It is important to note here that many more complex concepts within Web Analytics are not covered in this chapter. Recall that the purpose of this section is to provide a step-by-step guide on how to build a basic Web Analytics cube on top of web log information. Therefore, in this section we review:
Basic parsing of a web log file
Simple web log transformation
Transforming the page path
Creating the fact table
Identifying visitors and sessions
Creating the Analysis Services cube (and its many steps)
This section uses files that you can download from www.wrox.com.
Let's start with the included log file ex20071217.log, which is an IIS 6.0 W3C format log file (see Figure 25-2). Please note that this is a test log file, not an actual log file, because we do not want to be sharing personal information.
As you can see from the log file, there are a number of columns and parameter-value pairs that you need to parse through in order to extract the data that you need. Though there are many methods that can be used, a handy and straightforward tool to do this is the Log Parser tool that is available at support.microsoft.com/kb/910447. Download the logparser tool from the link provided and install it on your machine. For more information about the logparser, I would also recommend ...