Web Analytics service as part of Microsoft® SharePoint® Server 2010, is set of features to help you collect, report, and analyze the usage and effectiveness of your SharePoint Server 2010 deployment. Web Analytics features include reporting, Web Analytics workflow, and Web Analytics Web Part. There are three categories of the SharePoint Web Analytics reports: Traffic, Search, and Inventory. The reports are aggregated for various SharePoint entities like Site, Site Collection, and Web Application for each farm. For more information, see Reporting and usage analysis overview.
SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics Service Application is one of the services that consumes large server resource. This service is also one of the services offers many reports that some of them are difficult to explain. After we configured and running this services four months in production it worth us to look at the reports generated to give us some idea how to utilize the service. We have also identified some issues for this service application that is the focus for this blog.
1. SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics Service Application capacity plan and performance impact
If you looked at the Web Analytics service application architecture diagram, you will notice that it is using several services that is perform heavily duty file parsing processes. The architectural overview of the Web Analytics service in a SharePoint deployment is described in Figure1 from Microsoft.
Data is logged into .usage files on the front-end Web servers where it is processed into the staging database created in the previous steps through the Timer Job infrastructure. The data in the staging database is retained for 30 days and transitioned into the reporting database for longer term retention as specified in the retention period when the service application was created. The information is subsequently surfaced through a variety of Web Parts by the Web Analytics Web Service.
During planning phase, you would need to plan how much data you need to keep, the default is 25 month for the reporting DB. We changed to 13 month so users could view the whole year reports. Please refer Microsoft Web Analytics capacity planning.
2. SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics Service Application setup procedure
Setup Web Analytics service is very simple. You could setup from central admin or through PowerShell scripts.
Here are steps from central admin.
- Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration and select Manage service applications under Application Management
- Select New | Web Analytics Service Application on the ribbon user interface
- On the Create Web Analytics Service Application dialog specify the name for the new Web Analytics Service Application
- Provide a name for the new Application Pool
- Provide the name of the default database server where the Web Analytics reporting and staging databases will be hosted and specify the desired retention period
- Click OK on the new Create Web Analytics Service Application dialog to provision the new service application
- On a single server deployment select System Settings from SharePoint 2010 Central Administration and then click Services on Server
- From the list of available services start the Web Analytics Data Processing Service and Web Analytics Web Service
You could create a SharePoint 2010 Web Analytics service application using PowerShell using the script provided by Microsoft TechNet. However, I would not recommend use PowerShell script.
You could refer to existing blog and make sure you plan the space of the staging and reporting space.
3. How to setup Web Analytics features and different reports
Web Analytics features include reporting, Web Analytics workflow, and Web Analytics Web Part. There are three categories of the SharePoint Web Analytics reports: Traffic, Search, and Inventory. The reports are aggregated for various SharePoint entities like Site, Site Collection, and Web Application for each farm. You could refer this blog for details.
The one set of the reports I would like to bring up to your attention is search reports. You would need to have permission to setup before you could get “good” result. For example Best Bets Suggestions allow search admins to determine what the most relevant search result is for a given keyword. You could setup it if you follow up the instructions. We are still having issues to get this web part working and will keep you posted the issues found.
Custom Web Analytics Reports are useful to get general understanding of what’s happening on your sites. To get started, click on Customize Report button under Analyze tab in Ribbon.
Web Analytics Workflows is a powerful new feature set that enables you to get reports sent out either on a schedule or when specific conditions are met. To setup a WAW, go to Web Analytics report you’re interested in and click on Schedule Alerts or Reports on Analyze tab in Ribbon.
Web Analytics Web Part targeted at Site Managers is an end-user facing Web Part that can be easily inserted into any page on your site. To use this Web Part, go into Edit mode of one of your Site Pages and click on any place you can add a Web Part. Then, from Insert tab on the Ribbon, click on Web Part. Finally, click on Content Rollup category and select Web Analytics Web Part.
Now, you should have all your Web Analytics features and reports ready for you to enjoy. In the next session, I will show you how to read different reports and some issues we encountered.