we've been frustrated for awhile by the lack of flexibility in the admin console. particularly, i'm referring to the advertisement view. if you're trying to figure out additional details beyond "available after", "expires after", and "status" you won't be able to do it through the gui. i won't lie and say you can't get this information at all. you could... i mean, you could open every advertisement and look at the schedule. that would only take a few minutes right? while you're doing that, i'm going to get more coffee.
alright, back. awake now. frustration has got to be the mother of scripting. :) seems like that's the only time we choose to go that route... and so frustration birthed a new script to help us along. basically a coworker wrote one up that would detail all advertisements and all additional information that you would normally want to know and presents the data in a spreadsheet.
so what kind of stuff would frustrated sms admins like to see anyway? here's our pick: advertisement id, name, start time, mandatory time, expiration time, target collection, and # of clients.
we thought # of clients would be particularly helpful in determining which collections are still used. as an example, you set an advertisement with a single mandatory start time (no recurrence) and point it to a collection of clients. this collection uses a query which would continue to remove clients as they no longer met the criteria, right? let's say the advertisement has been out there for a month. glancing at the spreadsheet, you see 3 clients. so out of whatever value you started at, you get down to 3... seems pretty successful. you check out those 3... they're no longer active. you can get lost trying to figure out which advertisements are no longer required, jumping back and forth from the collection to the ad. now you'll know pretty quickly.
advertisement id and target collection, we realize are visible and available to view in the console. however, in the spreadsheet, these values are actually hyperlinks to a web report with that information. the expiration time column also highlights the advertisements that have an expiration end time that has already been exceeded. why leave that crap around forever? :) anyway, here's an example of what you'd see...
and... here's the script if you want to try it out: