Bug 10627 - history of reports run/results
Summary: history of reports run/results
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: Koha
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Reports (show other bugs)
Version: master
Hardware: All All
: P5 - low new feature (vote)
Assignee: Galen Charlton
QA Contact: Testopia
URL:
Keywords:
Depends on:
Blocks:
 
Reported: 2013-07-22 18:33 UTC by Nicole C. Engard
Modified: 2015-09-02 10:59 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Change sponsored?: ---
Patch complexity: ---
Who signed the patch off:
Text to go in the release notes:
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Description Nicole C. Engard 2013-07-22 18:33:09 UTC
From a library:

We would like to see a list of "Finished" results of running a report (i.e., generating a list of records) or using a tool (to make changes to records or settings)?

In each instance, it would be possible to go back to a list of "Finished reports", to view both the results as well as the parameters that were set to generate the list or make whatever desired change...
Comment 1 Galen Charlton 2013-07-23 23:21:45 UTC
To flesh this out a bit:

- Are we talking about guided/SQL reports?
- Should report results be kept forever?  For a specific length of time (or until purged)?  How long?
- Should results be retained for all reports?  Or should this be decided per report?  Or per each run of the report?
- Does there need to be a permission for seeing finished saved report results?
- Does there need to be a permission for deleting/purging saved report results?
- Should there be constraints on which staff members should be able to see saved report results?
- Should saved report results be stored in the database?  In the filesystem?  Is there a size limit we should enforce?
Comment 2 Claire Elliott 2013-07-24 14:10:50 UTC
(In reply to Galen Charlton from comment #1)
> To flesh this out a bit:
> 
> - Are we talking about guided/SQL reports?
> - Should report results be kept forever?  For a specific length of time (or
> until purged)?  How long?
> - Should results be retained for all reports?  Or should this be decided per
> report?  Or per each run of the report?
> - Does there need to be a permission for seeing finished saved report
> results?
> - Does there need to be a permission for deleting/purging saved report
> results?
> - Should there be constraints on which staff members should be able to see
> saved report results?
> - Should saved report results be stored in the database?  In the filesystem?
> Is there a size limit we should enforce?


Just to clarify where we are coming from... Our college library has just migrated to Koha from SirsiDynix's Symphony ILS. In Symphony, "Reports" are pre-formatted/pre-loaded in the "WorkFlows" staff client, so you cannot create new ones at will. Also, as Nicole pointed out to us, Symphony's single "Reports" utility lumps together different functions which are, in Koha, divided between "Reports" and "Tools".  

(1) "Reports" are used to generate a list, or count, of bibliographic or item records, based on a specific set of limits/criteria; while
(2) "Tools" are used carry out specific actions on the system, such as: staging/importing a batch of MARC records; generating notices/slips; batch modifying items...       

What Symphony provides, which Koha does not (yet), is a "Finished Reports" list that a staff member can always revisit to view the results/products of running a specific "Report" or "Tool", at a specific point in time. 

Each "Finished Report" is formatted/stored as a simple .txt file, and each record contains both: 
(a) a description of the specific criteria/action taken, at a specific time, to produce the particular listing of item/bib records ("reports") or desired changes to the system ("tool"), and 
(b) the actual list of records or outcomes that resulted from running a "report" or "tool" at that point in time. 

I hope this helps others understand what we are aiming for, but to answer your specific questions...


- Are we talking about guided/SQL reports?

Yes, we are talking about Koha's "Guided/SQL reports" (those "saved" within our local installation), but we are also talking about logging/recording the outcomes of using Koha's various "Tools"... 

Whether these "Finished Reports" appear in a single list is not important, but we would like to be able to go back and see what specific results/outcomes were achieved by running "x" Report or Tool, at "y" point in time.   


- Should report results be kept forever?  For a specific length of time (or until purged)?  How long?

The proposed records should be kept indefinitely, until purged by a staff member. 


- Should results be retained for all reports?  Or should this be decided per report?  Or per each run of the report?

These option should be flexible and ever-presnt. The default selected option ( presented at the moment the command is sent to 'run') should be to retain the result of any/all runs of an established report/tool. However, it would be good to have the option, with each run of each report/tool, to not automatically store the result in the system. 

(A staff member would, of course, always have the option, when viewing the record of any just-run report/tool, of saving the file to a personal computer/network directory of their choice, outside of the Koha system/server.)


- Does there need to be a permission for seeing finished saved report results?

Staff permissions to view these finished/saved reports would correspond with existing access privileges. If a staff member's profile has permission to generate reports or to use a specific tool, they will be able to view any finished/saved report in any corresponding list. 


- Does there need to be a permission for deleting/purging saved report results?

As above, if a staff member is permitted to run and to view outcomes of reports/tools, they should have the option to delete/purge records from corresponding lists. 


- Should there be constraints on which staff members should be able to see saved report results?

As above. 


- Should saved report results be stored in the database?  In the filesystem?  

Without any clear/expert grasp of how and where Koha currently stores all of the different data elements in the system, my instinct is to say these records should not be stored in the database, but elsewhere within the file system: perhaps in the same general area where existing "logs" are kept. 


- Is there a size limit we should enforce?

A size limit probably should be enforced, but should be generous without being ludicrous. Perhaps a prompt could be developed that would inform the staff when 90% of the allocated space has been used, and that it is time to purge some content to make room for new reports (and/or to save/archive selected records to an external directory, e.g., on personal computers/networks outside of the Koha system/server)? 

This option to view/save a finished report to a personal/shared directory should always be available, as should the option to purge.  

This is my first submission/reply on the system, and I imagine much lengthier than anyone expected, but I hope it is clear and will be happy to answer any other questions that may arise. 

Thank you Nicole for opening this thread on our behalf, and thank you Galen for your interest.
Comment 3 Galen Charlton 2013-07-24 14:31:06 UTC
(In reply to Claire Elliott from comment #2)
> This is my first submission/reply on the system, and I imagine much
> lengthier than anyone expected, but I hope it is clear and will be happy to
> answer any other questions that may arise. 

Thank you for your reply -- this sort of detail is very helpful.  A general follow-up question I have is this: could you describe a workflow or two that you would like involving saved report output?  The obvious one is simply the ability to go back and view or save the results of a past report run, but I'd like to suss out whether there are other things that you are used to doing with saved reports.
Comment 4 Claire Elliott 2013-07-25 18:25:30 UTC
(In reply to Galen Charlton from comment #3)


> ...could you describe a workflow or two that you would like involving saved 
> report output?  The obvious one is simply the ability to go back and view or 
> save the results of a past report run, but I'd like to suss out whether there 
> are other things that you are used to doing with saved reports.

Sorry for the delayed response, but I wanted to confer with my colleague in cataloguing before getting back to you. 

From my discussion with her, I am confident in saying that the main reason we appreciate these reports is that they allow us to compare results from one run to the next. To be precise, they are useful because they tell us (a) exactly how/what we searched to get a particular list of results or how we approached a certain system task/modification (meaning we can duplicate the same search/process to produce comparable results), and (b) they preserve the actual results of a search or action carried out at a specific point in time. 

In brief, we don’t run/save a report with the intent to manipulate/re-format the content for some further purpose, so can’t claim that there is any other ‘workflow’ that depends on these already-run “Reports”/”Tools”… They are really just there to consult, and to provide us with a valuable record of what we have done on the system and how the collection is evolving.

That said, having now opened this thread, I feel I should confess that, as newcomers to Koha, we still need and fully intend to do a bit more homework to determine whether we can achieve most of our needs by using, or building new Reports and querying existing log(s) data. At first glance, this option did not appear sufficient to us, but we can't claim to have investigated it thoroughly. 

Thank you!
Comment 5 Jonathan Druart 2015-09-02 10:59:59 UTC
I have proposed, on bug 14435, to reintroduce a broken feature.
It is a simpler version of what you suggest, but it heads in the same direction.