capsule review

FunnelWeb 4.0

In the competitive world of Web publishing, what you don't know can put you out of business, which is why savvy Webmasters keep extensive logs. Active Concepts' FunnelWeb 4.0.1 takes on the task of grappling with megabytes of this log data, slicing and dicing it to give you an elegant visual representation of your traffic.

FunnelWeb has a new interface, which flows from step to step much more logically than in previous versions. It can now download logs from multiple servers, and crunch the data on your preferred schedule. And because the program can handle data even in compressed form, it works much faster than previous versions. FunnelWeb limits you to ten virtual domains and 5 million hits per log section.

The reports consist of stunningly beautiful 3-D charts and tables, which you can save as HTML or in myriad other forms such as PDF, JPEG, and comma-delimited text. (Active Concepts also offers an Enterprise edition, which gives you unlimited analysis capabilities and a bevy of additional reports.)

FunnelWeb has helpful features such as DNS caching to speed IP-address resolution, incremental analysis to crunch log files in small chunks, domain aggregation to group multiple domains on the same report, and e-mail on completion. The Enterprise edition can also collect detailed records of user sessions, track sessions across multiple servers, and report on the paths visitors take through a site.

FunnelWeb still needs a lot of RAM -- it demanded 256MB to analyze a 200MB file. And you can't save your data as Microsoft Word or Excel files, which makes for a lot of extra formatting. Also, it lacks a Web-based administration tool (as found in the competing Windows product WebTrends), so for remote operation you have to use third-party software. But FunnelWeb reports are hypnotically appealing and worth these inconveniences.

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