26 Using Information Publisher

Information Publisher, Enterprise Manager's reporting framework, makes information about your managed environment available to audiences across your enterprise. Strategically, reports are used to present a view of enterprise monitoring information for business intelligence purposes, but can also serve an administrative role by showing activity, resource utilization, and configuration of managed targets. IT managers can use reports to show availability of sets of managed systems. Executives can view reports on availability of applications (such as corporate email) over a period of time.

Note:

The Information Publisher (IP) reporting framework is still supported for Enterprise Manager 12c, however, new report development using this framework has been deprecated for Enterprise Manager 12c.

The reporting framework allows you to create and publish customized reports: Intuitive HTML-based reports can be published via the Web, stored, or e-mailed to selected recipients. Information Publisher comes with a comprehensive library of predefined reports that allow you to generate reports out-of-box without additional setup and configuration.

This chapter covers the following topics:

26.1 About Information Publisher

Information Publisher provides powerful reporting and publishing capability. Information Publisher reports present an intuitive interface to critical decision-making information stored in the Management Repository while ensuring the security of this information by taking advantage of Enterprise Manager's security and access control.

Information Publisher's intuitive user-interface allows you to create and publish reports with little effort. The key benefits of using Information Publisher are:

  • Provides a framework for creating content-rich, well-formatted HTML reports based on Management Repository data.

  • Out-of-box reports let you start generating reports immediately without any system configuration or setup.

  • Ability to schedule automatic generation of reports and store scheduled copies and/or e-mail them to intended audiences.

  • Ability for Enterprise Manager administrators to share reports with the entire business community: executives, customers, and other Enterprise Manager administrators.

Information Publisher provides you with a feature-rich framework that is your central information source for your enterprise.

26.2 Out-of-Box Report Definitions

The focal point of Information Publisher is the report definition. A report definition tells the reporting framework how to generate a specific report by defining report properties such as report content, user access, and scheduling of report generation.

Information Publisher comes with a comprehensive library of predefined report definitions, allowing you to generate fully formatted HTML reports presenting critical operations and business information without any additional configuration or setup. .

Generating this HTML report involved three simple steps:

Step 1: Click Availability History (Group) in the report definition list.

Step 2: Select the group for which you want to run the report.

Step 3: Click Continue to generate the fully-formed report.

Supplied report definitions are organized by functional category with each category covering key areas.

To access the Information Publisher home page, from the Enterprise menu, choose Reports and then Information Publisher.

26.3 Custom Reports

Although the predefined report definitions that come with Information Publisher cover the most common reporting needs, you may want to create specialized reports. If a predefined report comes close to meeting your information requirements, but not quite, you can use Information Publisher's Create Like function to create a new report definition based on one of the existing reports definitions.

26.3.1 Creating Custom Reports

To create custom reports:

  1. Choose whether to modify an existing report definition or start from scratch. If an existing report definition closely matches your needs, it is easy to customize it by using the Create Like function.

  2. Specify name, category, and sub-category. Cloud Control provides default categories and sub-categories that are used for out-of-box reports. However, you can categorize custom reports in any way you like.

  3. Specify any time-period and/or target parameters. The report viewer will be prompted for these parameters while viewing the report.

  4. Add reporting elements. Reporting elements are pre-defined content building blocks, that allow you to add a variety of information to your report. Some examples of reporting elements are charts, tables, and images.

  5. Customize the report layout. Once you have assembled the reporting elements, you can customize the layout of the report.

26.3.2 Report Parameters

By declaring report parameters, you allow the user to control what data is shown in the report. There are two types of parameters: target and time-period.

Example: If you are defining a report that will be used to diagnose a problem (such as a memory consumption report), the viewer will be able to see information for their target of interest.

By specifying the time-period parameter, the viewer will be able to analyze historical data for their period of interest.

Analyzing Historical Data

Information Publisher allows you to view reports for a variety of time-periods:

  • Last 24 Hours/ 7 Days/ 31 Days

  • Previous X Days/ Weeks/ Months/ Years (calendar units)

  • This Week/ This Month/ This Year (this week so far)

  • Any custom date range.

26.3.3 Report Elements

Report elements are the building blocks of a report definition. In general, report elements take parameters to generate viewable information. For example, the Chart from SQL element takes a SQL query to extract data from the Management Repository and a parameter specifying whether to display the data in the form of a pie, bar, or line chart. Report elements let you "assemble" a custom report definition using the Information Publisher user interface.

Information Publisher provides a variety of reporting elements. Generic reporting elements allow you to display any desired information, in the form of charts, tables or images. For example, you can include your corporate Logo, with a link to your corporate Web site. Monitoring elements show monitoring information, such as availability and alerts for managed targets. Service Level Reporting elements show availability, performance, usage and achieved service levels, allowing you to track compliance with Service Level Agreements, as well as share information about achieved service levels with your customers and business executives.

26.4 Scheduling Reports

Enterprise manager allows you to view reports interactively and/or schedule generation of reports on a flexible schedule. For example, you might want to generate an "Inventory Snapshot" report of all of the servers in your environment every day at midnight.

26.4.1 Flexible Schedules

Cloud Control provides the following scheduling options:

  • One-time report generation either immediately or at any point in the future

  • Periodic report generation

    • Frequency: Any number of Minutes/ Hours/ Days/ Weeks/ Months/ Years

    • You can generate copies indefinitely or until a specific date in the future.

26.4.2 Storing and Purging Report Copies

Enterprise Manager allows you to store any number of scheduled copies for future reference. You can delete each stored copy manually or you can set up automated purging based on either the number of stored copies or based on retention time. For example, you can have Enterprise Manager purge all reports that are more than 90 days old.

26.4.3 E-mailing Reports

You can choose for scheduled reports to be e-mailed to any number of recipients. You can specify reply-to address and subject of the e-mail.

26.5 Sharing Reports

Information Publisher facilitates easy report sharing with the entire user community. Enterprise Manager administrators can share reports with other administrators and roles. However, there may be cases when you need to share reports with non-Enterprise Manager administrators, such as customers and/or business executives. To facilitate information sharing with these users, Enterprise Manager renders a separate reporting Web site that does not require user authentication.

Note:

To ensure that no sensitive information is compromised, only Enterprise Manager administrators with a special system privilege are allowed to publish reports to the Enterprise Manager reports Web site.

Information Publisher honors Enterprise Manager roles and privileges, ensuring that only Enterprise Manager administrators can create reports on the information they are allowed to see.When sharing reports, administrators have an option of allowing report viewers to see the report with the owner's privileges. For example, as a system administrator you might want to share a host's performance information with a DBA using your server, but you do not want to grant the DBA any privileges on your host target. In this case, you could create a host performance report, and allow the DBA to view it with your privileges. This way, they only see the information you want them to see, without having access to the host homepage.