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.
Our UniFi Device Search tool can be found here, and our Captive Portal solutions for UniFi can be found here.
Comments
by
3 weeks ago

@justinhayes@ogsroot Good to hear! Feel free to drop me a PM or an email (erik AT artofwifi DOT net) to discuss pre-requisites and timelines etc.

by
3 weeks ago

I also would be interested. I am small scale for sure, but this certainly would be an awesome thing to provide!

by
3 weeks ago

@slooffmaster from what you say it sounds like you're focusing on reporting for IT people to look at. We're actually focusing on generating summary reports for Executives and board meetings. So just pulling some key metrics and making them pretty.

by
3 weeks ago

I also agree.. we would be interested as well...!!! this is AWESOME!!

 

we are an ISP so we have our Unifi Cloud servers local. if that makes it easyer.

 

 

by
3 weeks ago

I am curious into this as well on two fronts: commercial for my organization and personal for having documentation of monthly status updates (I am one know to use enterprise products there as well.

 

In the commercial front for my organization I see this useful in integration with network infrastructure reporting and I have signed off on an entire division that could probably use this even if they could do it themselves (“why reinvent the wheel”).

 

in the personal space, as an executive who likes to try before adding something to the advanced remote connect package for key personnel in my organization and the wild amount of clients from 20s to 400+, this type of documented reporting would be great.

 

Everythinhg with white label branding of course to fit organizational branding.

by
3 weeks ago

@vestedwifi Not exactly, the current data that is included is meant to inform the end-customer about some high level metrics and how in general the network has performed. Obviously that will differ based on the size and nature of the end-client and how relevant/critical the network is to them.

 

Is our early access stage we want to work on selecting the most relevant metrics for such reports and are also looking into how we can allow the admins configure the report contents and layout.

by
3 weeks ago - last edited 3 weeks ago

@AvalonDanvers I fully agree. With my background of supplying high-end network management solutions to Telcos, large Enterprises ISPs, and other SPs, I have seen similar solutions being used as a sales tool as well as a way to inform the clients with full transparency.

 

Feel free to PM or email me (erik AT artofwifi DOT net) so we can discuss offline.

by
3 weeks ago

Happy to participate as a customer.

by
3 weeks ago

@HappyWiFi Good to hear!

 

Feel free to PM or email me (erik AT artofwifi DOT net) so we can discuss offline.

by
2 weeks ago

This is awesome and i too will be interested. Please post when ready for production.