Documentation: Chapter 3
FlashStats reports are selected and configured with options specified in an HTML form, and are also subject to certain restrictions specified in the global FlashStats configuration file. The FlashStats configuration file is the subject of this chapter. The other report parameters are explained in Chapter 4.
Overview of how FlashStats operates:
The main FlashStats configuration file is named flashstats.ini for Windows- and Macintosh-based systems, and is named flashstats.conf for UNIX-based systems. The file contains general configuration (such as the location of important support files) as well as the definition of each user account. The file is heavily commented throughout and should be simple to modify with your favorite text editor (Notepad, etc).
FlashStats uses a concept of user accounts to indicate which set of logs each user can access, as well as other reporting restrictions. For example, if you are an ISP then you may want to create one user account for each of your hosting customers. This allows you to specify that the customer can see their log files but no one else's.
A user account consists of a user name and a password. (You will need to generate a password for each user account.) When a report is run, the user must specify their user name and password; this is used by FlashStats to determine which log files belong to that user, as well as other restrictions that may be placed on that user account.
You can also configure FlashStats for administrator use in which you can generate statistics for the log set of any customer (i.e., user name) without specifying the password for that user account. This is very useful for internal users and webmasters so that you don't have to keep all user account passwords on hand in order to run reports on them.
The standard way of using FlashStats is to create user accounts to indicate which logs a particular user is allowed to see. This is done once by the administrator and is stored in the FlashStats configuration file. When the user wants to view a report, they edit a form on an HTML page containing options indicating their user name, password, which reports they want to see, the date range for the report, and other options. This form is then submitted to the FlashStats engine via CGI. FlashStats verifies that the form's options don't exceed the user's rights, and then generates the specified reports.
Important: For security reasons, the user account parameters specified within the configuration file will override any per-report parameters entered into a form by a user.
The rest of this chapter explains the various parameters which comprise the configuration file.
Configuration File Parameter: ErrorLog
Use this parameter to specify the full path and filename of a file which FlashStats will use to save error messages. This file will contain errors such as unauthorized user access.
If the specified file doesn't exist, FlashStats will create it.
ErrorLog=C:\Program Files\Maximized Software\FlashStats\flashstats.log
Configuration File Parameter: FlashStatsPath
When FlashStats generates it's reports, it requires the use of some graphics. These graphics must be retrievable by the user's browser, and so they need to be specified with a URL. You use the FlashStatsPath parameter to indicate the prefix of the URL where FlashStats has stored its graphics files.
You can omit this parameter and FlashStats will use a default value of "/flashstats".
Syntax example #1:
Syntax example #2:
Configuration File Parameter: InternalIP
This represents the IP numbers and domains of all internal hosts and users who will have permission to run FlashStats reports without having to supply a password. Set this parameter to the IP addresses or host names of internal computers which will be allowed to run reports for any user account without providing a password. This administrator mode greatly helps to simplify internal testing and report generation.
If your web server does not have Reverse DNS Lookup turned on, then you need to specify IP addresses in this parameter, rather than host names.
NOTE: all IPs and domains given in this parameter can access all defined user accounts without supplying a password, so be careful when setting this. This is usually used "in house" so that system administrators don't have to remember the many different passwords given to clients.
In this example, any user with a machine with an IP address beginning with 209.107.13. or any host in the mydomain.com or myotherdomain.com domains can request a report for any user account without having to supply that user account's password.
Configuration File Parameter: Networks
This is the full path and filename of the text document which contains all top-level domain extensions and a description of each. When you installed FlashStats in Chapter 2, a default networks file (networks.txt) was put into the FlashStats program directory.
Networks=C:\Program Files\Maximized Software\FlashStats\networks.txt
Configuration File Parameter: Search
Add a separate
search= line to define each search engines that you'd like to have supported by the Search Phrases Report.
Full details on the syntax for search engine definitions is provided separately.
search= lines are provided in the FlashStats configuration file, then FlashStats will use a default set of 31 major search engines. If any
search= lines are provided, then FlashStats will only use the search engines explicitly defined; the 31 default search engines will not be used.
Configuration File Parameter: UserPasswords
Normally, each user account must have its own password (if one is desired) specified directly in the user account definition (using the
Password= parameter). However, if you are running an Apache server which maintains its own password list (in a file named .htpasswd) then you can use the
UserPasswords= parameter to have FlashStats extract the user password from the .htpasswd file. Of course, the user account name must match an entry in the .htpasswd file.
In addition, if you are running FlashStats on a Macintosh-based server, you can use the
UserPasswords= parameter to have the user account password be retrieved from the system user database. In these cases, the user account name must match the name of a user defined in the operating system. To use this option, specify
By using the
UserPasswords= parameter, the user password is assumed to be in the specified htpasswd file or operating system database. However, if you go ahead and include a
Password=in the user account definition in the FlashStats configuration file, then that password will be used instead of using the UserPasswords system.
When you want a user account to have no password, you can just omit the
Password= parameter from the user account definition. However, if you do this and also specify a
UserPasswords= parameter, then the user password will be retrieved from the .htpasswd or system database as described above. If you wish to use the UserPasswords= scheme for most users but want some user accounts to have no password, then you include in the user account definition the parameter
Password=*. The asterisk is a special override value which means "no password."
On a Windows NT system, the
UserPasswords= parameter is ignored.
Syntax example #1: (UNIX system)
Syntax example #2: (Macintosh system)
User accounts are specified in the configuration file with following format:
Each user account definition must be entered all on one line with a semicolon (;) separating each parameter. Do not wrap a user definition to more than one line, and don't end the line with a semicolon.
The user= parameter must be the first parameter on the line.
The following parameters (defined in Chapter 4) must always be defined in the configuration file for each user account:
In addition, any other parameter listed in Chapter 4 may be included in the user account definition in the FlashStats configuration file. Doing so will prevent the user from setting these values in a form, thereby increasing your control over their capabilities. You may do this if you want to prevent the user from running certain reports, or to restrict the user to only analyzing a certain URL (perhaps the root of their document subdirectory if your customers have subdirectories, such as http://www.mydomain.com/acme and http://www.mydomain.com/widgit-co).
The FlashStats configuration file can define multiple user accounts; place each on its own line.
user=acme;password=secretword;title=Summary Report for Acme Products Web Site;url=http://www.acme.com;logs=c:\customers\acme\logs\*.log
This is an example for an ISP with a customer named Acme Products hosted at www.acme.com. The Acme customer can use the username "acme.com" and password "secretword" to gain access to their reports.
Version 1.5 -- Last update: 2/8/01