What's New in Geocortex Analytics 1.4.x?

Version 1.4 of Geocortex Analytics involved a complete rewrite of all the probes and replacement of the collectors with other methods. It also included many improvements to reliability, stability and performance, for example, a reduction in the strain of monitored resources like ArcGIS Server. Other improvements involved key feature like clustering, individual user information, and alarms on secured Essentials sites.

Rebuild of Probes, Replacement of Collectors

All the probes in Analytics 1.4.x have been rebuilt and redesigned to increase reliability, performance, and reduce the strain on monitored resources like ArcGIS Server. All the collectors have been replaced with other methods of acquiring data. The new monitoring method intelligently detects when to probe active or dormant services in order to minimize the impact to ArcGIS Server performance.

The rebuild made some reports like System Collector Downtime and Collector Status redundant as the new probing and collection methods use a centralized system.

ArcGIS Server - Intelligent Probing

Analytics now uses intelligent probing when monitoring ArcGIS Servers. To monitor services intelligently, Analytics needs additional administrator access credentials so that it can determine whether services are active or inactive at any given time. Previously, providing administrator credentials was optional.

The additional credentials make it possible for Analytics to determine how busy an ArcGIS Server is and to adapt the timing of its monitoring to ensure its own activity does not add to the strain of a busy resource. For example, Analytics will only probe a few services every hour on a very busy resource but it ensures that all the services are probed over a 24 hour period.

Configured collection intervals can be affected by the new probing method. If Analytics is scheduled to probe a service and it is already active, Analytics respects its collection interval. If a service is inactive, Analytics only probes within 24 hours.

Multiple Log Directories and Different Time Zones

When you set up an ArcGIS Server, you can now specify multiple log directories to monitor on different remote servers. If the server is in a different time zone than the Analytics Hub server, you can specify the time zone that the new server is in.

Portal Changes

Updates to Portals included the removal of Web Map availability alarms as web maps cannot be unavailable unless ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS is unavailable. We retained the alarm for Portal for ArcGIS availability, and with ArcGIS Online’s 99.9% uptime service level agreement, we determined that web map alarms were an unnecessary strain on monitoring.

Configuration No Longer in role.config Files

The ability to configure Analytics by changing the xml code in the role.config files no longer exists. All configuration is now done through the Analytics interface under Configuration. During the upgrade to Analytics 1.4, any custom configuration will be transferred to the new database so that in future, it can be seen and edited in the Configuration interface.

The one exception to the automatic transfer of custom configuration in the role.config files, is the Enabled setting for premium Esri services. This setting is disabled during the upgrade and must be manually enabled again in Configuration after the upgrade. The purpose of disabling this setting is to ensure that Analytics is not collecting on premium services without users being aware of it, as that can cost credits.
For more information, see the What Happens to Custom Files During an Upgrade in the Geocortex Analytics 1.4.x Installation Guide.

Clustering

Improvements to Analytics 1.4 mean that it is no longer necessary to cluster Geocortex Analytics with Geocortex Essentials if you want Analytics to monitor Geocortex Essentials. This change means that it is now easier to set up Analytics for new customers. It also enables existing customers to monitor more than one Essentials across environments, for example, across both QA and production deployments using a single Analytics instance without any concerns about the shared Elasticsearch resources for Essentials.

If your current deployment of Analytics includes clustering with Geocortex Essentials, when you upgrade to Analytics 1.4.x you must un-cluster from Essentials to continue monitoring. To help with unclustering, Analytics 1.4.x ships with an Unclustering Utility that does the unclustering for you. You need to run the Unclustering Utility on the Hub server, all Agent servers and any servers that have Essentials installed on them. For more information, see Unclustering in the Installation Help

More Panels with User Information

New panels that show information about how individual users are using your applications make it possible to monitor, in detail, how users are interacting with your applications. The new information gives you greater visibility into your end users’ experience.

The new Individual user reports include:

You can access individual user reports by clicking a user in the Users panel within a Geocortex or Web Application in the Analytics interface.

No-Track Compliance

The collection and presentation of more information on individual users made it important to also provide the ability to opt out of displaying this information for privacy reasons. Adding Do-Not-Track privacy compliance to Analytics also became necessary because of changing global legislation to protect individual's privacy.

To provide comprehensive compliance for all the regions of the world, Analytics 1.4 was built to include privacy compliance based on the most rigorous current privacy legislation, which is the European Unions’ General Data Protection Regulation, that is coming into effect on May 25, 2018.

To enforce privacy compliance, Analytics uses the browser privacy setting to determine if each user has consented to being tracked or not.

We also provide the ability for Analytics administrators to retrieve or delete a user’s personal data (user name and IP address) if requested. Deletion of a user's personal data retains what the user did within the GIS system but marks their data as anonymous.

It remains your (the customer) responsibility to comply with the privacy laws that apply in your region, whether it is the European Union, California or elsewhere. Our guide includes a reference to possible tracking consent text you could use but it is your responsibility to apply it based on your organizations privacy rules. If you serve a region where do-not-track is not required, we have provided the option to disable do-not-track enforcement in Analytics configuration settings.

In-app Help on each Panel in Status and Trends

There is now in-app help for each report panel to supply information about the contents and usability of each panel. The in-app help aims to communicate what the panel is for and how you can use the information.

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Documentation Version 1.4