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Track changes

Comparing reports

Report files, in HTML or CSV format, can be compared to generate a new comparison report containing only the difference between two report files. A report with a particular set of filters can be used to track changes over time. What permissions have been added? What has changed? Previous report runs can be compared as long as the report output files (HTML or CSV) are saved to disk with a date/time stamp in the output path. Permission Analyzer does not store the contents of the report, only the history records with the corresponding path to the HTML / CSV file on disk.

Start by opening the history of a particular report, menu [Reports] > [Manage reports (CTRL+R)] > [Report history] from the context menu. As you can see, there is also an option to directly compare the last two runs of a given report.

Open the report history

This opens the history records for a particular report. Note that you can switch between reports in this dialog window, even using the [All reports] option to view each report run:

Report history dialog

Select two report files of your choice, and compare them:

Compare report dialog

Select the changes you want to include in the report. Permissions or folders added relative to the first report, or items changed or removed from the report. The resulting HTML file looks like the original report, but only contains the difference between the two report files, and a new column is added to indicate the type of change. It will also list both reports that have been compared:

Comparison HTML file

Auto generate a comparison report

You can have Permission Analyzer create a comparison report everytime a report is run. The current export is automatically compared to the previous run. Simple enable the [Create comparison report] option in the report details:

Report details dialog

Prereq(!): put a placeholder in the Target file path to include the current date in the path: c:\permission reports\[date:yyy-MM-dd]_report.html. This will preserve old report files. See Java date formats.

See Reports and export feature for information about creating reports and scheduling exports using command-line options.