedAlert at a lesser cost.  It is trusted by millions and is easy to use and has more endpoints than comparable options.  It takes five minute setup.

The beauty of a SaaS monitoring solution is that you do not need to worry about scaling your monitoring solution every time you scale your Connect architecture.  You can have a single solution for 20 Connect Clusters vs having to add Cacti servers, Nagios servers, Splunk architecture and licensing to handle the additional monitoring needs commensurate with expansion.  With a SaaS solution, there in not any build-out time.  You can literally have 20 monitors up and running in under an hour, and work on adding additional ones at your leisure in between casts with your new Deceiver 8 Fly Combo.

With reference to basic on-premise monitoring, make sure you use standard perfmon counters for things like CPU, Memory etc. For meeting count and meeting user monitoring you may use the FMSAdmin API with scripts to make various calls and then parse the data and pass it to an option such as Cacti.  To insure robustness, the FMSAdmin service should be restarted routinely. You could also use similar counters to pull data directly from the Connect database, but this is not without risk as Connect updaters and upgrades can introduce changes that may require rework of your custom counters.

Connect Training Course does not Produce Completion Report

Issue: When a course is started and left open, perhaps while multitasking or looking up additional references, etc., it may timeout and work of the trainee in the course can be lost.

How to approach this – As with many symptoms, there is often more than one ameliorating approach; two are offered below:

One very quick way to help with  this is to increase the session time-out value in Connect

  •  At the top of the Connect Central administrative window, click Administration.
  • Click Account.
  • Click Session Settings.
  • Enter a timeout length in minutes that is long enough to cause fewer instances of timeouts.
  • Click Save.

Another way to approach this is to use Adobe Presenter 9 to create the training content. Presenter 9 handles sessions and bookmarking that is not supported in previous versions of Presenter.

System usage reports

System usage reports show, from different perspectives, how your organization is using Adobe Connect. All of the reports can be filtered by specifying a date range. Adobe Connect system administrators typically create and use system reports. The system reports are different from each other and provide distinct data.Below is the list of different system usage reports.

Individual Usage : This report provides information about how a single user is interacting with Adobe Connect. The report includes total meeting minutes, total trainings completed, and total storage consumption. The report helps you determine how many meetings and training sessions a user has attended. The storage consumption number tells you which individuals uploaded the most content.

Group Usage : This report shows many details about a group of users. The top of the report lists summary information about the group, including total number of members, total meeting minutes, and total consumption. The second section of the report lists the individual members and data for each, such as total meeting minutes, login status, and manager name. Run Group Usage reports for different groups to compare and see, for example, which groups are using Adobe Connect the most and least.

Cost Center Usage : This Report shows how members of a specific cost center are using Adobe Connect. One section of the report lists individual members of the cost center and their system usage. Another section lists meetings billed to the cost center and details, such as total number of attendees and meeting owner name. The Cost Center Usage Report helps you track Adobe Connect minutes and costs. Run separate reports for different cost centers to compare their statistics. To get the same information as this report, that is run across all cost centers, rather than a single cost center, generate Consolidated Cost Center Usage report.

Full System Usage : This report provides a high-level summary of Adobe Connect usage. Optionally, filter the report by group and/or by specifying a date range. System, meeting, and training summaries are provided on a single page. This report is useful for telling management and other departments how your organization uses Adobe Connect.

Burst Pack Usage : This report lists how many burst pack minutes your organization is using. (Organizations purchase burst pack minutes when they require more minutes in a particular time period.) The report also shows the number of active rooms and the peak number of users. Use this report to control usage and costs of Adobe Connect.

Mobile Usage : This report provides details about users accessing Adobe Connect from smartphone and tablets. The two mobile-related reports that are available are Mobile System Usage Report and Mobile Device Information Report. These reports shows the device types, the total number of unique users who have connected to sessions with a mobile device, the total number of minutes spent connected from a mobile device, and the peak concurrent value of total number of mobile users. It is possible to distinguish between meeting, seminar, and virtual classroom mobile minutes. Also filters can be applied for date ranges, so that the administrators are able to see some trends over time.

How to create system usage reports

Log in to Adobe Connect Central and click Reports.
Click System Usage.
From the menu, select a usage report type: Individual Usage, Group Usage, Cost Center Usage, Consolidated Cost Center Usage, Full System Usage, Burst Pack Usage, or Mobile Usage.
Select an individual, group, or cost center and click Next.
Click Specify Report Filters. (Optional) Enter a date range.
For Individual usage, Group Usage, Cost Center Usage reports, or Mobile Usage reports, click Add or Remove Report Fields. Select and deselect the fields to display in the report.
Click Create Report.
(Optional) If you selected Cost Center Usage in step 3, click Download Report and choose a report to download as a spreadsheet.
(Optional) If you selected Burst Pack Usage in step 3, you can show the report by Hour or Day.

The table lists the specific information that appears in columns within system usage reports. All column headings do not appear in all system reports.

Column heading Description
Active login users Number of users in this group, cost center, or full system that are currently logged on the system.
Active room(s) Room(s) where overage minutes have been used.
Distinct meeting rooms Number of separate meeting rooms owned by the individual, group, cost center, or the full system. If an individual has no host privileges, this number is zero.
End date Date and time when the meeting session tracked in the report ended.
First name First name of an individual user.
Group The name of the selected group. This column does not sort.
Last login date Last date and time the individual, member of group, or member of cost center logged in to Adobe Connect.
Last name Last name of an individual user.
Login status Current status of the user. For example, if the user is not currently logged in to Adobe Connect, their status is Inactive.
Manager The first and last name of this user’s manager.
Meeting name Name of a meeting billed to the selected cost center.
Meeting owner email E‑mail address of the person who created the meeting.
Meeting owner first name First name of the person who created the meeting.
Meeting owner last name Last name of the person who created the meeting.
Peak concurrent meeting users Highest number of people in meeting rooms at the same time for the full system. For example, if the number is 100, 100 people is the largest number of people that were in meeting rooms at the same time.
Peak users Highest number of users reached in room(s) where overage minutes have been used.
Start date Date and time when the meeting session tracked in the report started.
Storage consumption (kb) Current amount of space, in KB, used by the individual, group, or cost center. In the Full system report, storage consumption numbers are listed for the entire system and for meetings.
Total attendees Total number of attendees when unique attendees from each session are added together. If the same person attended two sessions, they are counted twice in this total attendees number.
Total burst pack minutes In the Cost Center Usage report, total burst pack minutes used by the entire cost center and for individual meetings billed to the cost center. In the Burst Pack report, the total number of burst pack minutes for the full system is listed.
Total host minutes (hh:mm:ss) Total number of minutes the individual, group, group member, cost center, or cost center member spent in meeting rooms as a predefined host. Does not include host minutes when the user was temporarily promoted to the host role. In the Full System Usage report, the total host minutes for the entire Adobe Connect installation is listed.
Total hosts Total number of users with host status in the group, cost center, and full system.
Total learner training completions Total number of learners that completed courses and curriculums in the full system.
Total Mobile Minutes Duration of total mobile sessions attended or hosted by individual (in Individual Usage report) or by all the group members (in Group Usage report).
Total meeting minutes (hh:mm:ss) Total number of minutes, across all roles and sessions, spent within meeting rooms by the individual, group, group member, cost center, or cost center member. The Full System Usage report shows total number of meeting minutes across all users in the system.
Total meeting sessions Total number of individual meetings billed to the selected cost center.
Total training managers Total number of individuals in the Adobe Connect system with training manager permissions.
Total training storage consumption Total amount of storage (in KB) used for training objects, such as courses, curriculums., and virtual classrooms.
Total trainings completed Total number of trainings (courses, curriculums, and virtual classrooms) completed by the individual, group, member of group, cost center, or member of cost center.
Total unique training objects Total number of training objects (courses, curriculums, and virtual classrooms) in the full system.
Total users Total number of users in the group, cost center, or full system.
Type Type of meeting (classroom or meeting) billed to the cost center.
User storage consumption (kb) Total amount of storage space (in KB) the individual member of the cost center is using.
User total meeting minutes (hh:mm:ss) Total amount of time (in minutes) the individual member of the cost center has been in meetings.

Course Reports

Course reports provide information about individual courses you created and the learners enrolled in the course. The course report shows how a course is used. The report lists if the course is taken, how often it is taken, and if users pass, fail, or complete the course. Course reports showing individual learners taking a specific course enable you to see who has taken the course, their status, and their score.The historical course report includes information about unenrolled and deleted users. Viewing data about unenrolled and deleted learners helps you analyze how the course has been used over time. For example, you can see how many learners have not completed the course and if that number is rising or falling.

How to create course reports

Log in to Adobe Connect Central and click Reports.
Click Course.
Select a course from the Training library and click Next.
Click Specify Report Filters. (Optional) Enter a date range and/or select a specific User Group(s).
Click Add or Remove Report Fields. Select and deselect the fields to display in the report.
Click Options. Select the course report to create: Course Report or Historical Course Report Which Includes Unenrolled And Deleted Users
Click Create Report.

The table lists the specific information that appears in columns within course reports. All column headings do not appear in all course reports.

Column heading Description
Attempts The number of attempts made to pass the course compared to number of attempts allowed. For example, 1 of 3 means that the learner made 1 attempt and a total of 3 attempts are available.
Certificate A system-generated number that proves the learner completed the course and provides the learner with a unique ID. (Course status for a learner must be complete or passed to receive a certificate number.)
Date deleted Where applicable, the date the learner was deleted from the Adobe Connect Enterprise system.
Date enrolled Date the learner was added to the enrollment list for the course.
Date unenrolled Date the learner was removed from the enrollment list for the course.
First name First name of the learner enrolled in the course.
Group All groups this learner is a member of are listed here. This column does not sort.
Last access Last time the learner accessed the specific course.
Last name Last name of the learner enrolled in the course.
Manager The first and last name of the user’s manager.
Number complete Number of learners who completed the course.
Number enrolled Total number of learners ever enrolled in the course. Archival data is included.
Number failed Learners who failed the course.
Number in progress Learners who started, but not yet completed the course.
Number not started Learners who did not start the course.
Number passed Learners who passed the course.
Score Score the learner received for the course.
Status Where the learner is in the course workflow. For example, the learner has not opened the course (Not Started), has opened, but not completed the course (In Progress), or has finished the course (Complete).
Version If multiple versions of the course were uploaded, this column states which version the learner used.