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What is the definition of 'hits' in Sharepoint 2007 site usage reports

Sharepoint can display site usage reports with the pages listed and daily view.

On the left column it shows various files, e.g., .aspx, .html, gif, jpg., pdf, etc.
On the columns to the right shows each day of the month and a number.

Question #1: Are these numbers 'hits' or 'page views' for .aspx and .html files?   If you do not know how http requests work then, you may not know the real answer to this question.  

Question #2: Does the sharepoint server cache pages and not record a 'hit' if a user visits the same page within a short time and the page has not changed?

Question #3:  My research shows that there is a way of accessing site usage data beyond the 30 day limit.  See http://blogs.technet.com/b/praveenh/archive/2010/11/02/usage-reporting-in-sharepoint-wss-or-moss.aspx.  Do you know how to access this data using Sharepoint designer or a 3rd party tool?
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
regarding #3:

(p.s.  M$ recommends the Object Model method.  if you use SQL query, know that the database could change with a sharepoint update, and be careful you're not impacting SQL / Sharepoint performance).

for a 3rd party tool, you might look at CardioLog.

usage reports in sharepoint designer are not really custom per se.  they are selections you make in the menu.
Ted BouskillSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
In SharePoint a HIT is every time a page is requested (cached or not)

Personally we found the usage reporting in SharePoint wasn't very good.  For example, notice in the hits that the crawler and admin accounts are included!

We actually setup an automated process to process the IIS logs using LogParser 2.2 (free from Microsoft) to push the data into a SQL database where we could trim the data the way we wanted and keep years worth of it.
scottlumAuthor Commented:
Traditionally, a HIT is the aggregate count of all the elements in the web page, including the HTML file, images, css, etc.  For example, if you have a page with 10 pictures, then a request to a server to view that page generates 11 hits (10 for the pictures, and one for the html file).

So, is a Sharepoint HIT really a page view or does a certain number of HITs of the page (depending on the number of elements), constitute a real single page view in Sharepoint?

Ted BouskillSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
Actually in my experience a Hit is counted as '1' for a GET/POST for the entire page.  Not the total of all the page elements.  That is what SharePoint uses.

All the dashboards I've used like on Wordpress counts one hit as one GET/POST for a entire page.  Some even collapse them into one distinct hit per session so refreshing the page in a session doesn't increase the total.

Sharepoint counts a page hit as '1' for the entire page however you can drill down somewhat (I can't remember how detailed because we gave up on the built in metrics quickly)

The problem with using the raw IIS logs is it does track the loading of every page element so we had to write some complex queries and code to collapse the data but at least we had control of the process.
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