Welcome to our new series, which intends to demonstrate various features of ORF. The first part (and video) will show you the reporting capabilities of ORF, which were introduced in version 3.0. The reporting feature is enabled by default, so you can start creating reports immediately.
Let’s start the ORF Reporting Tool. To create a new report, click on Create new report on the opening screen (or press Ctrl + N). ORF will ask you to set the time period which from you would like to create a report. You can either set a start and end date using a simple calendar, or select a preset. Finally, click Create. Yes, it’s that simple :)
Reports show you how many emails ORF filtered, how many was allowed through, what are the most spammed recipient addresses, which are the most effective tests and filtering expressions in your setup, etc. By clicking on Navigation & Info in the upper left corner, a navigation pane will pop in, which can be used to skip to various sections of the report. If you have trouble interpreting any details, just click on the question mark icon for detailed explanation, which will be displayed in the left pane.
Printing and Saving Reports
The Reporting Tool supports printing either the entire report or a single section of it, and you can always save the report in RPT format for later review. RPT is the native format of the Reporting Tool: saving the report to other formats are not supported as of writing this, but you can work this around by using 3rd party tools (like the free PrimoPDF printer to “print” the report to a PDF file).
Notes & Troubleshooting
In order to create reports, you need the so-called PowerLogs to be enabled in the Administration Tool. These PowerLogs were designed specifically for the reporting feature: they store a lot more information about the email traffic than the regular text log files. PowerLogging is enabled by default, but if you have disabled it in the past, you should enable it: start the Administration Tool and expand Configuration / Global / Log and events in the left navigation tree. Click the Configuration button under PowerLogs and make sure “powerlogging” is enabled. When PowerLog is enabled, the ORF service will generate PowerLog files to the specified path with .opg extension. ORF pre-processes these PowerLogs in idle time creating files with identical file names, but with .ppr extension. The reports can be generated from the latter files. Once the pre-processing is complete, the .opg files are needed no longer, so you can configure the ORF service to delete them to save disk space. Also, please note that if you just enabled PowerLogs, you will need to wait at least a day until the first .ppr file is created in order to generate reports.
Reports can not only be used to amaze your boss and colleagues how effective ORF is, but they also provide useful information about your current configuration, which can be used to improve the filtering efficiency further. For example, the “Top spammed recipients” list is an excellent starting point for setting up your Honeypot address list.