Just received this letter from one of our dealers. It looks like the days of screen scraping from the 6910 report generator are over for third parties. A 1000 lines of data per pull is going to make it hard for those pulling mail files.
ERA® Report Generator Security and System Performance Enhancement
The Report Generator tool within your ERA system helps you access a wealth of information about your dealership. We are updating your system to ensure that this functionality continues to safely and efficiently serve the purpose for which it was designed.
What is the enhancement?
In order to view a report that contains more than 1,000 lines of data, the report must first be printed or exported to a PC. If previewed (as opposed to printing or downloading), only the first 1,000 lines of a report will be generated for screen viewing.
Why is the enhancement being made?
By limiting the amount of data that can be run through the preview function, Reynolds is helping to protect and secure your system so that:
ERA system performance is not impacted.
The preview function is not being misused by running large reports in order to accomplish data extraction (a purpose for which this function was never intended).
When large reports are being generated for normal, legitimate purposes, the data can be properly printed or exported.
When large reports of more than 1,000 lines of data are run through the preview function (instead of printing them or downloading them), the system uses a substantial amount of memory, and in turn, reduces the system’s performance. We have seen large reports take up to 73% of a system’s processing capacity!
In working closely with dealers, we have uncovered situations where some third party vendors are misusing the preview functionality to generate large reports so they can screen scrape the data and transfer it out of the system. Not only can this misuse undermine the performance of the entire system, it also raises a host of other serious concerns around where your extracted data is going and what efforts are being made to secure it as it is removed from your system and sent elsewhere.
We share your concern that some third parties may be taking your data without your consent and providing it to other third parties and/or OEMs. It is important to remember that once this information is extracted by third parties, it is difficult for dealers to be sure of where all their data will end up.
What should you do to limit the impact of these enhancements on your processes?
These enhancements should have little, if any, impact on normal, intended uses of the preview function. Normal, ordinary use of this function will generally not call on 1,000 lines of data to be “previewed” from the screen.
In accessing your data, we recommend you observe the following guidelines:
When large reports are necessary, print or download them for easy and complete reviewing.
Limit report criteria so you only pull the data you need to (and realistically can) preview and are not unnecessarily pulling large amounts of data.
If you work with a third party vendor who is impacted by this change (e.g. they have been misusing this ERA functionality in order to accomplish data extraction), encourage them to take advantage of Reynolds Certified Interface (RCI). Through RCI, Reynolds provides third parties with a secure and efficient data feed for only the information specified by you. The data is delivered safely and securely and only to parties you authorize.
Who can you call with questions?
If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact the Reynolds Technical Assistance Center at 1.800.767.0080.