Overview

Analytics are regular ACL scripts written using the ACLScript language and designed to perform audit tests, or to perform preparatory work required by the tests. Adding an analytic header to a regular script designates the script as an analytic and allows it to run on AX Server using AX Client or AX Web Client, or in the Analysis App window, which is a freestanding component of ACL Analytics. Analysis apps are bundled sets of analytics that import and prepare source data, and then perform analysis. Analytics and analysis apps are typically created or developed by an organization’s in-house scripting experts, or by arrangement with ACL consultants.

Figure 1 illustrates the various options that are available for working with regular ACL scripts, ACL analytics, and analysis apps. Scripts and analytics are developed and tested in ACL Analytics, and scripts are also run in ACL Analytics. Analytics are run in AX Client, AX Web Client, or the Analysis App window.

To run an analytic or an analysis app on AX Server using AX Client or AX Web Client, you must first import the analytic or analytics inside an ACL project (.acl) to AX.

To distribute an analytic or an analysis app, and allow other users to run it in the Analysis App window, you must first package the analytic or analytics in a compressed file (.aclapp). The users unpackage the compressed file and install it as an .aclx file. Once they choose a location to install the .aclx file, unpackaging and installing are performed automatically as part of opening the analytic or analysis app in the Analysis App window.

As a convenience during the developing and testing of analytics, you can also run an analytic or an analysis app in the Analysis App window directly from ACL Analytics.

The term “analysis app” applies to both an ACL project used to import analytics to AX, and an .aclx file. The term “packaged analysis app” applies to an .aclapp file.

Figure 1. ACL scripts, analytics, and analysis apps

Comparing ACL scripts and analytics

If the ACLScript commands in an ACL script and in an ACL analytic are identical the data processing and analytic work performed by the script and the analytic are identical. You can achieve the same data analysis goals using either scripts or analytics. The differences between the two involve where and how they are run, what type of users they best suit, and what additional capabilities are available. Table 1 compares ACL scripts and analytics.

Table 1. Comparison of ACL scripts and analytics

ACL script

ACL analytic

Written using ACLScript

Yes

Yes

Developed and tested in ACL Analytics

Yes

Yes

Runs in a simplified interface

No

Yes

Runs in a web-based interface

No

Yes

(AX only)

Runs locally

Yes

Yes

(Analysis App window only)

Runs on a server

No

(Previous versions of ACL supported running primary scripts on a server. Subscripts can still be run on AX Server.)

Yes

(AX only)

Runs in ACL Analytics

Yes

No

(production version)

Yes

(test version)

Runs in AX Server/AX Client

No

(primary script)

Yes

(subscript)

Yes

Runs in AX Web Client

No

(primary script)

Yes

(subscript)

Yes

Runs in the Analysis App window

No

(primary script)

Yes

(subscript)

Yes

Supports prompting for and accepting user-provided input values for script parameters

Yes

Yes

Supports saving and reusing, or editing, user-provided input values for script parameters

No

Yes

Supports native ACL scheduling capability

No

Yes

(AX only)

Supports advanced data interpretations/visualizations

No

Yes



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