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Office 365 Reporting Web Service Returning Incorrect Data

14 Nov 2013 by Emma Robinson

The issue mentioned below has now been resolved by Microsoft. Cogmotive logged a support ticket to Office 365 and the Microsoft support team acknowledged that the issue existed and resolved it in a timely manner.
Microsoft have made available an Office 365 Reporting Web Service that allows customers generate their own usage reports.
The web service allows access to multiple sets of reporting data which can be extracted in either ATOM or JSON format. Most of these web data sets also have a corresponding PowerShell cmdlet which, according to Microsoft, returns the same data from the same location.

The spreadsheet and the admin portal both call the Reporting web service, which in turns calls the Windows PowerShell cmdlets. You can also call those cmdlets directly. The Windows PowerShell cmdlets are the only things that access the datamart directly, which ensures that every different type of access method has the same data.

We have come across one instance using the MailTraffic report where this is simply not true.
Using a test PowerShell script that we created we can compare the data that is returned from the Office 365 Reporting Web Service and the corresponding Office 365 PowerShell cmdlet.
You can see the results in the table below.

Date Inbound Mail (Web Service) Inbound Mail (PowerShell) Outbound Mail (Web Service) Outbound Mail (PowerShell)
24/10/2013 99 26
25/10/2013 30 13
26/10/2013 1
28/10/2013 7 3
29/10/2013 76 15
30/10/2013 4 88 7 46
31/10/2013 90 90 18 18
01/11/2013 65 65 3 3
02/11/2013 22 22
03/11/2013 25 25 7 7
04/11/2013 113 113 24 24
05/11/2013 124 124 22 22
06/11/2013 100 100 25 25
07/11/2013 71 71 13 13
08/11/2013 66 66 8 8
09/11/2013 34 34
10/11/2013 18 18
11/11/2013 69 69 22 22
12/11/2013 69 69 24 24
13/11/2013 33 4 2

You can clearly see that not only does the Web Service return much less data, it also seems to truncate the results in the first available date.
In some cases we were able to return many months of data from the PowerShell cmdlet whilst the Web Service only returned 14 days.
Don’t trust everything you read in Microsoft TechNet and be careful when relying on the Office 365 Reporting Web Service for accurate reporting.