1.2rc1 Released

This is the first release candidate for version 1.2.0 . 

This release completes a significant amount of re-factoring to the core framework code including how entities, metrics, controllers, and views work. We have tried to maintain backwards compatibility with most API methods but it’s worth doing some testing on your metrics and controllers to ensure things are working. One area that proved difficult to maintain backwards compatibility for was controller authentication and OWA’s original permission scheme. Please see the below for more info on that.

Ok, now onto the good stuff.

New Features include:

  • Entity Schema Creation. OWA entities can now create their own database tables. OWA’s object-relational-mapping layer has been extended to allow entities’s to create, drop, and alter their own database tables. This eliminates the need for a separate schema installation facility/file. This has been done in a way where it is now possible to write data access layers for support of databases other than MySQL. 
  • Database Schema Updates. OWA now provides an easy way for module developers to create and apply updates the database tables that the entities in their module create. See http://wiki.openwebanalytics.com/index.php?title=Schema_Updater for more info on how Schema updates work.
  • Plug-able Controller Authentication. OWA has always had plug-able authentication but prior to this release it was plugable on a global basis. Now you can define which authentication method to use on a controller by controller basis.
  • Widgets. OWA now features a number of widgets that can be placed on web pages. Developers can also now create their own widgets that can be used across views and modules.
  • Roles & Responsibilities. OWA now has a new user authentication scheme that helps controllers check to see if the current user’s role has the necessary capabilities in order to execute the controller’s action. OWA now defines a core set of user roles and capabilities that developers can apply to their controllers. See the wiki here for more details.
  • Log Named users. OWA will now log request from named users (including those of the host application framework) by default. You can disable this via the Settings UI. This replaces prior functionality where OWA did not log admin users by default.
  • New Reports and Internal UI Design. All reports and admin screens have been resigned and re-factored. Further design improvements will be rolling out with the final 1.2 release. Also, all of OWA’s javascript functions and classes now operate under the OWA or owa_ namespaces in order to avoid conflicting with the host application’s javascripts.
  • View Specific Javascript and CSS. View classes can now load their own javascript and CSS files.
  • Metric Pagination. Much requested trend metrics can now page their results. 
  • Open Flash Charts. JPGraphs has been replaced with Open Flash Charts as the default charting package for all graphs. 
  • Sparklines. Javascript sparklines graphs can now be created for an trend-able metric.
  • Updated Packages. Updates to Browscap, PHPmailer, PEAR Log
  • Generic email view. OWA now provided a generic email view that controllers can use to send email messages
  • Service Layer. OWA now has a shinny new service layer that implements a number of global framework objects and services. Some objects such as the configuration and requestContainer objects have moved here and are now accessible via coreAPI methods. Modules and services implemented via framework plugins will reside in this layer shortly.
  • Form/Input Data Validations. Controllers can now validate request params and form input by calling a global validation service. Validation checks that are now built into OWA include: entityExists, required, stringMatch, entityDoesNotExist, subStringPosition, and stringLength. Developers can add additional validations as plugins.
  • Compatible with WordPress v2.7.x
  • Compatible with and requires MediaWiki v1.13

Bug Fixes Include:

  • WordPress plugin now shows full url in WordPress plugin roster screen. Thanks to Nathan.
  • Gallery2 plugin now correctly logs named users. Thanks to Tom.
  • Many, many other bug fixes that were lost in the migration to the new Trac.
Database Schema Update
This release includes an update the OWA’s core database schema – switching the table type from MySQL’s MyISAM to InnoDb in order to support features in upcoming releases . OWA will prompt you to apply the updates upon login to OWA’s admin interface. Please be sure to backup your database prior to appling any updates just incase you have to roll back.
Update Instructions
To update just “SVN up” from trunk or “SVN switch” to the tag for this release. Alternatively grab the tarball and overwrite all existing files except for your conf/owa-config.php and your owa-data/ directories. Once the new files are in place be sure to navigate to OWA’s admin interface in order to apply the database update (a good habit from now on).
And Finally…
Because this is a release candidate, not everything may work quite right so please report bugs and oddities that you find by filing tickets at OWA’s Trac under the 1.2.0 milestone.


I’m at PubCon this week. Just send me a note if you are too and want to meetup.

AVG Responds to “Fake Traffic” Concerns

Pat over at AVG was kind enough to send me this official response to the issue of AVG 8 generating fake traffic by scanning each link in search results:

We’d like to thank our web community for bringing these challenges to our attention, as building community trust and protecting all of our users is critical to us. We have modified the Search-Shield component of LinkScanner to only notify users of malicious sites; this modified version will be rolled out on July 9th 2008.  As of this date. Search-Shield will no longer scan each search result online for new exploits, which was causing the spikes that webmasters addressed with us.  However, it is important to note that AVG still offers full protection against potential exploits through the Active Surf-Shield component of our product, which checks every page for malicious content as it is visited but before it is opened.

Nice to see AVG respond with a product change so quickly.

Is Google Analytics Not Enterprise Ready?

A new report from CMS Watch suggests that the lack of an API or ability to integrate Google Analytics with other systems is an enterprise deployment deal breaker.

I couldn’t agree more, but think that this is really the case for all the Web analytics service providers. Most hosted web analytics solutions are essentially integrated at the presentation layer (i.e. pixel tracking) making database access or code extension off limits to users. This makes it impossible to extend these systems feature wise on your own timeline.

Companies that need a more custom solution but do not want to start from scratch will hopefully find Open Web Analytics to be a welcome alternative.

OWA’s asynchronous event processing model allows it to be deployed in high volume enterprise scenarios and the plugin/module framework makes adding features pretty straight forward.

There is still a lot more to do, but give OWA a whirl if you are looking for an alternative to the commercial services or want really tight integration with your applications.

1.0 RC4 Released

1.0 RC4 has been released and is available from subversion. This release fixed many bugs and god willing will be the final release before 1.0.

v1.0 RC1 now available.

I’m pleased to announce that Version 1.0 RC1 is available from the trunk in subversion. This release fixes multiple bugs and fills in most of the reporting framework that was missing in the last release.