WebTrends 8.1a - Issues and Solutions

An interesting thing occurred today, I received a call from one of WebTrends senior technical support staff. Turns out he was reading my blog posts about all recent issues with version 8.1. This is also one of the reason I like WebTrends. This was not a call to calm me down, but a proactive call and investigation into the cause of my problems and if I managed to get them resolved. I've always said that WebTrends has some of the best Techincal Support staff in the software business (both knowledgeable and high quality service)

We chatted for about 15 minutes and discussed issues and the reasons why. Here are a couple of things that came out of it.

1. My problem about the status message not updating for over 30 minutes is noted and should be addressed in a future release;
2. The reason why it takes so long upgrade compared to any previous version - turns out that WebTrends makes a temporary backup of the existing database, then deletes everything before performing a complete new install afterwards it restores the data.

This is a high risk move which is why WebTrends stresses the need to properly back up your WebTrends before any upgrade. I'll be posting a guide to the upgrade that I've developed based on some other conversations with tech support to ensure it goes smoothly.

3. Spent 3 days working with version 8.1a - while it is taking a while to get use to the new interface and there are still some technical issues, there are some new features that do make the upgrade worthwhile. Just make sure you plan for the upgrade properly (leave lots of time).

Here are a few of my favorites new features
  1. Scheduled Reports - you can now specify a default SMTP server and from Address - no need to enter for each scheduled report.
  2. Ability to FTP scheduled reports to a repository
  3. Use of date macros in scheduled report naming convention (no more overwriting previously saved reports)
  4. Ability to right click on a graphic a copy and pasted to other applications

Here are a few things I really don't like
  1. Can't open profile reports in a new window or tag - so have keep closing report to view the admin module instead of toggling between them;
  2. Export to Excel Smart Reports is no longer listed as an export type (solution - just choose "Export to Database");
  3. Still no date macros available for scheduled custom compare reports

I'll expand on the above items in another post. The good news is the software is stable and performs as promised.


WebTrends Releases 8.1a

As previously posted, the new version of WebTrends 8.1 was a bit buggy. So 4 weeks later, WebTrends has now released the first round of patches with version 8.1a.

I'm in the process of upgrading my test server and the upgrade is slow. Just like during the original upgrade, it looks like the upgrade is hanging giving a message for more then 30 minutes "Time remaing: 13 seconds". I learned my lesson last time and did kill the process.

The result, after 30 minutes, I was notified that the upgrade was successful and to reboot the server.

I also did a brand new clean install today on a production server at a client. It went smooth until I went back to modify the configuration to change the UI port from the default of 7099 to port 80. After 30 minutes, WebTrends was still displaying the message "Shutting Down WTUI". It was a little after 5:00 pm, so I left it and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be resolved by tomorrow morning.

So until I see the impact from tonights upgrade, I still can't recommend the WebTrends upgrade. However if your installing from scratch, go for it and download the latest version WebTrends 8.1a at ftp://ftp.webtrends.com/WRC/81a/wt-windows.exe