Creating an ISA Reports Web Server

It’s one thing to have administrators generating reports for your ISA Server every week or month and having to extract those logs when managers and architects want to see how and what your ISA Server is doing, but what if they could extract those reports themselves? Here’s how.

Initially, one will have to install IIS on a server where the ISA Servers can connect to. In my designs I have used the Configuration Storage Servers as a good location for such a service as it does pertain to the configuration of the ISA Server. Otherwise, with standard installations one could use any available web server to serve up reports to the people who require them. This document assumes that you know how to generate an ISA Report.

So, what you will need:

  • A user account to publish the reports,
  • A server with IIS WWW Service installed,
  • A folder which is shared on said server which has write access by the aforementioned account,
  • Knowledge of ISA Server Reporting.
  • Once we have these things, we are well on our way.

First, let’s configure the ISA Server to publish reports to the directory.

In your possibly existing reports, under the “Published Reports” tab, click “Publish Reports to a directory”. Then, add the path to the directory on your WWW Server that you are sharing, for example: \\webserver\isareports.

Then type in the user which you have given write access to that share and the underlying NTFS permissions, as the report publishing user.

Now to set up the IIS Server…

We are going to create our reporting website under the Default Web Site in IIS.

Firstly, create a new virtual directory under the Default Web Site, and call it something like “ISAReports”:

Figure 1

Then click next, and add the path of the share you created before we started this section:

Figure 2

The next screen is rather important, you will need to check “Browse”. This enables a user to browse the directory that you have created without having to launch the default document in your website:

Figure 3

On the next page click finish.

You can flavour your authentication as much as you wish with regard to the NTFS permissions within your website.

The critical part of this configuration is the following. Once you have configured the IIS Virtual Directory, you will need to change the default document settings to have ‘report.htm’ as one of the default documents, as shown below:

Figure 4

This will allow the reports to display immediately once the link to the report/date is clicked.

This looks something like what you will see once you have published a report:

Figure 5

This is not a pretty solution, but it does give people automatic access to reports that you would normally have to provide them with in some other format.

This is not where the story ends, but I am going to leave you here, there are many ways to start managing what this environment looks like by adding tables and tabs, etc, but for now, I think this is a great way to get started!

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