"Most internet services have the ability to log their
activity. For example, the Apache web server adds for each web page
request a line with information to a log file. Depending on the log
format the line includes information like the page that was
requested, the size of the page, which web browser was used, and
much more. In case of your email server, a similar log file is
made. It contains the email address that sent the email, who
received it, how large it was, etc. As a matter of fact, all
internet services have this capability.
These log files contain a enormous amount of information, but
the format is hard to interpret by hand. You need a tool that makes
summaries of the data to help you analyze the content. In case of
www services this converts to TopX lists for web browsers, domains
and platforms, and a hits versus time plot. Most counters from
third party products show these kinds of overviews.
For most log file type tools are available to analyze the
content. lire is such a tool. But lire is different from most other
tools. Lire is an integrated system which is able to analyze not
just one type of internet service, but many. And the reports that
summarize the interesting information from the log file are plugged
in. You can add custom report types yourselves.
Lire can be used in different ways. You can run it from the
command line or have a crontab job installed that send you reports
by email. In the former case you can choose the output format for
the report. Current output formats include plain text, HTML,
DocBook, PDF and LogML. In case of the crontab the only format is
plain text at this moment."