11/12/2018
Automated PDF reporting for UniFi sites
Used Products
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Location
Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Description

Recently I was approached by a fellow community member, Pittsburgh based Green Light Wireless, who manage a large number of UniFi sites. They wanted to send out a monthly PDF report to their customers showing how their network has been performing over the past month and year, together with some metrics from their Zendesk Service Management platform.

 

These reports needed to be sent out at the start of each month in a consistent and automated manner, saving them a lot of time instead of manually creating reports, while also demonstrating transparency and their innovative character.

 

We were able to develop a custom reporting solution for them which does exactly what they requested, and even a bit more… More importantly, the feedback they received from their clients was extremely positive.


Benefits achieved:

• consistent and accurate reports for the clients delivered to their email address in PDF format within an hour after month end

• no manual intervention is required once a customer site has set up in the solution

• Green Light Wireless staff can spend time on higher value tasks


Components used:

• our PHP API client class to extract the required data for each site from the UniFi SDN controllers

• our base software framework which handles user management, user authentication, user authorization and configuration of the UniFi controller integrations

• HighCharts software for generation of the charts


Features:

• integrates with the UniFi SDN controller API and the Zendesk Service Management API

• fully automated generation and sending of the PDF reports

• report styling and layout match the Green Light Wireless house style

• the report contents and layout automatically adapt to whether the site contains a USG or not

• low touch, easy to administer

• ability to configure multiple TO/CC/BCC recipients for each site report

• ability to manage the template of the HTML-based email to which the PDF reports are attached through the back-end

 

 

To give you an idea of the end results, here’s a sample report preview as shown in the back-end of the solution:report_preview_with_logo.png

 

And here’s a screenshot of the PDF report in Acrobat as it is sent out to the clients through email at the start of each month:Monthly_report_in_Acrobat_with_logo.png

 

How the admins can manage the email template:email_template.PNG

 

and manage the site-specific settings for the monthly report:report_settings_anonymized.png

 

This project clearly demonstrates the power of using the UniFi controller API for which we naturally used the PHP API client class we maintain.

 

A big thank you goes to the people at Green Light Wireless who were kind enough to allow us to publish this story together with the end results.

Automated PDF reporting for UniFi sites

by on ‎11-12-2018 01:44 AM - last edited 3 weeks ago

Recently I was approached by a fellow community member, Pittsburgh based Green Light Wireless, who manage a large number of UniFi sites. They wanted to send out a monthly PDF report to their customers showing how their network has been performing over the past month and year, together with some metrics from their Zendesk Service Management platform.

 

These reports needed to be sent out at the start of each month in a consistent and automated manner, saving them a lot of time instead of manually creating reports, while also demonstrating transparency and their innovative character.

 

We were able to develop a custom reporting solution for them which does exactly what they requested, and even a bit more… More importantly, the feedback they received from their clients was extremely positive.


Benefits achieved:

• consistent and accurate reports for the clients delivered to their email address in PDF format within an hour after month end

• no manual intervention is required once a customer site has set up in the solution

• Green Light Wireless staff can spend time on higher value tasks


Components used:

• our PHP API client class to extract the required data for each site from the UniFi SDN controllers

• our base software framework which handles user management, user authentication, user authorization and configuration of the UniFi controller integrations

• HighCharts software for generation of the charts


Features:

• integrates with the UniFi SDN controller API and the Zendesk Service Management API

• fully automated generation and sending of the PDF reports

• report styling and layout match the Green Light Wireless house style

• the report contents and layout automatically adapt to whether the site contains a USG or not

• low touch, easy to administer

• ability to configure multiple TO/CC/BCC recipients for each site report

• ability to manage the template of the HTML-based email to which the PDF reports are attached through the back-end

 

 

To give you an idea of the end results, here’s a sample report preview as shown in the back-end of the solution:report_preview_with_logo.png

 

And here’s a screenshot of the PDF report in Acrobat as it is sent out to the clients through email at the start of each month:Monthly_report_in_Acrobat_with_logo.png

 

How the admins can manage the email template:email_template.PNG

 

and manage the site-specific settings for the monthly report:report_settings_anonymized.png

 

This project clearly demonstrates the power of using the UniFi controller API for which we naturally used the PHP API client class we maintain.

 

A big thank you goes to the people at Green Light Wireless who were kind enough to allow us to publish this story together with the end results.

{"location":{"title":"Hoofddorp, Netherlands","placeId":"ChIJDeaapa_nxUcRgz4JJwaDET8"},"addedProducts":[{"id":"unifi-security-gateway","count":1},{"id":"unifi-cloud-key","count":1},{"id":"unifi-ac-hd","count":1},{"id":"unifi-ac-lite","count":1}],"solved":"","numbers":"","description":"","mainImage":"182210i94B5DDEE5621D16D"}

Art of WiFi
Check out our UniFi API browser tool on GitHub. The PHP API client which it uses, can be found here on GitHub.
Details on our UniFi Device Search tool can be found here.
Comments
by
on ‎11-12-2018 03:03 AM

As I mentioned before in several Unifi Ideas/Request threads requesting this feature:

 

Sending out such reports is a great reason for contacting existing customers, to show your commitment and do some upselling while you’re there. 

by
on ‎11-12-2018 03:56 AM

can i ask a question??

 

 

Is it a plugin for some sort of support desk software or is it a custom own generated progam?

 

 

 

 

It looks nice and i also wanna have it

by
‎11-12-2018 05:07 AM - edited ‎11-12-2018 05:45 AM

@EDPR I fully agree, it also demonstrates transparency which is a good way to distinguish yourself from other service providers.

 

@PsychoticNL This is a solution which we custom built for Green Light Wireless which included the integration with ZenDesk. This could have been any Ticketing/Service Management/Help Desk solution with a well-featured API.

 

BTW, we are considering productizing the solution and are currently looking for feedback on must-have functionality.

by
a month ago

You, sir, are amazing. This is fantastic.

by
a month ago

We would be interested 

by
a month ago

@WiFiMeshGuy Thanks, can you either PM me or send an email to erik AT artofwifi DOT net to discuss the options offline?

by
a month ago

We also have a project to do this and also pull data from LibreNMS. Is this something others are interested in as well?

by
4 weeks ago

@vestedwifi We have received quite a lot of positive feedback and are looking to productise the solution now we have a couple of potential beta/launching customers.

 

We have not seen any interest in including data from a network monitoring solution such as LibreNMS though. There’s more interest in collecting service desk/ticketing metrics. Probably the metrics from the controller already provide the end customers more than enough insights.

by
3 weeks ago

I am definitely interested in this, if you don't mind another tester.

by
3 weeks ago

 I would be interested. Our controller runs on a digital ocean droplet.