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Comparison of 5 different reporting tool...

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Comparison of 5 different reporting tool... - 24.Jul.2006 11:45:58 PM   


Posts: 46
Joined: 1.Aug.2005
Status: offline
I only have very few requirements:

a. This software must be able to analyze log files of ISA 2004 server, in SQL, text format (w3c), or MSDE format.
b. This software must be capable to do categorized report (classified URL's), and the vendor will supply update on that.  I've seen a lot of inexpensive software without this function, we do not need the same data presented in prettier format, we wish to see visited sites being categorized and analyzed.
c. This software must be capable to accept remote logons from multiple workstations, whether through web interface, client installation on these workstaions, or allowing multiple installation by one license.
d. (if possible) the same software vendor provides another filtering tool for us to add in later.  At this moment we only need the reporting tool, not filtering tool, however it will be nicers to buy the filtering tool from the same vendor in the future.

I have picked up SurfControl, bt-LogAnalyzer, Cyfin Reporter, GFI Web Monitor, and WebSpy Analyzer Standard and will give myself 2-3 days to evaluate each product .   I just want to know base on the requirements that I listed above, do I miss something that meets my requirements and I should really give it a try?

(P.S.) SurfControl is eliminated because they do not sell the reporting tool alone, and even talking about the complete package (reporting + filtering), it costs more than double of other software.  I don't know why.

< Message edited by controlair -- 22.Aug.2006 7:50:40 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Comparison of 5 different reporting tool... - 22.Aug.2006 7:42:28 PM   


Posts: 46
Joined: 1.Aug.2005
Status: offline
Since I did not get any help over here, I used 4 weeks to evaluate the following 5 product. I generated all available report from each software, and had totlaly more than 60 emails with tech support teams.  I would like to share my summary with you all so who'se looking for the same solution could save some time.

The following 5 products are being listed in the order of the time that I evaluated the software.

(product name)
(price for reporting only base on 250 users) (price for filtering w/ reporting)

N/A, $8510

1. Way too expensive, skipped.

$2700, $4500

1.More flexibility in customizing categories, include/exclude URL from categories
2.More flexible in creating report.

$1250, $4130

1. You have to import the log files into an offline DB, local storage size is limited at 2GB in Standard version
2. Report was saved in its own extension that could not be converted to .MHT (single file, archived web)
3. When creating a report base on one user, one day of activity, in HTML format, it creates one inidex file and a folder that contains 11 folders + 291 files under it
4. When creating a report base on about 220 user, 5 day of activity, in HTML format, it creates one inidex file and a folder that contains 266 folders + 7537 files under it
5. Performance wise it is very slow opening a report that was already generated
6. POOR technology of categorizing website, it uses "keywords" instead of URLs, onbe of our user visited  www.teenchallenge.com for charity activity and was identified as Adult sites by the work "teen". Don't ask me for more example, you could hire someone for full time job just to point out all inaccurate categorizings done by this software
7. If a website's URL does notinclude sensitive words, then it never be categorized correctly.
8. The "drill down" function to see more detail of activity under the same report is actually cool.

GFI Web Monitor
N/A, $2500

1. Does not have any type of report available
2. Only provides one caterogy for blocking -- "Adult Content"
3. Skipped the trial, this is not what we want

Cyfin Reporter
$1950, $2750

1. Base on web interface (Log on from any computer is cool)
2. After the first report is generated, it saved all usernames found in database, I like this function!
3. It provides AD user / group synchronization but that will mess up any special group that you did to user ID's inside this software

So I only used it once, the first time.
4. A big disadvantage of this software is that it provide ZERO option that you could customize a report, nothing more than user/group and date/time,
however AMAZINGLY that all default templates of report give me more info than what I get from any other software above, some are even impossible to acheieve by other software.
5. The ability to generate log files into local XML files makes reporting extremenly faster. Comparing the time required to product a report base on the same ISA log, btLogAnalyzer takes more than 2 minutes and Cyfin reporter takes about 15 seconds.


< Message edited by controlair -- 24.Aug.2006 7:13:19 PM >

(in reply to controlair)
Post #: 2

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