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-- by Paul Silverman
We're always impressed by programs that refuse to rest on their laurels. WebTrends has introduced heavy-duty improvements to its interface and feature set, making the latest version one of the top Web site log-analysis tools available.
As expected, WebTrends 3.5 handled analysis essentials without a glitch, providing nearly 40 predefined reports on statistics such as most-requested pages.
The latest version includes a new database caching technology that stores report results from each log analysis. Thus, Webmasters no longer have to store hefty daily log files to generate weekly or monthly reports. The database also adds real-time reporting.
WebTrends delivered respectable processing and analysis speed. We performed a time-consuming test-a complete analysis with a full DNS lookup-of a 60MB standard log file. The analysis and report generation took a little under an hour and a half on a 200MHz dual Intel Pentium Pro running Windows NT Server 4.0-not too bad considering that the computer hadn't previously cached IP addresses or page titles. Performance increased as we ran more reports.
E.g. Software has also added automatic decompression of both zipped and gzipped log files. WebTrends now runs as an NT service and features better support for remote and virtual reporting.
Unfortunately, WebTrends couldn't match the attention to detail and level of customization found in our WinList favorite, Hit List Professional 3.0. We missed Hit List's drag-and-drop interface and well-organized lists of report criteria. In addition, we found that setup was less intuitive than in Hit List. And we couldn't group hits to multiple directories by name.
Nevertheless, WebTrends' $299 price tag and new database caching technology earn this app an honorable mention. Unless you need a high level of customization and detail, you'll find a strong core of functionality in WebTrends.
Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 162.