Usage – Distributor & Reseller Portals

Updated: August 25, 2021
Contents

Reviewing Usage Files

Once Vendors successfully submit their usage record, Distributors and Resellers can get the spreadsheet file and examine it via the Usage module on the CloudBlue Connect platform. Access the Usage File Details screen and click the Download button under Processed Vendor Usage File:

The provided usage report file represent a spreadsheet that contains multiple tabs:

  • instructions: Provides usage report file overview.
  • general: This tab contains general information, such as product, marketplace, vendor, etc.
  • categories: Includes information about different item categories available for the product.
  • records: This is the main tab that provides usage information.

General Tab

The following table introduces and describes attributes provided in the general tab:

#AttributeDefinitionExample Value
1report_nameReport name that is assigned by the system04/01/2021 – 05/02/2021
2report_noteReport note that is assigned by VendorsDemo report
3report_idReport identifier that is specified by VendorsUF-2021-06-5788-2353
4report_start_time_utcUsage report start date 10/20/19 0:00
5report_end_time_utcUsage report end date 11/20/19 0:00
6usage_schemaDefines the specified reporting schemaTR, CR, PR or QT
8currencySpecified currency (in the ISO 4217 format)USD
9product_idProduct identifierPRD-123-123-123
10product_nameProduct nameTutorial Product
11marketplace_idMarketplace identifierMP-00001
12marketplace_nameMarketplace nameUnited States
13hub_idHub identifier HB-1234-1234
14hub_nameSpecified hub nameNA Production
15vendor_account_idVendor account identifierVA-123-123
16vendor_account_nameVendor account nameFront Street Inc
17distributor_account_idDistributor account identifierPA-321-321
18distributor_account_nameDistributor account nameMighty Mick’s LLC
19distribution_contract_idDistribution contract identifierCRD-21674-67435-75488
20distribution_contract_nameDistribution contract nameFront Street Inc Agreement

Categories Tab

The following table demonstrates the categories tab and provides examples for each attribute:

category_idcategory_namecategory_description
computeComputational ResourcesAll of your virtual machines and containers fall into this category.
storagePersistance ServicesAll of your blob storages are accounted to this category.
dbDatabasesAll of various databases fall into this category

Note that category IDs, names and description are defined by Vendors.

Records Tab

Usage information that is included in the record tab reflects the record data that is specified by Vendors. However, the processed usage report file contain additional columns that are introduced and described in the following table:

Column HeaderDescription
item_nameThis column displays an item name that is provided by Vendors
item_typeIndicates the specified item type: pay-as-you-go or reservation
item_unitDisplays the specified item unit (e.g., licenses)
item_periodIndicates the item billing period value such as one time, monthly, or yearly; note that this is value does not represent the commitment period
asset_idUnique subscription identifier that is assigned by the Connect platform
asset_external_idExternal subscription identifier that is assigned by the commerce system, this can help quickly identify the required subscription
customer_account_idCustomer account identifier on the commerce system
customer_company_nameCustomer account name as defined on the last request sent by the commerce system

Accepting or Rejecting Files

Once Distributors or Resellers receive a usage report file from their Vendor, the system allows accepting or rejecting pending usage reports by using corresponding buttons on the top-right corner of the Usage File Details screen:

  • In case Distributors or Resellers reject the usage report file, the system prompts to provide a reason that will be shown to Vendors. For example, in case wrong time period is specified, Distributors can ask Vendors to fix that issue.
  • Once Distributors or Resellers accept the usage report, it becomes available for propagation to the Distributor/ Reseller systems.

Note that the system can also accept your usage files automatically once you configure a usage rule as described below.

Usage Rules

In case Distributors or Resellers want to automate accept or reject operations on the Connect platform, the system allows creating Usage Rules for each product. Therefore, Connect can accept or reject pending usage report files automatically. This can drastically boost up and streamline the Usage Flow on the platform. Set up a new usage rule as described below.

Access the product profile page via the Products module and navigate to the Usage Rules section. Click the Add Rule button and configure the usage rule as follows:

  • Action: Select Accept to automatically accept usage report files. The Reject option, as the name implies, is used to automatically reject the usage reports.
  • Scope: Choose Usage record scope to automatically accept usage report files.
  • Argument: Specify your argument in this field; e.g., select the required item.
  • Condition: Enter condition to trigger your rule. For example, reported item quantity should be smaller or equal to your specified value.

Click the Add button to save your configuration and successfully add the acceptance automation rule.

Note that it is possible to automate usage report acceptance by creating a custom script by using the Usage API.

Extracting Data

Once a usage report is assigned to the Accepted status, Distributors can extract usage data to their systems per a specified hub. Access the Extract section of the usage file details screen to download the spreadsheet file. Distributors can also edit the chunk external ID or close the chunk by clicking on the vertical ellipsis () icon.

For systems that are successfully integrated with the CloudBlue Connect platform, usage records are automatically extracted via record-level API calls or bulk file export.

Reconciling Data

In case all billing procedures are complete, the corresponding usage record file should be marked as Closed to signal the end of the reconciliation operation. This could be done either via the Usage API or by manually uploading reconciliation report to the Distributor/ Reseller Portal:

The reconciliation file structure should be similar to the extraction file structure. However, note that the reconciliation files should have 2 additional columns in the records tab:

  • external_billing_id: Any string value that would allow to reference relevant billing object (invoice, order, etc.).
  • external_billing_note: Any additional data that might be useful for the reconciliation.

Once your reconciliation file is successfully uploaded and processed, the usage instance will be automatically marked as Closed. Note that the system also displays your closed records under Records statistics.

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