Web Log Storming 3.2 released

Log analyzer - files reportVersion 3.2 is available for download.

In this release we’ve added correct recognition of Windows 10 as an operating system and Microsoft Edge and Vivaldi as browsers. Other changes also include using existing IIS cookies for determining sessions and visitors, improved Cache handling, updated IP country database and several bug fixes.

The update is free for everyone who purchased in last two years (after May 31, 2014) or own a lifetime license.

Links:

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Web Log Storming 3.1: Several bug fixes and improvements

Log analyzer - files reportVersion 3.1 is available for download.

Some time ago, we have decided to change behavior of File wildcards parameter so it applies to sessions, not the result list itself. However, in some situations the old behavior could be useful too. That’s why we have added another File parameter: “Show only files matching“. Naturally, it only works and makes sense for file-based reports.

Significant changes also include improved analysis performance and number of bugs fixed when using “Consider queries as part of filename” option. Apparently, this option is not used very often (us included), as one or two of fixed problem existed for years.

The update is free for everyone who purchased in last two years (after September 8, 2013) or own a lifetime license.

Links:

Download an update

Web Log Storming 3.0 released

Log analyzer - files reportWe are happy to announce that Web Log Storming 3.0 is out of the beta and available for download. We want to thank all who provided a valuable feedback and contributed to improve it during testing phase.

Changes from v2.9 are numerous and include Hybrid analysis, several new reports, log file caching, number of various usability and aesthetic improvements, etc. For more detailed explanation of most important additions, you can check What’s new page.

As usual, the update is free for all who purchased in last two years (after March 29th, 2013) or those with a Lifetime license. Others should use an in-application button to get to the subscription extension form.

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Version 3.0 Beta available: Hybrid analysis

 

Part #1: Redesigned reports and 30% discount
Part #2: Log files caching

This is a third part of Version 3.0 Sneak Peek series, but this time you can try it yourself:

Version 3.0 beta is ready for download

Page tagging / Hybrid analysis

One of most important additions is page tagging feature (so-called “hybrid” analysis). Basically, major drawback of using log analyzers instead of script-based analytics is eliminated now, while keeping all benefits. In addition, by using Web Log Storming’s scripts, there is no contact to third-parties – all data stays on your server and your website loading speed won’t be affected much, almost not at all.

 

“Early Bird” 30% discount available until official release

As a special promotion, you can use this coupon for 30% discount:

WLS89445EARLYBIRD

The coupon applies to any purchase (new license or an upgrade) and will be valid until v3.0 is released.

We are keen to hear your comments.

Version 3 Sneak Peek #2: Log files caching

 

Part #1: Redesigned reports and 30% discount
Part #3: Beta available and Hybrid analysis

On several occasions in the past, users have asked why we don’t import data from log files into some kind of database. The answer is still the same: using any kind of database actually significantly reduces performance, even with some of fast libraries like SQLite. Sure, it would be much easier to develop, but the trade-off on the users’ end would be enormous, if we want to follow the original idea of web log analyzer capable for free on-the-fly filtering and creating ad-hoc reports.

So Web Log Storming utilizes series of our own algorithms to:

  • Parse and analyze text log files as fast as possible
  • Organize data in complex model, so it doesn’t take any more memory than it’s necessary
  • Provide fast routines to search and filter reports “on-the-fly” by any available data

 

It is clear that any of third-party libraries, database or other, cannot be more optimized for specific tasks that Web Log Storming requires, then those developed by ourselves from the scratch.

Still, starting with version 3, we have introduced a small improvement with optional log files caching. Basically, Web Log Storming will now analyze text log files, convert to numbers, dates, IP addresses, etc, and then the new step: save parsed data to cache files in format suitable for further usage. Next time when you analyze same log file, software will check if cache exists and read a prepared cache, instead of parsing text file again.

Log files cache options

Naturally, in case caching is enabled, first reading will be slower for the exact time needed to save data to the disk, but each next reading will be significantly faster for the time needed to convert texts to operable data. The speed change will depend on various factors, such is the typical size of individual log files and your preference if you want to keep cache compressed or not, etc. According to our tests, here’s a approximate rough speed comparison:

 

No caching  Uncompressed  Compressed
First analyzing 100% 100-120% 120-150%
Each future analyzing 100% 50-70% 70-90%
Combined first +4 future
100% 60-80% 80-102%
Combined first +9 future 100% 55-75% 75-96%
Combined first +49 future
100% 51-71% 71-91%
Additional space on the disk 0% 100% 10-15%

Typically, for moderate sized log files, you can expect a better performance (closer to lower ranges). For very small individual files (up to few kilobytes) or very large files (hundreds of megabytes or more), caching might not be such a good choice.

As you can see, best total speed improvement is with uncompressed cache, but at the cost of the additional disk space. By setting a caching options, you can decide what works best in your case.

Upgrade policy and “Early Bird” 30% discount

As our users probably already know, we switched to subscription upgrade model years ago. That’s why we don’t specifically charge for major updates like this one: update is free for anyone who bought or upgraded within at least a year before a release day or for anyone who bought a lifetime license.

So feel free to download and try current version and, if you decide to buy even today, you will get version 3 for free. As a special promotion, you can use this coupon for 30% discount:

WLS89445EARLYBIRD

The coupon applies to any purchase (new license or an upgrade) and will be valid until v3.0 is released.

* * *

Feel free to send us your thoughts regarding version 3, either by commenting here or by using a contact form. We’ll be happy to hear your opinion.

Version 3 Sneak Peek #1: Redesigned reports and 30% discount

 

Part #2: Log files caching
Part #3: Beta available and Hybrid analysis

We are heavily working on version 3.0 of our web log analyzer software, which will, we are certain, be a pleasant surprise for all users. In that regard, in next several posts we will talk about of some of more important additions.

Redesigned reports

Honestly, having different types of reports (lists, trends and pies) is something we are not happy with for some time. Discrepancies were not big so far either, but small inconsistencies could disrupt an usual workflow. Yes, some analytics reports should be naturally presented as histograms (bar or line charts) and some as pies, but should they really be different functionally? Also, plain and visually unappealing list reports in Web Log Storming analyzer are far more useful and precise when it comes to data analysis (if you used Web Log Storming at least a bit, you know why).

 Log analyzer - pages report chart  Log analyzer - pages report list
 Log analyzer - visitors report chart  Log analyzer - visitors report list

So we have decided to bring those three types closer to each other. The main idea: (almost) all reports should have both, list and chart representations and consistent right-click menus. Changes include:

  • You will be able to see any list report as chart now (as pies or as horizontal bars, depending on report)
  • Old Pie report become both list and chart reports
  • Old Trend reports will be also presented as a sortable lists, with additional columns for averages and goals

Additional browsing capability

How many times you clicked on item in report to get related sessions, then immediately right-click on left-hand report tree and choose “Keep parameters and select”, to see another report based on selected item? (If you didn’t, you are seriously missing one of unique features of Web Log Storming.) You will be happy to hear that, from the next version, you can do the same by right-clicking on list item (or bar or pie slice) and choose any of available reports or bookmarks directly.

Log analyzer - referrer report browsing

Optimized code

In the process, we’ve re-inspected and changed lot of program code, keeping in mind typical hardware differences compared to years back. As a result, some parts of underlying analysis routines are better optimized, faster and more stable.

Upgrade policy and “Early Bird” 30% discount

As our users probably already know, we switched to subscription upgrade model years ago. That’s why we don’t specifically charge for major updates like this one: update is free for anyone who bought or upgraded within at least a year before a release day or for anyone who bought a lifetime license.

So feel free to download and try current version and, if you decide to buy even today, you will get version 3 for free. As a special promotion, you can use this coupon for 30% discount:

WLS89445EARLYBIRD

The coupon applies to any purchase (new license or an upgrade) and will be valid until v3.0 is released.

* * *

Feel free to send us your thoughts regarding version 3, either by commenting here or by using a contact form. We’ll be happy to hear your opinion. And stay tuned for the next Sneak Peek.

Web Log Storming 2.9: Keywords not provided and other changes

The next version of Web Log Storming, an interactive Apache and IIS web server log analyzer, is ready for download. The update is free for everyone who bought within last two years (after March 14th, 2012).

To be honest, we thought that version 2.9 will never exist, as we are preparing some exciting additions for version 3.0 that will bring WLS to a new level. However, there were few matters that needed our immediate attention, so there it is.

  • Better Files/Pages/Images reports when combined with file parameters
  • Unavailable search phrases (not provided) are displayed as “-” to avoid confusion
  • IP to country/region/city database updated
  • Sessions without any referrer info are not considered as spiders anymore
  • Better behavior when error happens in log file reading thread
  • Fixed detection of countries (no more “.RD”)
  • Referrer grouping fixed (all “*.yahoo” or “*.facebook” domains are now grouped as “yahoo” and “facebook”)
  • Several other minor fixes and improvements

 

Changes in Files/Pages/Images reports

Maybe you have noticed that file-related reports were showing only files that match wildcards in File parameters, until now. For example, if you type “*.exe” in File Parameters, All Files report will only show the list of exe files. In other words, filtering was done on hit level.

It is how it worked from the very beginning and, although this behavior might have its uses, we felt it’s much better if filtering is done on session level. So, starting from v2.9, if you type “/myfile.exe” into File wildcards field and select one of reports in Top files and queries group, Web Log Storming will show all files accessed by visitors who also accessed /myfile.exe.

WLS Files report and parameters

 

Search keywords not provided by Google

You might be aware that Google decided to stop sending search keywords to website owners through referrer information or even in Google Analytics (at least for now). The only way you can see search keywords related to your website is in Google Webmaster Tools, but we are still clueless how each keyword performed after visitors arrive to your website. I’m sure most marketers will agree that this is a major limitation.

At first, only small number of visits were affected (HTTPS or if visitors were logged into Google account), but now you can see search keywords for only about 10% of Google traffic. The reason behind this is, allegedly, security, but the question remains: why Bing and Yahoo don’t follow this policy?

In any case, Web Log Storming doesn’t provide solution for this problem, as it can’t magically extract information that isn’t there. But until now it was simply ignoring empty keywords, which confused lot of users: “How come Web Log Storming shows only dozen of keywords when there are thousand visits from Google?” That’s why starting from v2.9 it also shows empty keywords as “-“, to make it more clear that this is not caused by some kind of bug. I’m afraid, that’s best we can do at the moment, but we are open for suggestions.

 

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Update policy: “free for minor updates” vs “free for x years”

Some of you might not be aware that starting with version 2.0 back in 2009 we have decided to switch to “free updates for a year” policy. Information about this can be found on several places (order page, blog here and here, emails, etc), but it’s probably easy to miss. To make this transition as painless as possible, we didn’t enforce this policy until v2.6, and we have embedded this information inside the application starting with v2.5 (which is still free for all v2.x customers). Also, the policy in last several updates are actually unofficially stretched to two years. Still, it seems that pain cannot be avoided completely. 🙂

The reason for this decision was that we are very conservative with raising major version numbers, even though, combined, all improvements between few minor updates (for example between 2.0 and 2.2 or 2.3), might deserve to be declared as v3.0 (you can see the link to the change history at the bottom of the home page to see if you agree or not).

On the other hand, there might always be an unfair feeling on customer’s side if they bought v2.8 and then we decide to put a v3.0 label on the next update – they would not be able to use it. And if we declare it as v2.9, they would, so it might seem a bit unfair for customers and also hard for us to “draw a line”. We felt that, in this case, as what we call “minor updates” are actually “moderate updates”, giving them for free within at least one year is more clear and it works better for both sides. Each of you can decide for yourselves if the improvements are worth now, in few years or never.

Of course, we can’t make everyone happy no matter how hard we try. I understand that it might be frustrating when this period is over, especially if you were not aware of the policy upfront, so if any of you have concerns about it, I encourage you to drop an e-mail so we can find a mutually acceptable solution.

Web Log Storming 2.8: Spider Identification Update and Custom IP Resolving

Web Log Storming version 2.8 is available for download. Most important changes include an improvement in spider identification algorithm and a custom IP resolving. This update is free for everyone who bought after February 14th, 2011.

Spider identification

Even well established web crawlers don’t behave as they used to. We remember happy times when all decent bots (excluding shady ones) presented themselves in User Agent field, so it was easy to identify them while parsing log files.

Prior to 2.8, these weren't recognized as crawlersAs one of our users noticed and pointed out (thanks, John!), even big players like MSN Bot introduce themselves as regular browsers now. This wasn’t easy to notice without resolving IPs to domain names; even by close inspecting their sessions, you can rarely notice anything unusual (they look like regular visitors, with IE7 browser and different Windows versions). Only after resolving IPs, you can see their true nature.

That’s why, in this version, we have added a feature to define Spider Domains identification list, in addition to already existing Spider User Agents list. Domains list can contain IP addresses (wildcarded) or domain names. That way identification works regardless if user resolves domain names or not.

Accompanied with this change, we have also added a right-click menu option Add Selected to Spiders in Domains report.

Custom IP resolving

Custom IP resolvingSpeaking of IP resolving, we have added an additional tool as a nice addition to Manually edit host name * option (Professional version only). If you work in teams, now you can define URL to web script that will be used to get these custom names from shared web space, for example database.

This script should follow simple rules for getting and setting IP/domain pairs. You can see more details here.

* In case you are not already familiar with it, Manually edit host name allows you to assign any text to IP address and this text will appear in reports as it was a normal domain name. That way you can assign texts like “Our company”“Prospective client #1”“Hacker”, etc.

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Web Log Storming 2.7

Another Web Log Storming update is ready.

+ Added search & replace for file names (Project Properties window)
+ Introduced access method column and parameter (GET, POST, HEAD…)
+ Goals are clickable now in Overview report
& Search Engine detection only in domain
& Drill-down from Directory report: subdirectories are not excluded anymore
* Firefox v10+ are now correctly recognized
* “https” in referred URLs is correctly processed now
* Problem with quoted search phrases
* First goal was not visible on Overview report
* Crash when copying Overview report to clipboard in some cases
* Few other minor problems

Links:

Web Log Storming website
Download an update