With release of ZENworks Reporting 5 (ZR5), we have introduced a new reporting engine. Through this article, I’ll try to explain some ZR5 terminologies along with an overview of how to configure a domain in ZR5 and what happens in background.
What is a Domain?
For those familiar with ZENworks Reporting Server (ZRS), a Domain in ZR5 is equivalent to a Universe in ZRS. For everybody else, a Domain can be viewed as collection of data objects. Each data object is designed to fetch a pre-defined piece of information from database. A simple example of this is a data object that fetches and displays the name of devices in a zone. The core idea behind using these data objects is to shield users from writing SQL queries when retrieving this data. As is evident, a Domain is tightly coupled with a database schema or even database type (as syntax varies across different database types).
Going back to ZRS, an update to a Universe meant that applying a patch to the ZRS server. Many of you have asked if there wasn’t a way to update the universe without also having to update the underlying engine. With ZR5, the underlying reporting engine is independent from the Domain and it is indeed possible to update only a Domain. This will allow us to more rapidly respond to requests for updates to the Domain.
A Domain is bundled as part of ZENworks Resource File, which contains the following things:
Configuring ZENworks Resource File during a ZR5 Installation or Using ZR5 Configuration Tool
To start using ZR5, a configuration needs to be done. This involves configuring two things :
This configuration can be done as part of initial installation or can be done later by using ZENworks Configuration Tool.
ZENworks configuration tool can be invoked on your ZR5 server by running %ZENWORKS_HOME%\zenworks-reporting\bin\zrsconfig.sh or zrsconfig.exe.
For a successful installation, at least one database and domain needs to be configured as part of initial installation. The ZR5 installation/ Configuration Tool provide two ways in which both Datasource & ZENworks Resource File can be configured:
A. ZENworks Configuration Management
For configuring the ZENworks Domain or ZENworks Audit Domain (a Domain provided for reporting against the ZENworks 11SP3 auditing capabilities), this is the preferred and only supported way. By using this option, a user need not worry about database parameters. If this option is selected, the following happens in the background:
B. Reporting Configuration File
As part of re-booted Cool Solutions, we are planning to release an experimental domain with additional objects. The aim is to gather feedback and then release these changes as part of later official release. We are also planning to release experimental domains for other ZENworks Products including ZENworks Application Virtualization (ZAV) Server and ZENworks Mobile Management (ZMM). You can also expect a domain that makes it easy to report against the content metadata and status related to the Content Repository. All of these Domains will be released as resource files similar to the ZENworks Resource File. Each of these Domains can be configured by using ‘Reporting Configuration File’ option. Like (A), this also involves configuring two things:
ZENworks Reporting 5 comes with many new features to help you get the data faster. It also supports extensive drill down capability along with many different ways in which a data can be viewed. With separation of data objects from main reporting engine, it is now possible to update objects much faster. ZR5 also provides multiple ways to configure your reports and provides support to use one reporting engine across multiple ZENworks Products.