A positive post, for a change.
I have just watched the recorded webex from Pivotal on Activity usage, available on the link below
This is the stuff I wished there was more off. Yes, it is an add-on that you have to pay Pivotal a bit of hard earned profits for but it gives you an idea of what is possible within Pivotal 6.
The Activity Usage functionality, I presume, adds code to the events when certain things happen in your system – ReportRequest, SearchLoaded etc, and then stores in a table what, where & when so you can make some pretty pictures from the data added to the tables. I am sure there is a lot more to it than that, Pivotal have to earn the cost of the add-on for something. I am also positive that a good developer will be able to create this functionality, and add more detail, with ease.
Often I see client & server side logging of information, mostly for debugging and error capture, but this takes it one step further. Want to know when the last time a piece of functionality was used? Bring up a graph and take a look. Users complaining that a report or search is taking too long? You now have the figures to prove it is not the system, it is the fact that they are using search conditions that make the search take an age (wild card searches for example in a large memo field). It also gives you an insight into where to improve performance, adding indexes to tables or search terms that are frequently used. You can now make informed decisions where to spend your development budget from the areas that are constantly hit, rather than who kicks up the most fuss.
I just hope that it is coded in such a way that performance is not degraded significantly to make the use of the tool a detriment to the users. Have Pivotal produced figures to show the change in performance by using this tool?
It is a lovely piece of functionality. Do I encourage anyone to buy it? Depends on the cost (something that is not apparent in the Webex), if it is less than 3 man days of developer time, then no. That is the time I would estimate to do this in Pivotal 5.9 or 6 on my current system, it may take more or less time on your system, but this is a good ball park figure for anyone.