The tribble effect: getting control of your WebReports

A common concern I hear from Content Server customers is that they don’t know what WebReports functionality is running on their system. Conversely, in some cases, customers have no idea that they have multiple active WebReports enhancing their system, which makes it very hard to support any customer requests or problems!

Typically, customers might have a selection of: custom client applications, reports, admin utilities, WebReports triggered by system events, scheduled WebReports, objects being “overridden” by ActiveViews or Perspectives, WebReports in widgets, Workflow steps, custom Form views, WebReports triggered by Forms, WebReports populating DB tables via Forms among others! Do you know what’s on your system? Did you know WebReports had this much functionality? 

This chaotic picture reminds me of a classic episode of Star Trek, “The Trouble with Tribbles.” In it, a tribble gets on board, and while seemingly harmless and adorable, the creature quickly multiplies and soon thousands of tribbles are in every nook and cranny of the Enterprise, and ultimately getting in the crew’s way and distracting them from their mission. 

The trouble with both tribbles and WebReports is that they quickly multiply (fortunately not spontaneously in the case of WebReports). While all types of customization on Content Server can be unmanageable and unruly without an appropriate development framework to manage them, WebReports’ ease of use and flexibility of deployment means even users with only a basic knowledge of programming can create them, often without the knowledge of administrators. In conjunction with full blown development projects, the number of objects can multiply quickly, generally in an uncontrolled manner. When this happens, you might need some help to round them up,  and get them under control. 

Beam us up, Scotty.

At Ravenblack, we can tame your WebReports and restore order through a set of advanced products and services, tailor-made to give you control of your legacy functionality, dramatically reducing your support costs, and vastly accelerating your ability to develop new functionality - while maintaining order and control. We’re talking order of magnitude improvements when assembling small to massive size applications.  

We think this is a big opportunity, but is it enough to justify a software purchase? Judging by our existing customers and trial customers using products like the Application Analyzer, we’re seeing some impressive results. If you consider the cost of labour to build custom functionality, and the hidden costs of supporting all this functionality (usually with no documentation) the value proposition is excellent. Plus, consider the ramifications of not getting control of your WebReports. Had Captain Kirk not tackled the Enterprise’s overpopulation of furballs, the crew would never have regained control of the ship and restored their systems and trajectory. 

So get yourself out of tribble, and contact us at info@ravenblackts.com for a free trial to map out and document your system.

Photo credit: Chris Devers