MailEssentials offers some basic reporting functionality out-of-the-box, which provides some useful information and insights. These reports can be scheduled to run at a specific date and time or generated on-the-fly as ad hoc reports.
This article describes how to enable the reporting functions by configuring the preferred reporting database as well as how to generate a report.
Enabling the reporting functionality starts by configuring the reporting database. This enables you to use the data collected by GFI MailEssentials to generate various reports.
GFI MailEssentials supports the following Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) as the backend database for storing reporting data:
- Firebird: This is the default backend database that is created by the MailEssentials installation wizard. Firebird is an open-source SQL relational database management system that runs on Microsoft Windows and several Unix platforms. By default, the installer creates a Firebird database at this location:
- Microsoft® SQL Server: SQL Server database is also supported for storing reporting data. This is a proprietary relational database management system provided by Microsoft. The installation and creation of a database for use by MailEssentials data should be done separately as this is not handled by the MailEssentials installer.
The next section describes the process to follow in order to configure the preferred reporting database and how this can be used to generate reports.
Use the Reporting node in the MailEssentis Configuration UI to enable and use the Reporting functions. The configuration screen is accessed by navigating to GFI MailEssentials > Reporting > Settings which will open up the below screen from where you will select the preferred database system:
This is the default database created by MailEssentials once Reporting is enabled.
- From the MailEssentials Configuration UI, navigate to GFI MailEssentials > Reporting > Settings.
- From the Database Type box, select Firebird. For new installations, this will already be selected by default.
- If you wish to create a different database other than the default one shown under Current location, enter the complete path, including the preferred filename and .fdb extension of the database file. Note that if you only specify a file name, the database file is created in the following default path:
- Click on Apply.
MailEssentials is now ready to start saving reporting data to the Firebird database.
SQL Server Setup
Firebird database performance has been known to degrade as the database size approaches 7GB hence the recommendation to enable Auto Purging. Using a SQL Server database is a viable alternative for customers who wish to retain their old reporting data. Note that a database license from Microsoft may be required depending on the SQL Server edition in use.
Follow the below steps to set up a new SQL Server database for use by MailEssentials. The steps assume that you already have a working and duly licensed SQL server installation, otherwise start by reviewing this external reference: SQL Server installation guide.
- Create a new database in Microsoft® SQL Server.
- Create a dedicated user/login in SQL Server, mapped to the newly created database. Grant the user full access to all server and database roles and permissions.
- From the configuration UI, navigate to GFI MailEssentials >Reporting > Settings.
- From the Database Type box, select SQL Server.
- Select Detected server option to select an automatically detected SQL Server instance from the list. If the server is not auto-detected, select Manually specified server and key in the SQL Server hostname or IP address.
- Supply the credentials with permissions to read/write to the database.
- Click Get Database List to obtain the list of databases from the server.
- From the Database list, select the database created in Step 1 to be used for MailEssentials Reporting.
- Click on Apply.
MailEssentials is now ready to start saving reporting data to the Microsoft SQL Server database.
Reporting Database Auto-Purging
You can configure MailEssentials to automatically delete (auto-purge) report data from the database older than the specified number of months. By default, Auto-Purging is configured to delete data that is older than 12 months.
Follow the below steps to enable auto-purging:
- Navigate to GFI MailEssentials > Reporting > Settings and select the Auto-purge tab.
- Select Enable Auto-Purging and specify how long mail items in the database should be stored in months.
- Click on Apply.
Note: Auto-purging is applied only to the current database configured in the Reporting tab. Always take a backup of the current database before completing any database change to avoid losing reporting data.
Once the reporting database is enabled and configured as described above, authorized users can generate various standard as well as custom reports.
Refer to this linked article to learn more about Generating Reports and the various Report functions available on the generated reports: Generating a Report
- GFI MailEssentials MailInsights Communication Flow Report
- Migrating the Reporting Database to new format