WebTrends 8.1A Success at Last

After numerous attempts to get the new WebTrends version 8.1a working on my test server I finally succeeded. That's the good news, what I had to do to get here is another story and the bad news.

First for those who've been following my blog posts on WebTrends can tell that I haven't been happy with the new version of WebTrends. I've been on the phone regularly with WebTrends technical support staff and just couldn't get it working the way I wanted. As someone who installs, configures and manages WebTrends for clients across North America this has been disappointing to say the least.

Since WebTrends 8.1 release back in August I've had a few opportunities to do clean installs on new servers. They went relatively OK as long as we got all the setting right the first time. If the client had first tried to install WebTrends and then I needed to reinstall to add missing components that's when another set of nightmares began. But these nightmares got me on the road to figuring out the good clean installation.

So now back to my test server. On several occasions, I had WebTrends 8.1 working, but speed was an issue and it kept crashing. In the end, I was one of the problems. This is a test server and I was using Windows XP Pro as the OS. Because of the version of IIS isn't a full version and only allows 1 web site to work at a time. I had previously used this instance of IIS to host my test SDC server. This was problem number 1. The SDC component even when it wasn't operation seemed to cause a conflict. And when I'd switch between them WebTrends would crash. So I deleted the SDC component and WebTrends ran, but it ran slow.

My WebTrends test server has been around for a while starting with version 7.0 and has always gone through upgrades. It was the 8.1 upgrade that ultimately was causing me problems. To get WebTrends to run properly, I latterly had to uninstall the previous version of WebTrends, delete all related files (OK simply rename the directory) including the instance of MySQL and start from scratch. WebTrends is now flying on my test server and I haven't had a single problem in days. That's good news for me, but if you have an existing WebTrends installation and need to upgrade you're not in the position to blow it all away and start over. So proceed carefully, do a complete server back up and be ready to revert if you run into problems.

I'm starting to like the new interface despite less than a handful of things that annoy me. I'm still waiting for at least one more round of patches/fixes with this version before recommend to clients to proceed with the upgrade. However, if you're starting from scratch there is now no reason to stay away from version 8.1a of WebTrends.

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