16 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2016 8:40 AM by bsullivan@pharos.com

    Beacon Reporting

    John Siegel Guide

      After letting Beacon run on the system for a month, it is now time to start looking at the reporting capabilities. The first thing I notice is that there is no tracking of Mobileprint. Secondly, neither the Device List, nor the Meter Report allows for showing a device location or friendly name. Without being able to ID the device by a common name vs. IP address or Serial Number, no one is going to be able to decipher what device is doing what. No staff member has the entire fleet's IP's and SN's memorized, let alone a higher up who wants the info to use in a meeting.

       

      Anyone else notice this.

       

      ~John

       

      device list.jpg

      Meters.jpg

        • Re: Beacon Reporting
          Guide

          Thanks for this, John. I will pass this feedback along to our product manager.

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          • Re: Beacon Reporting
            Paul LaFollette Guide

            At our organization, we would want to see the Hostname in the reports and to have it sorted by Hostname.  The Hostname info isn't present in most of the Fleet management lists (Meter, Toner, Volume, Cost, and Inventory).  With an "omission" like this, I'm really not surprised the Hostname isn't present in those reports.

             

            Listing the devices by SerialNumber, Mac Address, and IPv4 Address may go well to identify a device... it is definitely NOT the way people know which printer is which.   People use either the Hostname or a "Friendly" name and/or something to identify where it is (Building/Location).  It's too bad these reports do not provide that kind of data.

             

            I wonder if an option could be available to change out a column (like the Mac Address) with a column of the user's choice ... and perhaps have it sorted by that column (to make it much easier to find specific devices).

             

            Thanks,

            - Paul L.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Beacon Reporting
                John Siegel Guide

                I agree that it should be an optional  customization. I get why it show's IP's and Serial numbers as part of the base report. Serial numbers don't normally change (we'll pass on a side bar here about how replacing certain hardware components can cause serial numbers to change ), so that is the most stable identifier. If someone doesn't manually edit the friendly names that would just show up as blank rows, so it requires a bit of work on the customer side. Still it should be available as a field if the reports are going to be of any value beyond the technical staff.

                 

                ~John

                • Re: Beacon Reporting
                  Guide

                  Paul, I have some good news. Our upgrade this weekend will add the Hostname field to all tabs of the Fleet Manager.

                   

                  This weekend's upgrade also allows you to customize the CSV file export: any filters in place when the export is initiated will be honored. Perhaps this is a workaround for some needs until we can update the reports. Either way, I have added the reports request to the product manager's master list.

                   

                  More information about this weekend's release will be posted here.

                    • Re: Beacon Reporting
                      Bill Kasper Guide

                      Paul, John, good to see you both at the conference!

                       

                      This is also for Jesse and Cal, but it pertains to this thread on the Beacon data out so I thought I'd just continue it.

                       

                      I just did an export of the data I need for my monthly billing, and it was well-captured.  However, in the Fleet/Meter view the column order I set up did not carry over to the CSV, and neither did the columns selected.  That is, I got more than the data I wanted, and it's not in the column order I'd like to see it in so I can best use the data.  Having more data *is* better than less, but the cleanup time I'll now have to spend is something I thought I'd spent in getting the right columns in the right positions in the Fleet/Meter view.  It would be great if the CSV matched the column order and column data choices I set, rather than what Pharos has decided I need to download.

                       

                      A second part of this is that the columns I selected, and their order, is not persistent after I log out and back in again.  It'd surely be a good thing if they were, as I am going to tend to use the same view/export every month.  If I change it, that's fine, but to just have it reset to some Pharos-chosen group of columns doesn't make sense.

                       

                      Best,

                      Bill

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Beacon Reporting
                          Tracker

                          Hi Bill,

                          Yes, you're correct that you get all the columns every time, even if you customize your view. However, if you filter any of the data, this will be reflected in the export. I see what you mean about having to clean up the columns after each export and will add an idea for this.

                           

                          I'll need to do some research on the second issue, column choices not being retained when you log out and back in. Stay tuned!

                           

                          --Jesse

                            • Re: Beacon Reporting
                              Bill Kasper Guide

                              Thanks, Jesse!

                              • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                Tracker

                                Bill Kasper, we should try removing Beacon cookies and local storage from your browser to see if that fixes the column order retention issue. Are you using Firefox or chrome?

                                 

                                --Jesse

                                  • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                    Bill Kasper Guide

                                    I'm using Firefox 44.0.2 for Mac OSX 10.11.3.

                                     

                                    Currently I have Firefox set to request sites not track me, use tracking protection in private windows, to use private browsing mode, accepting cookies from sites, and accepting third-party cookies from visited.  Cookies are kept until Firefox closes.  I saw no Beacon cookies in my cookie list.

                                     

                                    I just set up some new columns, unchecked a bunch (the last fifteen or so items on the list) and moved print count to the left of IP address in the view.  Then logged out.

                                     

                                    Print count was still in the same place, the new columns were still there, but the unchecked ones were rechecked and present in the view.  Most of them are empty, why would the view want to show empty columns?

                                     

                                    The CSV downloaded after the changes shows the same columns (no change to them from before).

                                     

                                    I then logged out of Beacon, quit Firefox, and logged back in, and the columns were back to their original places (none of the changes stuck) and the original columns selected in the views window.  So there's no persistence in Beacon at all.

                                      • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                        Tracker

                                        Hi Bill,

                                        2 things we should try:

                                         

                                        clear your browser's local storage:

                                        - hit CTRL + Shift + K to bring up the console

                                        - type localStorage.clear(); to clear local storage

                                        - you may get a response like that below, this is fine.

                                         

                                         

                                        Log out and log back into Beacon and attempt to set your preferred column configuration.

                                         

                                        Second, the configuration settings needed may not be saved when operating in private browsing mode. Can you try operating in regular Firefox mode to see if column order is retained?

                                         

                                        Finally, we are looking at ways we can improve the personalization experience. For example, your column choices wouldn't be preserved if you moved to a different browser or different machine. We are looking at different ways of addressing that server-side, which would also solve the problem you're experiencing.

                                         

                                        Let me know what you find out!

                                         

                                        --Jesse

                                          • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                            Bill Kasper Guide

                                            Jesse,

                                             

                                            So the first thing I did was turn of private browsing (which I'm not leaving off, as it keeps ad spam and other BS from inundating my workspace).  On or off made no difference:  with it off, I logged into Beacon, set my columns and their order, and logged off Beacon.  When I logged back in, everything was reset to the way it was prior to my setting column choice and order.  A non-starter, then.

                                             

                                            With private browsing back on, I cleared the local storage, logged into Beacon, set my columns and their order, and logged off Beacon.  When I logged back in, the columns I chose to set to "on" were still on, but the last 18 columns on the list I'd turned "off" were turned back "on".  The column order remained as I'd set it.  So that gets us most of the way there, but I've got to wonder why the last eighteen columns in the list (that contain mostly useless data for my purposes) are "always on", and treated with the same weight as things like "make", "model", "IP", etc.

                                             

                                            Finally, I turned private browsing off, cleared the local storage, logged into Beacon, set my columns and their order, and logged off Beacon.  When I logged back in I had the same experience as above after clearing the local storage.

                                             

                                            So clearing local storage is all well and good, but private/public browsing doesn't matter, apparently.

                                             

                                            And (Cal, Bill, John, and others who might work on the Beacon Experience™) why this all wasn't designed to have persistence of client state (so that any time I, as Beacon manager for my implementation, log in I get the same configuration) I can't fathom.  The way it is now I have to repeat work every time I go to manage my data output, be it reordering columns, re(selecting/deselecting) columns, or clearing cache/local storage/etc.  As a customer, knowing that kind of repeated load could be taken care of by some sort of profile tied to my login is just a bit dismaying.  As well, while spending most of an hour trying different things so I can report them here is all well and good, it's not time I *really* should be spending on something that should have been sorted out during Beacon beta testing (especially given the product has been released into the wild for over a year).  I am glad to help and share within the community, and to help Pharos with software issues in an organized manner (Cal), but to be responsible for problem solving something that is clearly a flaw in the Beacon implementation...that seems a bit excessive.

                                             

                                            Nonetheless, I appreciate your help and the suggestions, at least now I know what can have some influence on what I see in Beacon.

                                            Best,

                                            Bill

                                              • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                                Cal Curtice Adventurer

                                                Hi Bill Kasper,

                                                 

                                                  This is a defect unintentionally introduced as part of a platform upgrade to support an advanced set of metadata (x/y coordinates, hostname, etc). It results in a poor experience and we are working to correct and improve. Apologies for the inconvenience, certainly not something we wanted to let through. I'll keep you posted on when it will be resolved.

                                                 

                                                Best Regards,

                                                Cal

                                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                  • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                                    Bill Kasper Guide

                                                    Cal, all the metadata is fine, it's clearly just a cleanup.  However, the server-side or client-side decisions place burden, and that's the hard one.  Not that I mind working, but unless there's a compelling reason why a profile can't contain settings like that to set up the GUI on landing, it seems strange to be forced to work.

                                                     

                                                    I do appreciate the hard work that's gone in to Beacon, I'm just having a hard time making things repeatable with lots of notes

                                                     

                                                    Thanks for your response.

                                                     

                                                    Bill

                                                      • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                                        Cal Curtice Adventurer

                                                        Hi Bill Kasper,

                                                         

                                                             I hope you are doing well. I wanted to let you know that with the recent release of Beacon from this past weekend, the ability to have persistent grid views should be restored. We are working on some cool new features that will allow you to create your own custom views and save them as well - more on that in the future.

                                                             Have a look when you get the chance and let me know if there are any remaining issues.

                                                         

                                                        Regards,

                                                         

                                                        Cal

                                                        Brandon HeffernanBill Sullivan

                                                          • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                                            Krystal Perlman Wayfarer

                                                            We would love to have the ability to have custom views! It would be super handy if we could have view types we could assign by role so when we add a new user we can give them a view right off the bat that could show them what they are looking for.

                                                            Thanks!

                                                            Krystal

                                                            Bill Sullivan Cal Curtice

                                                              • Re: Beacon Reporting
                                                                bsullivan@pharos.com Navigator

                                                                Krystal,

                                                                 

                                                                The first version of this will come to Beacon this July. You will be able to create "groups" that have the ability to see only particular departments and or locations and then you will be able to assign users into those groups. When those users login there views will be customized to the rights of their group assignment. As we get closer to the release we will provide more details and screenshots.

                                                                 

                                                                - Bill