How to export FocalScope reports directly to a folder or FTP / web server
Friday, December 2, 2016 4:51 AM

FocalScope reports can be exported directly to server or network attached storage as well as FTP / Web server using the custom notification type. This article details how to configure the custom notification as well as the best practices for exporting raw FocalScope reports to your FocalScope server, network attached storage, or FTP / Web server.

Prerequisites

Tutorial

Designating a storage area on the FocalScope server for reports

Before reports can be exported to a windows folder, a proper storage area and secure folder need to designated to collect the report files. Please take note of the following:

  1. You can export reports to either a network drive or secondary data drive on the server (highlighted in red in Figure 1). Caution, it is recommended that you not use the OS drive (by default Local Disk C:) to store FocalScope reports as this can lead to uncontrolled data growth, which may negatively affect the server's performance and / or functionality. Additionally, an FTP / Web server can be used to export FocalScope reports to; users can then download the latest FocalScope reports directly from the FTP / Web server
  2. On whatever storage you've selected, create a new folder in which to store exported FocalScope reports and name it accordingly. Note the full path to the folder (e.g., Z:\Reports)
  3. It is advised that you use the Windows folder sharing & security (Microsoft reference) to only grant supervisors access to report folder and its contents
  4. Please note, supervisors and / or system administrators are responsible for the deletion of outdated and decommissioned reports to keep disk utilization at an optimal level. Once FocalScope exports the file to the server or network storage folder it cannot be deleted by FocalScope




    Figure 1 - Defining the report export location

    Configuring upload parameters for FocalScope reports

    FocalScope reports can be uploaded to a windows folder, an FTP server, or a Web server for easy access. Configure the upload parameters for a report as follows:

    1. Navigate to the [Shared Reports] folder
    2. Click the [Reports] tab (highlighted in orange)
    3. Either add and configure a new report or edit an existing one
    4. In the [Report form] window, click the [Schedule & Notifications] tab
    5. Under the [Upload report document] section, tick the [Enable uploading] flag and configure one of three upload methods as follows:
      • FTP
      1. In the [Type] field, select [FTP]
      2. [If required] Switch on [FTP Passive] mode by ticking the corresponding flag
      3. In the [URL] field, specify the URL for the FTP server (e.g., ftp://acme.com)
      4. In the [User] and [Password] fields, specify the login credentials for the FTP server
      5. Continued in points 6 & 7...
      • HTTP
      1. In the [Type] field, select [HTTP]
      2. In the [URL] field, specify the URL for the wen server (e.g., http://acme.com/uploader.ashx)
      3. In the [User] and [Password] fields, specify the login credentials for the web server
      4. Continued in points 6 & 7...
      • Folder
      1. In the [Type] field, select [Folder]
      2. In the [Folder path] field, specify the full path to the folder on the FocalScope hosting server where reports are to be delivered (e.g., C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\Reports). If the reports are to be uploaded to a network drive or network storage, use the full UNC path to the system / folder (e.g., \\Server\Share\Subfolder\Reports)
      3. Continued in points 6 & 7...
    6. Tick the [Compress to zip]  flag if you wish to have the report file zipped before upload
    7. In the [File format] dropdown list, select either a [Raw] or [Live Excel] report format
    8. Click [Save] to save the report





    Figure 2 - Report upload parameters

    Configuring the 'custom' notification to export FocalScope reports

    The custom notification is responsible for exporting reports to the predefined windows folder(s) or an FTP / web server. A report can have multiple custom notifications configured that export reports to different locations and in different file formats. Configure the custom notification as follows:


    1. Navigate to the [Shared Reports] folder
    2. Click the [Reports] tab (highlighted in orange)
    3. Either add and configure a new report or edit an existing one
    4. In the [Report form] window, click the [Schedule & Notifications] tab
    5. Under the [Notifications] section, add a new [Custom] notification
    6. Enter Report2folder.exe /OutputFolder: "Path to storage folder" (highlighted in red in Figure 3)
      1. If FocalScope reports are to be exported to a network drive or network storage, use the full UNC path to the system / folder, e.g., "\\Server\Share\Subfolder\Reports"
    7. Please note, if FocalScope reports are to be exported to an FTP / web server, then the following must be added to the custom notification command line:
      • /OutputFolder: - this option is not necessary when FTP / web services are used
      • /user:"FTP / web username" - e.g., /user:"AcmeCo"
      • /password:"FTP / web password" - e.g., /password:"Acmeftp12$"
      • /url:"FTP / web server's URL or IP address" - FTP example, /url:"ftp.acme.com". Web example,/url:"HTTP(S)://reports.acme.com/uploader.ashx"
    8. If you wish to have the .xlsx report file contained in a zip archive, add the parameter /OutputFormat:zip to the end of the command (highlighted in blue in Figure 3)
    9. Click [Save] to save the report



    Figure 3 - The 'Custom' notification


    Please note, for both the upload parameters and the 'custom' notification, the report files will be exported to the designated storage folder when,


    • The report in the [Shared Report] folder is manually generated by a user
    • The report is dispatched according to its configured schedule and upload configuration