Before users can start using MySonar to track their data and their usage, they must be linked to a billing plan. Once they have been linked to a plan, users can track their data in the MyActivity tab in MySonar.

CREATING A PLAN


There are two ways to create a new Internet Usage Plan:

  • using the wizard which takes you through the step-by-step process
  • you can create a new plan directly using the Maintain Internet Plan window


The wizard provides a bit more explanation about the various fields in the plan, and it enables you to change the data retention and update frequency from within the wizard. If you are familiar with Internet Billing Plans, you can go to System -> Plans in the GUI and hit Add New to start creating a plan directly in the Maintain Internet Plan window.

USING THE WIZARD


Alternatively, if your unfamiliar with creating plans, you can use the Plan Wizard to guide you through the process:


  1. In the GUI, navigate to System -> Plans -> and click Add New Wizard. The wizard will be launched. 
  2. Begin by giving the plan a descriptive name, such as "Student Plan" or Staff Plan" for example. Also select the billing plan type (bytes and cost) and their length of the billing cycle (day, week, month, etc). When you're ready to proceed, click next
  3. In the "Notifications" screen, you can fill out fields to send a bill to the user at the end of the billing cycle and to alert them when they're close to reaching their quota limit. If you want to warn users that they're about to reach their limit, you must also set the warning level as a percentage of the allocated time or budget. Once the user reaches that point, an email will be sent to the user notifying them. You can set up two levels of billing notifications: Email users a bill, which will email them a usage report at the end of their billing cycle, or email someone else a usage summary, such as a teacher or a system admin, of all users linked to the plan, but entering their email address into the appropriate field. You can enter more than one email separated by a comma. This report will be sent as a CSV file. 
  4. The next step is Compliance. Using compliance policies you can set guidelines for the browsing behaviour of your users. You can specify how much of their allocation you'd like to spend on the web or email (or other protocols such as FTP). For web usage you can also specify browsing guidelines by specifying how much of their quota you expect them to spend visiting sites falling into certain web classification categories, for example, 40% general news and 40% education. Compliance Data is what shows up for "Expected" in MyActivity in MySonar. However, you DO NOT have to specify any compliance rules, if you choose not to, you can simply click Next to proceed. 
  5. The Archival section next gives you the option to have copies of any internet bill generated for the plan emailed to one or more email addresses for archiving purposes. In the GUI, under System -> DB Maintenance, you can change the retention period of how many days you want to keep archived data. 
  6. The last step involves Linking users to the plan. Click the "Map" button to begin the process. This will open up a window to map users to the plan. Click the Group you want to Map to the plan and select the "Map" button below. This will add users to the plan. You can toggle the "Show users not attached to the plan" option to look for single, particular users if you don't want to map groups. 


EDITING THE PLANS


You can change existing Internet Plans by going into System -> Billing Control -> Plans, selecting the plan you want to edit then click Edit. This will bring up a window with all the various options. You can change:

  • Billing Type
  • Billing Cycle
  • Notifications
  • Archival information
  • Compliance Protocols 
  • User assignment (mapping any extra users or groups you missed)




That should be it! If you want check if users have successfully been mapped to an existing plan, you can go to the Users option in Sonar, click one of the users who you mapped to the plan, and there should be a setting saying "Billing Plan". If it shows your billing plan, they have been successfully mapped to the plan.

If you have any other questions about Billing Plans and creating them, you can contact Blue Reef Support for more information.