14. Export of audit trails in Brocade

14.1. What is an audit trail

An audit trail is a security-relevant chronological record that provides documentary evidence of an activity that has affected at any time a specific operation, procedure, or event.

14.2. How audit trails work in Brocade

In each of the Brocade application (this is in each of the Brocade forms presented to the user) it is possible to include a macro resulting in audit trails being created in a separate database.

14.3. How audit trails can be added

Audit trails can be activated in each Brocade application by including a macro (m4_setAuditRecord). This macro saves data in a separate global (dataset) in the Brocade database. Each audit trail record has the following structure:

  • an identifier indicating the context in which the trails was set. Examples
    • euser-debt-clear: remission of outstanding debts
    • euser-eusys-set: changes in parameters of a end user system
    • euser-eusys-del: deleting parameters in an end user system
    • euser-import: import end users
    • loan-lnstate-load: upload of loan status in loan system
    • loan-lnparm-load: upload of loan parameters in a loan system
    • loan-lnsys-set: changes in parameters of a loan system
    • loan-lnsys-del: deleting parameters from a loan system
    • cat-catsys-set: changes in parameter of a catalogue database (rule system)
    • cat-catsys-del: deleting parameters of a catalogue database (rule system)
  • Date
  • Time
  • Brocade userid
  • Base institution linked to the Brocade userid
  • Brocade sessionid
  • Brocade workstation linked to the Brocade session
  • IP-number of the user device
  • Additional data: what additional data are saved in the audit trail really depends from the actual Brocade application from which the audit trail is activated. So this will be different for each separate application. It is up to the Brocade developer and based on requirements set by the Brocade user community to decide on what data needs to be saved as audit trail. Beware however that the more data being collected, the more capacity (disk space, process time) you will need on your system and the longer it will take to produce a audit trail report. Large audit trails can also lead to lager response times for the end user.

14.4. How audit trails can be retrieved

Brocade 3.90 has a feature allowing to export parts of the audit trail log file. Normal users have no access to this application. It is up to the Brocade system administration to setup the required access levels. This application /menu/auditexport allows to download audit trails records as a ‘CSV-structured’ file. CSV files can be postprocessed using spreadsheet or database software. Keep in mind that software used for postprocessing (Windows Office, OpenOffice) can impose limits with regard to the size of the data (maximum number of rows and/or columns). The Additional data in the CSV file are structured using JSON.

14.5. Using the audit export form

  1. Fill in the parameters as required. Position your cursor in any of the input fields and right-click. Select the option ‘information’. A separate info window will pop-up containing instructions on how to input the parameters.
  2. Click on the Submit button. This will save your parameters in the form.
  3. By checking the option Execute the task Brocade will start the process of retrieving the data. This process can take some time depending on the number of records Brocade needs to retrieve.
  4. In the History section of the form Brocade will display the actual status of the process. Click on the Submit button to update the status.
  5. Once you have started the process, you can safely leave this form and proceed with other Brocade applications. You can always return to this application to verify the actual status. Finally using RSS Brocade will also send you a message when the process has finished.
  6. You can submit this process for execution later on. In that case enter the calendar date and time stamp on which you would like the process to be launched.

14.6. What is next

In Release 3.90 we have now developed a general mechanism to log audit trails. A number of trails are now available. Now it is time to define the specific requirements for each of the Brocade applications (circulation, cataloguing, acquisition). Based on these requirements Ciblis can then add the code in each of the applications. Please bear in mind the fact that audit trails can have a negative impact on the overall performance of the system. So think carefully and focus on what is really needed.