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Automating reports

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Cloud Cruiser’s batch reporting enables administrators to automate the running of reports. This feature is useful for month-end invoicing or any other situation where automatic generation and delivery of reports is required. You have the option to schedule batch reports.

The batch reporting system is tightly coupled with the User and User Group system. Part of the function of a user group is to define which customers a particular user group is allowed to view. Users are tied to this user group that enables them to view reports for the specified users. Batch reporting leverages this same list to generate reports on a per-user group basis (the list of user groups is passed down to the job at run time). The generated reports are subsequently emailed to the users associated with the relevant user groups.

A working SMTP server is required for batch reporting. This server must be configured, via Cloud Cruiser, using the SMTP configuration form. There is currently no other mechanism for retrieving batch reports. For more information, see Accessing SMTP.

In general, batch reporting proceeds as follows:

  1. Identify the report or reports to be run and ensure that it runs properly through Cloud Cruiser.
  2. On the Administration > Users page, create a named User Group and specify which customers and views the user group is allowed to see. For more information, see Creating user groups.
  3. On the Administration > Users page, create one or more users and assign them to the relevant user group. For more information, see Creating users.
  4. On the Data > Processing > Advanced Job Maintenance page, create a job using the run_report sample as a template. In this job, you can specify the report to be generated, the parameters that will be passed down to the report (such as account ID ranges, reporting level, date range, etc), and the output format. For more information, see Job XML sample and Report properties.
  5. When it is time to generate the report, run the job, either from the command line or using a schedule. The list of User Groups is provided at this time, as a parameter to the batch process.
    For more information about scheduling a job, see Scheduling jobs to run. For more information about running a job from the command line, see Running jobs from the command line.
  6. The batch system runs the relevant reports based on the parameters defined in the job and the customers defined in the User Group.
  7. An email is generated for each user in each user group. The subject and contents of the email are based on Velocity email templates stored in Cloud Cruiser’s base directory. The report is attached as an email attachment.
    If you want to modify the email templates, see Formatting report emails for information about the variables you can use.
  8. The emails are queued up and transmitted. Success/fail status is available through Cloud Cruiser in the Batch Monitoring page (see Monitoring job results.)

The remainder of this section assumes that at least one user group exists, with at least one user associated with this group. This user must have a valid email address specified.

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