The RAPTOR Fences are Out…

Although it’s been a while since the software hit v1, today sees the formal press release for the RAPTOR project – so I thought it would be worth a quick update.

RAPTOR is a usage statistics tool that you install locally. It basically reads authentication logs, and presents them back to you in a friendly way, enabling you to track usage and create management reports. It has broad applicability – at the moment it tracks Shibboleth and EZProxy logs, but the tool can be used for things like eduRoam, OpenAthens and the emerging Moonshot project as well.

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, what is the difference between this and JUSP? My answer to this is typically that RAPTOR is broad and shallow in its analysis, where as JUSP is narrow but deep. RAPTOR only gives you information about number of authentications – but it can track ALL of your resources. JUSP gives much more detailed information about a range of actions carried out by specific users, but is restricted to a range of e-journal providers. Both tools are equally valuable to librarians and managers, and we hope in the future that more work will be done to help pool the information from both systems. There are also obvious synergies here for both tools in terms of the JISC KB+ project as well.

Another useful aspect of RAPTOR is that you can use it to compare back to other information held in your directory – so you can track usage by departments, or year, or even attainment grade if this information is stored.

I’d urge you to download the tool and have a play. The creators have assured me that the installation process is so simple that even I couldn’t break it….a claim I may well try out at McShib! Whilst mentioning McShib, it’s worth pointing out that we will be covering RAPTOR at the event and the RAPTOR team is also planning some workshops later in the year.

Another point worth making is that we are hoping that institutions will take advantage of the ‘aggregate up’ function in RAPTOR. This allows you to send appropriately anonymised data up to aggregation point, where it can be compared with other RAPTOR instances. We are looking at using this feature through an aggregation tool at the JISC Monitoring Unit, and it has the potential to give us clues for the first time on the national picture of resource usage that will help inform decision making on a much broader level.

Finally, the current JISC Digital Infrastructure call is looking for people to pilot and evaluate RAPTOR – so you can even get paid to see if this tool is valuable for your institution. That seems a pretty good deal to me.

One thought on “The RAPTOR Fences are Out…

  1. Rhys Smith

    Even Nedry knew not to mess with the Raptor fences!

    Just to clarify, Raptor currently supports parsing of the Shib 1.x and 2.x IdPs, EZproxy, and OpenAthens LA.

    v1.1 of Raptor will be shipping soon (in the next week or two) and will also support FreeRADIUS (for eduroam and moonshot stats), simpleSAMLphp, and the Shibboleth SP.

Comments are closed.