Reports

The Reports feature lets you capture printer status changes and job and document property values in a PostgreSQL database. You can extract and analyze the data from PostgreSQL database using a business intelligence tool such as Tableau.

The feature adds one new step template. The Reports feature does not include business intelligence software. You can use your preferred tool with the information stored in the PostgreSQL database.

  • In Version 3.6, Ricoh ProcessDirector wrote data to both the DB2 database and the PostgreSQL database. In Version 3.7, Ricoh ProcessDirector only supports the PostgreSQL database. If you have data from the Reports feature in Version 3.6 or below, you can migrate the data from the DB2 database to the PostgreSQL database.

New step template

  • WritePropsToReportsDatabase
    Lets you choose which job and document properties to store in the PostgreSQL database when the step runs and the database table to store the data in. You can insert multiple copies of this step template in a workflow to store different properties at different times during job processing.

You can configure the Reports feature to capture different types of data at different times.

Job property values

Ricoh ProcessDirector has two methods for capturing job property values:
  • Store property values at the start and completion of each step in a workflow.
    This option requires minimal configuration, but might collect more information than you need.
  • Store property values when the WritePropsToReportsDatabase step processes the job.
    This option requires that you add one or more steps to your workflows, so there is more configuration involved.
The methods can be used at the same time. You might want to store basic properties throughout job processing, but store different properties immediately after a certain step runs, such as the PrintJob or Insert step.

  • You cannot store positional job properties in the PostgreSQL database. To determine whether a property is positional, check the help for that property.

Document property values

Ricoh ProcessDirector can capture document property values at one or more points in a workflow. Insert a WritePropsToReportsDatabase step into your workflows wherever you want to collect and store document data.

  • You cannot store limited document properties in the PostgreSQL database. Limited document properties are defined in the docCustomDefinitions.xml file, but are not stored in the Ricoh ProcessDirector database.

Printer data

Ricoh ProcessDirector can capture printer data when a job starts printing and when it stops printing. Ricoh ProcessDirector captures selected printer properties each time the Enabled status or Printer status changes.

Installation

If you have the Reports feature installed with a previous version of Ricoh ProcessDirector, it is updated when you upgrade the base product.

If you are installing theReports feature for the first time, you must use the Feature Manager in the legacy user interface to install it. You do not need to purchase the feature, and it does not require a license key.

When you install the Reports feature, it installs the PostgreSQL database program, which runs on the primary server.

  • The PostgreSQL database program can be installed on Linux or Windows, but not on AIX. To use the Reports feature on AIX, you must complete additional configuration steps to run the database on a Linux secondary server or a Windows application server. Contact Software Support for assistance with that configuration.

If you have Ricoh ProcessDirector for Linux, the database program can store data on the primary server, a secondary server, or an application server. If you have Ricoh ProcessDirector for Windows, the database program stores data on the primary server.

Configuration

Ricoh ProcessDirector includes a configuration file called Reports.json. This file holds basic information about the PostgreSQL database, such as:

  • The database name
  • The user and password that Ricoh ProcessDirector uses to access the database
  • The hostname and port of the computer that the database table is stored on
Ricoh ProcessDirector reads the host name from the configuration file. If the database does not exist, Ricoh ProcessDirector creates it on the specified computer.

To configure Reports to collect job data or printer data at the start and completion of each step, when a job starts and finished printing, or when the Enabled status or Printer status changes, you also use the Reports.json file to specify the data to capture. Edit the file to enable and disable data collection and to add or remove properties.

To configure Reports to use the WritePropsToReportsDatabase step, add the step to your workflows as needed. When the step runs, it stores the property values in the specified database tables. If the table does not exist when the step runs, Ricoh ProcessDirector creates it. The data is stored in the database listed in the Reports.json file.

After the database is created and contains data, you can use SQL statements to query data and to export data to external storage for long-term use.

Data extraction

To extract data from the PostgreSQL database and analyze it, you can use a business intelligence tool, such as Tableau. The Reports feature includes a Tableau workbook with sample worksheets that let you visualize the data for pages printed and jobs by customer. After examining the supplied data visualizations, you can create your own data visualizations and publish them to a server or make them available to management.

 
Copyright © 2018