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FlashStats
 
Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Getting Started


Chapter 2: Installation


Windows IIS / PWS
Windows Netscape
Windows WebSite
Windows (local)
Windows (general)
UNIX (general)
Mac WebSTAR
Mac Quid Pro Quo
Mac WebTen


Chapter 3

Configuration File


Chapter 4

Report Parameters


Chapter 5

Common Tasks


Chapter 6

Report Descriptions


Chapter 7

Files Installed


Chapter 8

Upgrading from Prior Versions


Chapter 9

Custom Log Formats


 

FlashStats
Documentation: Chapter 2
Installation for Windows (local)


Use these instructions if your web site is hosted on a remote ISP and you want to analyze your log files locally on your own computer instead of remotely on your ISP's computer [via a browser].

In order to run FlashStats locally on your Windows-based computer, you will need the following items:

  • The Windows version of FlashStats (download)
  • A web server installed on your local computer (list of free or inexpensive servers)
  • A copy of your log files, downloaded from your ISP and saved to your local hard disk

If you have these items, please follow the steps below.


Step 1: Install the Local Web Server


Since FlashStats is a CGI program, it must be launched by a web server. Thus, you need to install a web server on your local computer. There are several free or inexpensive web servers available; here's a list.

Once you have downloaded the web server's setup program, go ahead and install it. You can usually just accept all of the default values provided by the server's setup program.

After installing the web server (and rebooting your computer if necessary), continue with the next step.


Step 2: Download Log Files


You need to determine where you are going to place your web site's log files that you download from your ISP.

Create a directory as desired on your local hard disk. Download your current log files from your ISP and place them into the appropriate directory. You should not need to convert the log files; FlashStats can automatically read log files generated on Mac or UNIX platforms. However, if they are in a custom format then you will need to read Chapter 9 for information on telling FlashStats how to read their custom format.

Remember the name of the directory into which you are placing your web site's log files. These log files are different from the ones created by your local web server, so be sure not to get them confused. All further configuration of FlashStats should deal with the downloaded log files directory, not the local web server's log files directory. This will ensure that FlashStats analyzes your web site's statistics, not your local web server's statistics.


Step 3: Run FlashStats Setup


Download the original setup program from the Maximized Software download site. After it has finished downloading, run setup by double-clicking on the file that you downloaded.

Setup will provide reasonable guesses about where you have installed your web server, but be sure to correct any directory names as necessary. In particular, when Setup asks for the name of your web server's CGI directory, be sure to specify a valid CGI directory, not a WinCGI or DOSCGI directory.

Setup will also configure a sample "user account" in the FlashStats.ini configuration file, but you will still need to edit the file (see step 5 below).

Be sure to read FlashStats' Read Me file for any last-minute information.

You have successfully installed the FlashStats files. The next step will help you to edit the FlashStats.ini file to properly configure FlashStats for your system.


Step 4: Set File Permissions


This step only applies if you are running FlashStats on a Windows NT system with the NTFS file system!
If you are NOT running on Windows NT, skip to Step 5.

If you are running FlashStats on a Windows NT system using Peer Web Services or IIS, then you need to set certain file permissions. If you do not grant these permissions, then FlashStats will not be able to read or write necessary files and may generate empty reports. If you are not running FlashStats on a Windows NT system, or if you are running on NT but are not using the NTFS file system, then you can ignore this entire step and jump down to Step 5.

You need to determine which Windows NT user account is used by the web server when it runs. Check the your web server's configuration options to find out how the server is configured. If the web server runs as a desktop application, then the user account will usually be that of the user who is logged into the computer when the web server is launched, such as Administrator. If the web server runs as a server, then the user account will usually be System unless manually set to something else with the Services Control Panel.

You use the Directory Permissions dialog box to set directory permissions, and use the File Permissions dialog box to set file permissions.

Let's first set the directory permissions for the directory into which you save the log files downloaded from your ISP. Open the properties for the log file folder; click on the Security tab of the Properties dialog box, then click on the Permissions button.



Now, look at the permissions for the log file directory. Does the web server user account already have Change (or Full Control) permissions? Alternately, does the Everyone account have Change (or Full Control) permissions? If not, then you need to add Change permissions for the web server user account.

To do this, click on the Add... button. The Add Users and Groups dialog box will pop up. Click on the Show Users button. Select the web server user account from the top list box, and click on the Add button to add it to the lower list box. In the Type of Access drop-down list, choose Change. Then click the OK button to return to the Directory Permissions dialog box.

You will see that the web server user account has been added to the list of directory permissions, with Change rights. Make sure that the Replace Permissions on Existing Files checkbox is checked on (enabled). Finally, hit OK to apply the new values to all existing files and to the directory itself.

Now follow similar procedures to set the directory permissions for all of these directories (you just set the permissions for the second directory listed):

Directory Permissions
 
Directory Rights
FlashStats program directory
Example: C:\Program Files\Maximized Software\FlashStats
Change
(Archived) logs directory *
Example: C:\Program Files\WebServer\logs
Change
FlashStats HTML directory
Example: C:\Program Files\WebServer\docs\FlashStats
Read

* Note: FlashStats needs Change directory permissions in order to be able to create and delete some special files in the archived logs directory. Note that if your current log file is in a different directory than your archived log files, then FlashStats only needs Change permissions to the directory containing the archived log files. Of course, as for file permissions, FlashStats needs to be able to read all log files.

After assigning directory permissions, use the File Permissions dialog box to set these file permissions:

File Permissions
 
File(s) Location Rights
Log files Log directory Read
FlashStats.ini CGI directory Read

Of course, you can grant a higher level of priveleges than described here; these values are just minimums. In addition, it doesn't matter if you grant these rights to the web server user account directly, or to a group that the user belongs to (such as Everyone).


Step 5: Configure a User Account


You need to edit the FlashStats.ini file to configure FlashStats for your system. To do this, first open the FlashStats.ini file in your cgi (or scripts) directory. Any standard text editor will work fine.

Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the format of the FlashStats.ini file. You will notice that any line beginning with a # character or a semicolon is treated as a comment, and is ignored by FlashStats. Feel free to add your own comments if you want to.

Notice that all of the information in the FlashStats.ini file is specified with a key=value format. In most cases, you will not have to change the key, but may need to replace any existing value.

There are two main types of lines in FlashStats.ini. The first type is a "single-value" line, where exactly one key=value pair is specified. Examples of this type of line are the lines that begin with Key= and Password=. The other type of line is the "user account" line, which begins with user=. These user account lines are how you tell FlashStats which users can run reports, and which log files they can access. These user accounts are private to FlashStats, and do not relate to any other type of user account that your web server or operating system may maintain, such as user name or account name (under Mac, Windows NT, or UNIX). You edit the FlashStats.ini to create accounts for each user that you would like to be able to run FlashStats.

Of course, several end users can share the same FlashStats user account. And if you'd like to do away with user accounts entirely, you can just set up one account named something simple like "public" and no password and then always use that account. We'll get to those details later. For now, let's go ahead and create a basic user account so that you can begin using FlashStats.

We're going to create a user account named "sample". The FlashStats.ini file that you installed to your cgi (scripts) directory in Step 3 already contains a "sample" user account with some "dummy" values; let's modify those dummy values to reflect your system's configuration.

Locate the line that begins with user=sample. This is a user account line. Note that all parameters for this user account must be placed entirely on one line, with each key=value separated by a semicolon; do not press Return to wrap the text to a new line. If the text breaks onto a new line, then FlashStats will not see any text on lines other than the first line, and therefore the user account will not be configured properly. Of course, if your text editor wraps lines "logically" so that they fit on the screen, without actually breaking the lines by inserting a carriage return, then that's okay.

Notice that parameters on the user account line are separated by a semicolon. Find the password= parameter for the "sample" user account. The value of the password is preset to no string so that this user account does not require a password. This is fine for our purposes right now, so you don't need to change that parameter.

Now look at the third parameter: url=. Change the value after the equal sign to be the base URL for the web site that you'll be generating statistics for. For example, if your web site's home page is http://www.mydomain.com, then use that as the value of the url= parameter. Or, if your home page is http://www.myisp.com/mycompany, then use that. Here are some examples of what the url= parameter might look like:

url=http://www.mydomain.com
url=http://www.myisp.com/mycompany
url=http://www.myschool.edu/~username

Note that you don't need to end the value with a slash, and that you don't need to specify the filename of your home page, just its URL base location.

Next, give your report a title. This simple title will print at the top of the summary report generated by FlashStats. Keep the parameter relatively short, something like: title=My Domain Analysis.

Next, you need to specify the location of the log files generated by your web server. First, find out how your web server names its log files: some name the current log file differently than old files, while others use a consistent naming scheme. For example, Microsoft Personal Web Server consistently names all of its files in the form inYYMMDD.log, where YYMMDD corresponds to the current year, month, and day.

You will use the logs= parameter to specify all of your old log files. If the current log file is named differently or is in a different directory then you will use the accesslog= parameter to specify it separately. If your web server never rotates its log files and just keeps one big log file, then specify it with the logs= parameter.

Add or edit the logs= parameter to indicate the full path and wildcard pattern to match all of the old log files generated by your server. (Most web servers can automatically rotate, or "archive," their log files every day, week, or month.) Simply make sure that there's a parameter on the user account line that reads something like:

logs=C:\Program Files\WebServer\logs\old\*.log

If the current log file is not matched by the pattern in the logs= parameter, then you need to add the accesslog= parameter so that it specifies the full path to the current log file generated by your web server. For example, you may enter a value like this:

accesslog=C:\Program Files\WebServer\logs\today.log

That's it! You should now have a user account line for an account named "sample" that looks something like this (all on one line):

user=sample;password=;url=http://www.mydomain.com;title=My Domain Analysis;logs=C:\Program Files\WebServer\logs\old\*.log;accesslog=C:\Program Files\WebServer\logs\today.log

Save and close the configuration file.

You're now ready to run your first FlashStats report.


Step 6: Run A Report


Make sure your local web server is running, fire up your web browser, and bring up the FlashStats Report Request Form with this URL:

http://localhost/FlashStats/

Note: The word localhost tells your browser to connect to your local computer.

You will see the FlashStats Report Request Form. Later you may want to change some of the fields on this form, but for now just accept the defaults. Hit the Generate Report button, then wait for FlashStats to generate the report.

That's it! You've successfully run your first FlashStats report. If you'd like to customize your FlashStats installation, you should continue on to Chapter 3.

As time passes and the log files at your ISP grow, you will need to download any additional log files as they are created by your ISP.

If you encountered any problems, you may want to jump to the support area of our web site.

Version 1.5 -- Last update: 2/8/01


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