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Usage tracking

I want to have a system where by I can keep track of when and how long my app is being used.  Ofcourse, the user will know about this aspect and if they are uncomfortable with this, then they can choose not to use the software.

Anyway, are their free server side software available?

What I want is the user to log on through a web site, then when he or she closes the app, the app will automatically send a message to the web site.  This way, I can keep track of when the user logged on and off.  Ofcourse, the user will have his or her username/password that will need to be entered.

Anyone?  Any suggestions?
Sunday, March 19, 2006
what language are you using?
Shane Harter Send private email
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The interface will be the browser... So, the user will go to www.some web and login using name/pass .  What can I use in the background to record this.  Also, it can be either automatic log out after a certain time or manual log-out.

My app could use POST or something to talk via html.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
You do not need to do anything fancy. If you enable web server logging, you will know when the user has visited your site.

Determining when the user is "finished" is more difficult since the user can get up and walk away at any time. I've seen people handle it in a combination of two ways:

1) add some amount of time such as 5 minutes, to the last web page accessed.  For example, if I access page A at 12:05, page B at 12:07 and page C at 12:10, my total visit is assumed to be ten minutes.

2) your log-out code can add a line to the webserver log; "session id xxxx-xxxx logged out at 12:27 PM."

Once you've decided how you're going to measure, you can write a program (or use one of many others) to parse your web server log for the metrics.
Monday, March 20, 2006
I'm a bit confused - is this ALREADY a web based application that supports user logins?

In that case, you have everything you need--just change your user login code to also write to a userlog. Or is this code you don't have any control over?

Are you using a server-side technology already? (ASP.Net or PHP or a million others...) Or is your "application" all pure HTTP pages?
Brad Corbin Send private email
Monday, March 20, 2006
Thanks guys.  You answered my question.  I guess all that is needed is some sort of script to take the info from the weblog and put it into some comma delimited txt file or something.  BTW, sorry to ask, but are their off the shelf scripts in ASP or PHP or CGI out their that is easy to implement?  Sorry for these questions.  I am completely new to this.
Monday, March 20, 2006

It takes IIS and W3C log formats and exports to TSV, CSV, ODBC...... Oh so sweet. I did something very similar with a "dumb" web app to provide auditing. Great stuff. Free download from MS. It's in the IIS Resource Kit.
outcast (ex-devloper) Send private email
Thursday, March 23, 2006

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