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Introducing Quest Reporter : Reporting Examples : Tracking Changes to Network Data

Tracking Changes to Network Data
Reporter also provides you with the means to quickly identify changes that have occurred to your network environment, such as changes to group memberships, service and network settings, and NTFS permissions. You can track these changes using change history reporting. When Reporter collects data, it is compared to the data currently stored. If the collected data is different, then this information is updated in the Reporter database. The change information is also kept in the database, providing a ready means to display changes to your network data.
Change history reporting is quite flexible. You can run it interactively against stored or live data, or run it unattended using scheduled collections. All that is required is setting the option on the collection tab to include change history and specify the appropriate timeframe.
Administrative rights are required on all computers where you want to run report templates. Otherwise, reports can be generated but not all information may be collected.
To use change history reporting
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Right-click a report template and select Run Report.
You can also expand Windows NT or Active Directory nodes. Right-click the objects that you want to report on, and select Reporting | Run Report.
Click the Objects tab and select the objects to report on.
Click the Collection tab.
Select either Live collection or Stored data.
For more information on these options, see To generate a report.
Show change history information
You can track changes on information that is already in the database using data retrieved during a live collection.
Note: For this to be enabled, you must select the Collect change history information option in the Configure utility.
You can also use this option with stored data only. As no live collection takes place, performance is significantly improved.
In this date range option, the date range is based on a set window of time that you specify.
Note: Midnight is used as a starting and ending point for the dates you select. That is, if the date range uses a start date of 07/22/2008 and an end date of 07/24/2008, this is interpreted as July 22 starting at 00:00 GMT time and ending July 23 at 23:59 GMT time. The report only displays changes that occurred within this time frame. Changes that actually occurred on July 24 are not included. This is an important distinction to keep in mind when you specify a range.
The sliding window of time provides more current history reporting on the objects. When you specify a number of days, weeks, or months, this value is applied based on the current date and time when the report template is run.
For example, if you specify five days and run the report template today at 18:00 hours, the report content is based on data in the Reporter database that was collected over the last five days. The time frame for the data in question would start from today at 18:00 hours and go back to five days ago at 18:00 hours.
Select Use linked data from the database if you do not want to do a fresh collection on linked objects.
There may be instances when doing a linked collection is unnecessary. For example, if you do a collection on groups and link in users, you do not need to collect linked users if you have just done a collection on all the domain users.
Click the Output tab and select one of the output options.
For more information on the output options, see To generate a report.
Click OK.
If you want to save the settings you have selected, save the report template as a favorite. For more information, see Using Favorites for Frequent Reporting.