January 24, 2013
We’re excited to announce the BETA of the next version of our popular business analytics product: SmarterStats 8.x. Over the last few major releases we focused on providing a Web interface for SmarterStats that administrators and end users would find as simple as it was powerful. With this latest release, we kept the same look and appearance but rewrote the underlying architecture with the latest Internet technologies to dramatically improve the speed, reduce the size and increase compatibility with all the latest Internet browsers and tablets.
In addition, SmarterStats 8.x brings several new features, server side optimizations and fixes that continues to make SmarterStats compatible with the latest Internet trends. As with all releases, we worked closely with customers and partners and while we couldn’t incorporate everyone’s ideas into this release, we prioritized our users’ wants to create a new version of SmarterStats that we think you’ll really like.
So let’s take a look at what’s new…
Tremendous Performance Increases
We spent a great deal of time benchmarking SmarterStats and then making changes to increase the level of performance across the board. In many instances we’ve seen increases of 70% or more in the speed and responsiveness of the SmarterStats 8.x interface. We’ve also seen huge decreases in memory and CPU usage, not to mention much faster importing of log files, even under extremely heavy loads. All of this means that the product runs much quicker and much more efficiently than previous versions. Some of the changes we’ve made include:
- CSS files have been converted to LESS, making stylesheets much smaller and more efficient.
- The button bars were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- The context menus were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- The date pickers were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- The tree view controls were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- Greatly increased the performance of the Web interface.
As we mentioned in a blog post late last year, we feel efficiency IS a product feature, and SmarterStats 8.x really proves that point.
Auto-detection of Log Files
One of the major hassles with setting up a site in SmarterStats is accurately labeling the log file type that the site uses. This is especially a problem when managing a mixed-platform environment: Linux and Windows servers. SmarterStats 8.x greatly simplifies the process of adding in new sites as it will now auto-detect the log file type when the site begins processing. Having SmarterStats auto-detect the log file type will make setting up mixed-mode sites much easier for most System Administrators.
New Support for Rotating Logs
It’s no surprise that log files can take up a lot of valuable disk space. In some environments, particularly those running Linux and Apache, System Administrators conserve system disk space by rotating log files. That means they will allow a log file to grow to a certain size or for a certain time, then move it and rename the file (most commonly by adding a date stamp) and instruct the web server to begin writing a new log file for data. While it is a simple way to conserve space, it can be difficult to report on those rotated logs. SmarterStats 8.x now fully supports the rotation of log files and can easily manage, import and report on rotated log files.
Greater Support for International Customers
SmarterStats is a truly international product. With customers in well over 120 different countries, support for languages other than English is a priority. In addition, as SmarterStats’ adoption across the globe continues to rise, support for non-Western character sets is also essential. With SmarterStats 8.x we’ve not only included support for right-to-left languages in the management interface and on the portal, but we’ve also gone through the entire product and greatly simplified our language strings to make things much easier for automated translations and for customers who create their own translations files.
Is that it?
Of course not! SmarterStats 8.x has many more features and improvements. You’ll find them in the release notes we’ll post in the SmarterStats 8.x BETA forum, but here are a few more that might be of interest:
- The list of sites sites can now be filtered by server in SmarterStats Enterprise, making it much easier for administrators to review sites from server to server.
- Geographic reports now include Unique Visitor counts.
- Email reports will now wait until data is available before they are sent out.
- SmarterStats will now detect the integrity of SEO searches, and update automatically if search engines change.
- Status messages and tip text now drops down from the top of the page and no longer disrupts the page flow.
- Geographic database updated with new IP information.
- Renamed or compressed log files will no longer be re-imported as if they were new.
- Exporting report data now saves the file as the report’s name rather than “ExportedData”.
Getting started with the BETA
To get your hands on the BETA simply visit the SmarterTools BETA forum, where you’ll see how to:
- Sign up for the BETA
- Get a special BETA license key
- Download the latest BETA release (we update it regularly)
- Communicate with other BETA testers and the SmarterTools development team
- Stay up-to-date on the latest release note and BETA news