Organizations with multiple sites typically follow one of two deployment strategies: centralized or decentralized. This includes businesses with offices in multiple cities and education institutes with international campuses. Each model comes with its own pros and cons.
One advantage of the decentralized model is that a SysAdmin at one site can’t inadvertently make changes that affect the other sites. Poor inter-site link reliability and simplified site administration are other motivators for adopting the decentralized model. The main disadvantage of decentralization is the difficulty of gaining a unified view of print data and reporting. Central Reports solves this problem.
This section covers how Central Reports provides you with a consolidated data and reporting view across multiple primary/application servers (decentralized model). If you are using a single Application Server (centralized model) this is not required as the regular reports provide the data you need - see Reports.
A typical scenario is an organization with multiple sites and one Application Server per site. With Central Reports, organizations such as this can access consolidated reports for the entire organization.
Figure 23: Central Reports across multiple Application Servers
Central Reports works by running the same SQL query on all remote PaperCut NG/MF databases and consolidating the result. This is done by first concatenating the result data from all databases, then grouping, sorting and aggregating as appropriate. For this purpose, entities such as users, groups, printers and accounts are matched by name. For example, if print usage records matching username “Mary” are received from multiple sites, they are all considered as coming from the same user and are aggregated. In other words, users (and some other entities) are considered to be unique across all sites.
Most reports that are suitable for aggregation across systems are available in Central Reports. This includes the Executive Summary report and most usage reports. Not included are configuration reports, transaction reports and print log reports.
You can schedule Central Reports for automatic generation and email distribution just like standard reports.