This tutorial will lead you through all the major features of LogAnalysis and get you started on getting the most out of it as quickly as possible.
Reading log files
Log files are large and take a long time to read. Therefore LogAnalysis reads the original log file and then creates its own database which is stored as a file with the extension .laf. This file is significantly smaller and much faster to read. So the first steps are to read in a log file and save it as a LAF database.
Viewing a bar chart of your Total Summary view
To view a bar chart of your total summary information select up to four of the entries (hits, files, images, pages, visits) and select View - Barchart. The bar chart dialog is displayed. For the Total Summary view you can only select a date bar chart. Choose an appropriate date range to display and select whether you wish to view hits or bytes. Click OK and the bar chart is displayed, if you selected more than one entry each will be displayed in a different colour. Select View - Barchart again to go back to the summary view (or hit Escape or click the barchart icon on the toolbar)
There are a huge number of records in a log file, one for each access to every file on your site including each and every image on every page. It is not generally very useful to view all this data at once and the ability to filer some of it out is very important. Select Log - Filter and the filter dialog is displayed. You will see that you can explicitly include or exclude selected files, domains and error codes, and also choose to exclude images or view only valid files, pages or search engine accesses. You can also choose to only include records within a certain date range. For the time being it is probably best to just tick the exclude images box (selected by default) as on many sites the image records have a tendency to swamp everything else, however feel free to make other filter selections if you wish. Note if you prefer to see error messages rather than the error code numbers then select View - Show HTTP Codes as Text.
Now you are ready to start playing with the views. This is one of the most powerful aspects of LogAnalysis - you can design your own. A few views have been pre-configured for you. There is a Record view which is essentially all the same information as in your log file which is useful for viewing details but can be a bit slow if there are a lot of records. Much more interesting are the summary views. for now we'll just take a look at a couple of these and you should get the idea!
File Summary View
Select View - Summary View and you will be presented with a dialog asking which summary view you wish to see. There are three views pre configured for you. Select the File Summary view and click OK. You will now see a summary of all the files on your site (that pass your current filter settings) with a count of how many hits each has had and the number of bytes those hits total up to. You can choose which column to sort on by either just clicking the top of the column or selecting View - Sort Order. This view is useful to tell you which files are the most popular on your site. Select a significant number (around 20 is generally good) of the records in this view (you can use ctrl and shift with the mouse as normal). Now select View - Barchart and again the barchart dialog is presented. This time select "Selected Records" and click OK you will see a barchart comparing the number of hits (or bytes) on each of your selected files. Return to the summary view (Select View - Barchart or hit Escape or click the barchart icon on the toolbar) and this time select between 1 and 4 summary records and again select View - Barchart, this time select date range and enter an appropriate range and click OK. Now you will see a bar chart of your selected files over a period of time.
Domain Summary by File
Now select View - Summary View again and this time select the Domain summary by file. This time you will see a summary of how many hits you have had on each page from each referrer domain. You will probably see your own domain somewhere near the top since once a visitor has entered your site and clicks a link to another page the referrer will be your own domain. Also you will probably see "- (no referrer)" quite high as this information is unfortunately often hidden and not provided anyway if the visitor came through a saved bookmark/favourite or just typed the URL in. However already you are beginning to see who is sending people to your site and where they are coming in. Experiment as before with the bar chart views if you wish.
Note there are different formats for the apache log file the two most common are "Common log format" and "Combined log format". The only real difference between them is that the common format does not include the referrer or the user agent. If none of your records have a referrer domain (they all say "- (no referrer)" then you probably have the common log format set up. If you want this information (recommended as without it you have no access to the referrer domain or search string information) then if you have control over the server then this site explains how to set up the combined log format: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/logs.html. Otherwise you will have to ask the support people in charge of the server if they can change the format for your logs.
Designing your own views
Now lets design a new view. It's really very simple! Select View - Manage Views, the View Manager dialog will appear and should be displaying the default summary views (if not select Summary from the drop down at the top). Click New and you will now get the Edit View dialog. This is a summary view and they will always have a Hits and an Order column to start with. Enter a name for your new view - I suggest calling this one "Files by Entry Domain". Now add two columns - File and Entry Referrer Domain - by clicking on the each of those fields in the left pane and then clicking Add. Now select each of these new columns in the right pane and move it to your desired position - I suggest having the Files column first and the Entry Referrer Domain column second followed by the Hits and Order columns. That's it - click OK and then OK to the View Manager dialog and you should now be viewing your new summary view, and a useful one it is too. This view will show you a count of all the hits to files on your site that originally came from each referrer (ie the original referrer that the visit began with). Again you can view bar charts of this data.
Starting in any of your Summary Views, select one or more summary records and select View Details. You will be asked to select a Record view. Currently you have only one Record view so select that and you will now see details of all the records that matched your selected summary record(s). Double clicking one of these records will show all the details of that entry that were in the original log file. You can return to the summary view by clicking the left arrow (back) button on the tool bar, but first lets view some visit details. Select one of the records in this view and then select View - Visit Details. You will see details of the visit that that record was part of, showing one or more records of each file accessed during the visit. See Terminology for a definition of a visit. Again clicking the left arrow (back) button will take you back to the original details view and you can view more visits if you wish.
That should have given you a quick start to all the major features of LogAnalysis. Be sure to save your LAF file if you want to keep the data you have set up including the new view. One tip - all the data on your own designed views is stored in the LAF file so if you want to create a second LAF file (maybe for a different site) and wish to use all the same views in it then instead of selecting File - New I recommend you select File - Save As, specify the new LAF file and then when you read the log data choose to overwrite.