Extend time before analytics times out
Whenever I am working on an analytic report, it often takes hours. But after a few minutes, if I do not go back to Alma to do a fake search to refresh its link to analytics, analytics would time out.
Can you extend the time to at least an hour before analytics times out?
Sarah Butash commented
I work on complex Analytics where it is not unusual that I would not access Alma proper for over an hour. Getting timed out in these scenarios is the worst. I try to save often so as to not lose my work, but even so to have to take the time to log back in breaks the concentration on the topic. Please allow Alma time out to recognize Analytics as a running process.
Mary ODea commented
The Analytics timeout would be improved if Analytics could be unchained from Alma, and occurred after a long period of inactivity.
Any progress on this improvement? I see it has been 'planned' for ca. three years.
Early timeout is still an issue, with various forms. Even though there have been rounds of fixes and I think timeout has improved over 2017 and 2018, it still is not at a stage when I am not in a constant state of wariness and repeated saving when I’m working in Analytics. I’ve lost too many reports with massive amounts of work, even if completely within the expected timeout range, when it apparently decides I’ve done enough for now.
I’ve even found that I can be actively working in Analytics, it appears completely normal with new fields being added, data being loaded, and it lets me save repeatedly giving the successful save message. But then I note the time and get nervous. I close the tab, return to Alma to still see an active session. I go back into Analytics after refreshing Alma a few times and check my report, only to find that the last successful save was actually something like half an hour ago, because apparently it did indeed drop the session with no warning, and all that work is gone.
I think a key part of the issue continues to be widgets, as I get multiple popups to save saw.dll files that directly correlate to the number of widgets on my homepage. So, if you have 5 widgets, you get 5 saw.dll popups one after the other, for all the widgets which have lost the connection and then display also the redundant Oracle login screen in each widget. Once this happens, I usually have to close not only my Analytics tab (if still open), but also my Alma tab, and sometimes even my whole browser session, and log in again to Alma from scratch. Even the usual trick of clicking the homepage logo repeatedly doesn’t help to re-establish a working Analytics session.
I’ve been advised in my current open case (00712780) back in September last year that it will be fixed upon OBI12 rollout this year.
“Our Analytics platform is based on Oracle, and we are about to upgrade its version from OBI11 to OBI12 in the second quarter of 2020. Many connectivity issues should be fixed in this new version, please check it again in the next version and let me know if it occurs there again, in this case we will open a ticket at Oracle support to fix it."
Natasha Stephan commented
Is this still an issue? I was working in Analytics and got timed out, and it seemed like I had only been "away" from my report for a few minutes. This needs to be clarified in the CKC (https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Knowledge_Articles/Analytics_Session_Timeout) as well... that page says "the Analytics timeout is after 60 minutes" with no further information about inactivity or signing back in.
My experience with analytics timing out is similar to the ones already mentioned. I can be working, and the first indication I have that analytics will time out is the "spinning wheel" when you click on a folder. I do wonder whether or not it is possible to have some sort of notification that you are about to be timed out ? I've also noticed, that sometimes I can have issues even logging into Analytics from Alma, but this seems to be browser orientated, eg if I clear my history and cookies, the problem seems to go away ?
I've just been hit by this again in the middle of a big unsaved report and this time it not only froze Analytics but my entire browser session, so I had to force End Task for Chrome.
I've opened case 00563554.
Cheers, Stacey van Groll, University of Queensland
Laura M. commented
My experience matches the comments below. I am rarely exclusively in Analytics for an hour. I am usually running a report, then spot checking some results in Alma, and then tweaking and re-running the report. If I am in analytics/my exported spreadsheet for too long (not sure how long that is, maybe a solid 15 minutes?) and then try to go into Alma, I often find that Alma seems to have severed the connection with Analytics and I am locked out even when I try to go right back in. I have to then close out the Analytics tab, refresh Alma until I can see that my widgets are no longer displaying the OBIEE sign-in screen, and then reopen Analytics.
At the Advanced Analytics session during the recent Technical Seminar, we were told to go into Alma every so often and do a search so that Alma doesn't time out and throw us out of Analytics, but this hasn't worked for me 100% of the time. In fact, the presenter's session timed out on her during the presentation, and she was pretty good about going back and forth.
College of William & Mary
Tom Francis commented
My experience is the same as Stacey's and Simon's; I don't think I've ever used Analytics for as long as 59 minutes without it timing out or freezing on me, but there doesn't seem to be a pattern to it. I also have the same issue with the OBIEE sign-in screen; and, about 30% of the time, some or all of the widgets on my Alma home page have the OBIEE sign-in screen in place of the data. Refreshing the home page or signing out and back in again usually fixes it, so it's only mildly inconvenient...
Simon Hunt commented
I want to second Stacey's comment about randomness - the timeout often occurs after only a short time after opening Analytics, and doesn't seem related to whether or not you are doing anything in Alma at the time. I have started to suspect that it is affected by doing some other internet-related activity (like checking email) while Analytics is open.
It's not really a timeout, either- more like a freeze. I'll click on a folder to add criteria, and get stuck with an endless blinking-concentric-circle-"I'm-thinking" animation. I'll be on the Results tab and click on the Criteria tab, only to have the results screen show (with the Criteria tab highlighted). Or I'll click the binoculars to search for values in the filter pop-up, and the search never returns values. These freeze-outs can only be resolved by closing the tab and re-opening Analytics from Alma (twice, due to the OBIEE sign-in screen as Stacey describes).
University of Georgia
I don't have an active case in at the moment for this, as I closed my long-standing earlier case after the improvements. But I do need to submit one as we are definitely experiencing earlier timeouts still after a relatively short improvement period. Part of the issue with reporting this is that it is seemingly so random and when you're just going about your day it is difficult to track down exactly what steps you might have been doing moment to moment. But I can say definitely that I have been actively working in Analytics with an unsaved report, actively cross-checking data from Analytics in Alma, momentarily go to another browser tab to check email for maybe a couple of minutes, only to come back to Analytics to find it completely unresponsive to do things like start a new analysis. If I then try to do something like click on Catalog, it generates a saw.dll file. If I then close the browser tab, return to Alma, click on Design Analytics, the OBIEE tab opens with the irrelevant login screen. You then have to close it again, go back to the Alma tab, click on Design Analytics again, and it usually works then. The Alma session typically has been open for longer than an hour in active use, and has had no opportunity to time out. This is a very typical experience for us in AP01 that many of our staff report to me.
Stacey van Groll
University of Queensland
Hi. The last comment here is from October 2017. In the past months the timeout in "design analytics" has been greatly improved.
A user can work in "design analytics" for 59 minutes and 59 seconds without getting logged out.
In recent webinars we delivered on other Alma Analytics topics the user was in the entire session without getting logged out.
The purpose of the webinars was not to show that the logout is not occurring, but it was "by chance" a useful byproduct.
So ... before we begin discussing "Extend time before analytics times out"
Please tell us exactly what you are doing when you get logged out.
Is this something you could reproduce and do a screen-cast and say "look at minute [whatever] and see that [whatever] happens?"
For example do you open Alma then do "design analytics" and then?:
A. do no activity in both Alma and Analytics?
B. do activity in Alma but no activity in Analytics?
C. do no activity in Alma but do activity in Analytics?
D. do activity in analytics but wait more than X seconds before saving? (and if so what is X?)
I wholehearted support this idea, despite having no votes to give at the moment.
Robert Ferguson commented
Great to see that this important issue is now under review.
Hughes Gong commented
It seems like some days it times out more frequently than other days. There are times, that I can't even login to analytics. I've also found that certain features direct me straight to an ORACLE login, so I have to close it and open it back up through Alma. It would be nice to have a longer time out, since sometimes I need to go back and forth to compare the statistics to Alma. Thank you.
Hello. We realize the importance of this issue and are looking at it from various angles.
The route we are going now is in the OBI configurations and how they may be affected by the user logging in from within Alma.
We are also checking if there are specific activities which may be done in Alma which could affect the timeout in OBI.
We are confident that a solution will be discovered soon.
I also wrote a case about it.
Does everyone here have a case in? I believe this is a bug rather than an improvement request, because it's clearly randomly timing out and is not actually working in practice to marry with the 1 hour Alma timeout. I have a published case in and would encourage everyone to do the same. Case No: 00452570.
Cheers, Stacey van Groll University of Queensland Library
Ruth Elder commented
Support all of these comments here - immensely frustrating and causes severe duplication of effort at times. In my view this should be a priority issue.
Robert Ferguson commented
I haven't timed it with a clock, but the time-out interval does seem to be irregular; certainly it almost always times out (if that's what's happening) before Alma itself does.
Jeanne Little commented
This is extremely aggravating as it takes time to construct an analysis and if you are interrupted and have to attend to something else, you lose anything you did after the last time you saved the report. Because you have to go through Alma to access Analytics, Alma should recognize you are active and not time out. I feel this is a very important issue that needs to be fixed. I asked at ELUNA 2016 and 2017 and received no commitment to looking into it or solving the problem either. Please remove the timeout function completely!