Advanced System Reporting enables institutions to do robust reporting to understand how their system is being used. Data from predefined fields in a separate database is used to create and tailor reports to meet specific needs. These reports assist in understanding and analyzing use of the system and can report information such as when different types of users access the system, how they use the system, and if the system improves student performance. Librarians can discover how Content Collection items are being used, including information such as how many links exist to each item, from which courses, the frequency of access to those items and the last date of access.
Data is transferred nightly into a separate reporting database. The name of the database is the name of the Virtual Installation with "stats" appended. The base Virtual Installation that appears in all implementations of Blackboard Learn, bb_bb60, has the stats database bb_bb60_stats to handle Advanced System Reporting.
Schedule the data transfer so that it occurs at a low-traffic time of the night and is properly coordinated with Snapshot loading or other integration processes. Administrators have open access to this database so that they can develop reports to suit their institution’s needs.
By default, the data transfer is scheduled to occur at 1 AM local time.
The data that is transferred to the statistics database is a sub-set of the data that is located on the production database. It has a different schema from the data on the production database.
Administrators have open access to the statistics database to use for analysis and creating reports.
The following tables are transferred nightly from bb_b60 schema to the bb_bb60_stats schema:
Advanced System Reporting is set up automatically when Blackboard Learn is installed.
In order for statistics to be recorded, the Event Tracking option must be set to Yes. It is set to Yes by default. You can verify this setting by going to Administrator Panel > System Reporting > Auto-Reporting Options.
Every day an automatic process synchronizes the data in the stats database with the data in the main database and then deletes the statistical data from the main database that is more than 180 days old. This process can be run at any time using the PurgeAccumulator tool. The PurgeAccumulator tool can also be used to delete data from the statistics database.
Administrators may modify the length of time that statistical data is kept in the main database. This is changed by editing the days_to_keep value in the config/bb-tasks.xml file.
The PurgeAccumulator tool is installed as part of Blackboard Learn. It is run from the $blackboard/tools/admin directory.
./PurgeAccumulator.sh <command> <Virtual_Installation> <days_or_date>
|command||purge-live –Takes data from Blackboard database and syncs with tables in the statistics database. After synching, it purges statistical data in the main database that is older than the number of days or date set. |
purge-stats – goes to stats DB and purges all data older than the last x days or older than a specific date.
|Virtual_Installation||Provide the name of the main database (bbuid) of the Virtual Installation to be purged.|
|days_or_date||The number of days (from the current date) that should not be processed by the PurgeAccumulator tool. It is also possible to set a date in yyyy-mm-dd format. Only data older than the date will be purged.|
To verify that the data has been purged, view the update-tool-log.txt file in the /usr/local/blackboard/logs/update-tools directory.
Request access to advanced system reports
Blackboard Support can help you access advanced system reports (ASR). You will need to provide your static IP addresses so only connections from those IP addresses to the ASR Mapped IP (MIP) will be allowed. Blackboard Support will provide the following information:
- Hostname: MIP to your ASR connection
- Oracle Port: 1521
- SID: database instance name of your ASR connection
- Username: created just for your ASR connection
- Password: sent to you in a secure channel
Using this information, you can test the connectivity from your static IP address and then connect using an Oracle client.
Ensure the firewall is open for your static IP.
- On Windows, select Start > Run.
- Type cmd and select OK.
- In the command line, type telnet [MIP to your ASR connection] 1521 and press Enter.
- A message appears: Connecting to [MIP to your ASR connection].
- The connection was successful if the command prompt is blank with a flashing cursor. To disconnect, press Ctrl + ].
- The connection was unsuccessful if the message Could not open connection to the host, on port 1521: Connect failed appears.
Firewall issues can prevent a successful connection. Please contact Blackboard Support for assistance.
Connect to the ASR service
Blackboard doesn't recommend any specific Oracle-compatible SQL client, as it is your preference and all work well. The following steps describe the method to connect to the ASR service using Oracle SQL Developer.
- From the ASR workstation, launch SQL developer.
The latest versions can be downloaded from the Oracle site after you create an account. Download and extract the ZIP in a folder of your choice, and create a direct access in your desktop to the executable within the extracted folder (it is not an installer).
- Select File > New.
- Select Database Tier and select OK.
- In the New Database Connection, dialog box enter the following information:
- Connection Name: a descriptive name for the connection, such as ASR Database Connection
- Username: the ASR username provided to you, typically asr_user
- Password: the ASR password provided to you
Select the Save Password checkbox if you would like to avoid having to input the password every time you connect.
- In the Oracle tab:
- Connection Type: basic
- Role: default
- Hostname: the MIP address provided to you
- Port: 1521
- SID: the Oracle SID provided to you
Don't input anything in the Access tab.
- Select Save.
- Select Test. If everything was configured correctly, you should see a Status: Success message at the bottom left corner of the dialog box.
- Select Connect or close the dialog box. In the connections sidebar, open the newly created connection.