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CA Unified Infrastructure Management - 8.5.1
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The Dashboard Portlet

Last update July 18, 2017

Dashboards display data in graphic elements, such as gauges, charts, tables, images, or shapes. These elements can display data from several types of data sources and can be customized with a wide range of colors, fonts, and sounds.

The Dashboard portlet allows you to create, edit, preview, save, and publish dashboards. Others can view dashboards in several ways:

  • An account contact user can log into the system and navigate to the dashboard,
  • A user can view the dashboard in a browser by entering the URL for the dashboard.
  • The dashboard creator can save the dashboard to PDF and send it to a user on a defined schedule.
  • The dashboard creator can export the dashboard for a user on another computer system running UMP.

The Dashboard portlet is installed by default with UMP and appears as a portlet in the header bar.

Contents

Video Tutorials

A set of dashboard video tutorials walks you through the steps of creating a dashboard. The tutorials are available at How To Videos. Links to the site are provided in the following text and in the following sections.

Create a Dashboard

On opening the Dashboard portlet, a dialog box prompts the user to create a dashboard or open an existing dashboard.

The tutorial Create a Dashboard and Customize the Canvas in the How To Videos shows how to create a dashboard and format the canvas before placing elements on the dashboard.

Follow these steps:

  • Click the Create button to create a dashboard.
    OR
  • Click a dashboard from the list or open a folder for the path to an existing dashboard, and click Open.

The dashboard is displayed in Edit mode.

Note: You can open an existing dashboard in a web browser by supplying the path to the dashboard as a URL parameter. The path is the full path separated by ‘/‘. For example, the URL

http://(server)/dashboard/jsp/standalone.jsp?path=folder/file 

takes you to a dashboard where "(server)" is the server where UMP is running and "folder/file" is the folder and file names under which the dashboard was saved in Dashboard Designer. The dashboard appears in the browser window.

If you are an account contact user, the URL takes you to the published version of the dashboard. If you are a bus user, you are taken to the working version of the dashboard.

View Modes

When you create dashboards, you typically switch between the Live view and Edit modes. Dashboards are created in Edit mode. Live view allows you to display of the dashboard with real-time data.

  • Edit mode
    To edit a dashboard, select Dashboard, New, or Dashboard, Open. A new dashboard opens in edit mode. An existing dashboard opens in Live view mode.

    Note: You must have Administrator permissions to create, edit, or delete private dashboards. If you are an Account user, you will only have the Open option for dashboards assigned to your account.

  • Live view mode
    The view mode for dashboards that are previewed, saved, or published. The Live view does not display an alignment grid in the dashboard field or editing column at the right. In Live view, options under the Edit menu icon include only those assigned to your permissions.

To preview the dashboard you are editing, select Dashboard, Live View. In live View mode, you can view a dashboard with live data as it would appear once published. Live view mode allows you to preview your dashboard temporarily, and is not the same as publishing a dashboard.
You can take these actions from live view mode using the Edit menu icon () (located in the black tab at the top-center of the dashboard window):

 Create a dashboard. The new dashboard opens in Edit mode.

Open a dashboard. The dashboard opens in Edit mode.

 Edit the dashboard currently in Live View.

View full screen.

Download the current dashboard to PDF.

Note: If the black tab containing the  icon is not displayed in Live View, move your mouse over the dashboard. The black tab is hidden when there is no activity in the window.
  • Full screen mode
    To open your dashboard in a new browser tab or window without displaying the UMP portlet environment, save your dashboard and then select Dashboard, Full screen mode from edit view, or click and then from live view.

    Note: After making changes, save your dashboard. Any unsaved edits are not shown in the full screen window. Edits should be done in only one window as it is possible to overwrite edits from another open window.

Press F11 to switch between browser full-screen and Edit or Live View mode within the same browser window.

To save a dashboard, select Dashboard, Save from Edit mode.

To publish a dashboard, select Dashboard, Publish from Edit mode. Save a dashboard in order to publish it. Published dashboards are available for authorized users to view.

Prepare the Canvas

Set up the canvas for working on a dashboard.

You can set the size and grid functions of the canvas or can set the background for the dashboard.

Size the Canvas

Set the canvas to an appropriate size for your dashboard.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Canvas Properties () tab.
  2. Click Size to expand the menu.
  3. Set the Width and Height of the canvas.

Set the Background Properties

Set the color for the dashboard background to enhance contrast, add an image as the background to brand the dashboard, and set the opacity of the background to avoid clutter.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Canvas Properties () tab.
  2. Click Background to expand the menu.
  3. Set the properties for the dashboard background:
    • Background Color
      Sets the color for the dashboard background. Enter a hex code or click the Background Color field to display a color picker. By default the background is white, hex code #FFFFFF. Use the slider on the right of the color picker to set the opacity for the color.
    • Background Image
      Sets an image as the background for the dashboard.
    • Opacity
      Sets the opacity of the background. Click the slider to adjust the opacity.

Set a Background Image

You can set a background image for the dashboard to orient information or brand the dashboard to your company.

Note: If you want the dashboard to have a background image, use this procedure instead of using an image widget. Using this procedure automatically places the background image behind the layers on the canvas, and any actions you take on the canvas do not affect the background image.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Canvas Properties () tab.
  2. Click Background to expand the menu.
  3. Click in the Background Image field to display the Image Gallery. To add an image to the Image Gallery, click Upload Image and browse to the image.
  4. (Optional) Click the opacity slider to adjust the opacity of the background image.

Set the Grid Functions

You can turn the grid on or off or can change its color or spacing to help align widgets on the dashboard. You can also turn the Snap to grid function on or off.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Canvas Properties () tab.
  2. Click Grid to expand the menu.
  3. Set the properties for the dashboard grid:
    • Grid On/Off
      Turns display of the grid on or off.
    • Color
      Sets the color for the grid.
    • Spacing
      Sets the spacing between lines of the grid.
    • Snap to grid On/Off
      Turns the Snap to grid function on or off. When turned on, items snap to the nearest grid line as you drag them around the canvas. Snap is useful for aligning items.

Add a Widget

Widgets are dashboard elements that display data. Widget formats present data in specific ways, so different widgets are used for different types of data. Matching the widget to its data is an important consideration of dashboard design.

The tutorial Creating Dashboard Widgets in How To Videos shows how to place widgets on the dashboard canvas, move them, size them, and organize them into a logical display.

Follow these steps:

  • Click the Widgets () tab at the top of the right pane of the dashboard.
  • Click a widget and drag it to the canvas.
  • Click sides or corners of the widget to size it and move it on the canvas.

For a full list of available widgets, see the article Add a Dashboard Widget.

Create and Assign a Data Source

In order for widgets to display data, assign a data source to one or more widgets. First, create a data source. Then, drag-and-drop the data source onto widgets.

The tutorial Assign Data Sources to Widgets in How To Videos shows how to define a data source and then assign it to a widget.

Once created, data sources are available to any of the widgets on the dashboard, and a single data source can be assigned to multiple widgets. 

Note: Data sources are specific to a dashboard and must be created for each new dashboard. However, a dashboard with data sources that is saved with another name retains its data sources.

Available data source types are:

  • Alarm
  • Dashboard
  • Metric
  • SLA/SLO

Advanced data sources require special knowledge, such as familiarity with your environment or with creating database queries. Advanced data sources are:

  • Probe
  • QoS
  • SQL

 Note: Not all widgets support all data sources. When you drag a data source onto a widget, the widget border turns green if the widget supports the type of data source and turns red if it does not.

For a full list of data sources, see the article Create and Assign the Data Source for a Widget.

Save a Dashboard

Save a dashboard for future use.

Save a dashboard in order to publish it.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the dashboard in Edit () mode.
  2. Click Dashboard, Save, or Dashboard, Save as .
  3. Enter a name in the Path field.
    To group dashboards in a folder, enter the folder name before the dashboard name. For example, to save a dashboard that is named "CPU Usage" in a folder named "Servers," enter the following:
    /Servers/CPU Usage.

Publish a Dashboard

Publish a dashboard to save a version of the dashboard for viewing by users with appropriate permissions. Dashboards saved to 'Private' can be viewed only by the creator; dashboards saved to an account can be viewed only by account users; dashboards saved to 'Public' can be viewed by any user.

Published dashboards open in Live view mode, and dashboard queries are updated when the dashboard is opened, so the dashboard is always current. A published dashboard is unaffected by subsequent changes made to the dashboard in Edit mode until the dashboard is republished. For example, if you publish a dashboard, add an image widget, and save the dashboard, the published version does not yet include the image widget. If you republish that dashboard, the published version is updated to include the image widget. In this way, you can make changes to the dashboard without affecting the version that others can view.

The tutorial Publish the Dashboard in How To Videos shows the steps for making the dashboard available to others.

Published dashboards are displayed in a frame with a toolbar. Hover over a toolbar icon to see a description of its function.

Note: If you make changes to the dashboard in Edit mode and decide that you want to go back to the published version, click on the View Published icon ( ) and then click the Revert icon ( ).
Important! Publishing a dashboard that contains widgets with dashboard data sources also publishes those dashboards.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the dashboard in Edit () mode.
  2. Go to Dashboard, Publish.

    Note: Save the dashboard in order to publish it. Otherwise, this menu item is grayed-out.
    1. Choose a setting for the Visibility field:
      No Account

      When the dashboard is published, all bus users with the proper permissions can view the dashboard.

      Public

      When the dashboard is published, all bus and account contact users with the proper permissions can view the dashboard.

      Accounts

      Account contact users that are members of one of the selected accounts and have the proper permission can view published versions of the dashboard. Accounts are created and managed in the Account Admin portlet.

      Note: Re-publish a dashboard in order to change the visibility setting.

    2. Click Publish. The dashboard is published.
  3. (Optional) Go to Dashboard, View published version.
    The published version is displayed.

A customer can view a published dashboard by logging into the system with a valid username and password, opening the Dashboard Designer portlet, and opening a dashboard from the dialog box that appears. Account contact users will only see dashboards in the dialog box that are assigned visibility for their accounts or assigned Public visibility. contact account users will only see the dashboard in Live view and will not be able to edit the dashboard.

Delete a Dashboard

Delete a dashboard you no longer need.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the dashboard in Edit () mode.
  2. Go to Dashboard, Delete.

Export a Dashboard

You can export a dashboard in order to import it into another instance of the Dashboard portlet. This allows you to share dashboards with CA UIM users on other systems. However, exporting a dashboard does not export its data sources, so an imported dashboard must have these data sources reassigned to the appropriate database.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the dashboard in Edit () mode.
  2. Go to Dashboard, Export.

A zip file containing the dashboard file and any dashboard dependencies is created and saved in your browser's download location.

Note: Save changes to the dashboard in order to export it. If Export is not active on the menu save the dashboard.

Import a Dashboard

You can import a dashboard zip file that was exported from the Dashboard portlet.

Note: You may need to reassign data sources after importing the dashboard.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Dashboard in Edit () mode.
  2. Go to Dashboard, Import.
  3. Browse to the dashboard file you want to import and select it.
  4. Click Open.
    The dashboard is imported and you can now open it.

Generate a Dashboard PDF

You can capture a dashboard as a PDF for viewing, saving, printing, or emailing.

Note: Dashboards can be scheduled and exported to PDF for all operating systems except Solaris, which currently does not support PDF creation.

Follow these steps:

  1. Create or open a dashboard in Edit () mode.
  2. Go to the Dashboard menu and click Generate PDF.
  3. View or save the file from the menu that appears.

You can also capture a dashboard from the Live view mode.

Follow these steps:

  1. View a dashboard in Live view mode
  2. Pull down the Edit menu from the Edit menu () icon.
  3. Click the Generate PDF () icon.
  4. View or save the file from the menu that appears.

Note: On some Linux distributions, PDF generation of a dashboard may fail. This is due to a missing library on the system required to perform PDF generation. You will be able to determine if this condition exists by enabling debug logging for: “com.firehunter.dashboard.service”. If you are seeing the PDF creation problem, you may see the following error in the log file: “error while loading shared libraries: libfontconfig.so.1”.

Here are example commands to install the necessary library.

Fedora-based system:

sudo yum install fontconfig freetype libfreetype.so.6 libfontconfig.so.1 libstdc++.so.6

Ubuntu/Debian-based system:

sudo apt-get install libfontconfig

Schedule a Dashboard Report

As a bus user, you can schedule dashboard PDF creation and distribution by email or file transfer. This lets you send updated dashboards on a timed basis to customers.

Follow these steps:

  1. Create or open a dashboard in Edit mode.
  2. Save and publish the dashboard.
  3. Click the Dashboard menu and select Schedule....
    A window opens.
  4. Fill out the appropriate fields.
  5. Click the Preview button to view the PDF.
  6. Click the Create button to create the job.

In the report window, the left-hand pane contains a list of existing reports for the current dashboard. Click the icons to Create () a new report or to Edit () or Delete () an existing report.

The right-hand pane contains fields for defining the report and transferring it by email or FTP. Required fields are indicated with an asterisk.

General

  • Name - A name for the report.
    Run report as user - The user associated with the report.
    You must be a bus user to create the scheduled report. As the report creator, you can select the name of an account with permission to view the report . Account users in the list are taken from Account Admin settings, with the format account/user.
  • Description - Any description or details of the report.
  • Disabled - A checkbox that allows the user temporarily to suspend report creation.

Schedule

  • Type - The interval of the report.
    The report can be scheduled to run only once or recursively on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Run this job - The scheduling parameters for report creation.
    The window displays the following fields according to the selected Type:
    • Once only
      Starting - The date (selectable from a calendar page) and time to run the report. The current date and time are entered as the default.

      Note: You can select any portion of the date and time string to change it. The month appears as a numeric value for editing and as a character string for ease of reading. You can also click the calendar to select a different date.


      With time zone - The time zone, selected from a pull-down menu. The default is the server's time zone.

    • Hourly/Daily/Weekly/Monthly
      Starting - The date and time to start the job,
      Every hour(s)/Every day(s)/On day(s)/On - The hourly interval/the number of days between reports/the days of the week/or the day or date of selected months to run the report.
      Ending - Radio buttons to run the reports with no ending date (Never) or until a given date and time. Selecting the Ending date radio button activates the field for selecting the ending date and time.
      With time zone - The time zone, selected from a pull-down menu. The default is the time zone of the server.

Context

This section is automatically populated with fields for the dashboard context selector widget, if used. All columns from the dashboard context widget are listed by name. Changing selectors in the job definition window overrides settings in the context selector widget of the dashboard. In this way, different jobs can run from the same dashboard with different context settings.

The parameters fields can be used to change any of the parameters that are used in dashboard data sources.

  • Time - The time period for the context selector, if used.
    A drop-down list provides options from the last hour to the last 12 months.

    Note: The dashboard context period and the report interval are independent. This allows the report to capture stepped data updates.

  • Other selectors - Fields from a context selector widget, if used, by name.

     The values for these selectors can be changed here and applied to the context selectors in the dashboard for the job.

  • Parameters

    Parameters values for dashboard data sources. By default, the report uses parameters listed in the Parameters () tab of the dashboard, but the values for these parameters are  changed by manually entering the parameter names and their new values.

    Note: Changing context selector and report parameter values further customizes the output of the dashboard. To capture all desired data, the person creating the report should have a thorough knowledge of the dashboard data sources and parameters.

    Note: Be aware that, when using the context selector, ${startTime} and ${endTime} parameters in the SQL query are converted to epoch time, which is not aware of daylight savings time. Comparing to a datetime/timestamp column in the database might give you an hour offset if you are in daylight savings. You will need to adjust your query to add daylight savings in if applicable.

Delivery

  • Email - The email address for delivery. You can send the PDFs for the job to multiple addresses.
    Clicking the Configuration () icon for email delivery opens a dialog box for the email settings for the sender, including SMTP server and port, and security and authentication options.
  • FTP - FTP server, port, and user settings for transfer.

    Note: You can schedule to send reports using one or both of these options.

  • Passive - A selector to change the FTP protocol from Active (the default) to Passive.

Buttons at the bottom of the window are context-sensitive, and allow the user to:

  • Preview the report.
  • Cancel the creation of a new job or cancel editing of an existing job.
  • Update an existing job.
  • Create a new job.

Note: The contents of a scheduled report can be changed in two ways: by editing parameters in the scheduled job or by changing the contents of a dashboard. To edit job parameters, select the job from the left pane, click the Edit () icon, and change the settings described previously. To change the contents of a dashboard, open the dashboard, make the necessary changes, and then save and republish the dashboard.

View a Dashboard URL

You can view a dashboard from a remote computer within a browser window outside of UMP. Others with appropriate permissions can also view the dashboard.

Follow this step:

  • In a browser navigation field, type in: http://(server)/dashboard/jsp/standalone.jsp?path=folder/file
    where "(server)" is the server where UMP is running and "folder/file" is the folder and file names where the dashboard was saved in Dashboard Designer. The dashboard appears in the browser window. An account contact user sees the published version of the dashboard. A user with administrative privileges (such as a bus user) sees the working version of the dashboard.

Specify a Default Dashboard for Users

You can specify the default dashboard that a user or group of users sees when using the dashboard portlet.

Access the Preferences dialog by clicking the Options icon (), then clicking Preferences.

Follow these steps:

  1. Enter Height in pixels for this instance of the portlet.
    If there is more than one portlet on the page, assign the height so that all portlets can be seen.
  2. Select the default dashboard for the portlet to display.
  3. Click Save to save your changes.

Was this helpful?

Please log in to post comments.

  1. Philip Becker
    2017-03-22 01:18

    The video tutorial link is broken, can you please update it and/or link it in the comments?

    1. Mark Riffe
      2017-03-22 06:40

      Philip: sorry about the frustration of not finding the playlist. We've identified the bad link (found in CA UIM v8.51 only) and will republish the topic with the corrected link soon. In the meantime, the playlist can be found at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLynEdQRJawmx9nBLMShEHyoI3LMV7SqmV.

      Thanks for your patience.

      —Mark

  2. MARTIN FINK
    2017-07-10 10:08

    Regarding the context selector, I think it is important to note that the SQL select you use needs to be carefully crafted as otherwise you will end up with a wrong time selection (time offset).

    When the user has a context selector on a dashboard, they are choosing to do substitution in the SQL query using ${startTime} and ${endTime} parameters in the queries they write. When that gets executed on the backend, we get the epoch time in milliseconds to substitute in the query.

    When that gets added into the query, you see something like the following: created > dateadd (SECOND, 1498515655296/1000, '1970-1-1')

    The problem is that the “created” date is aware of daylight savings, but the date created from the dateadd method is not. The result of the dateadd will give a datetime in UTC. When we compare against the “created” date, it is offset by an hour because of daylight savings.

    That is why we are getting data an hour old because the millis are creating a date that is UTC, which is an hour ago because this system is in daylight savings.

    There is a fair amount of threads on the web talking about this with people writing stored procedures and using other approaches. We did not find a great consistent way to solve this.

    If you are using SQL Server 2016, you could look at using “at time zone” to select the “created” column as a UTC date. Otherwise, you could try something like this: Dateadd(hour, DATEDIFF(HH, GETUTCDATE(), GETDATE()), dateadd (SECOND, 1498515655296/1000, '1970-1-1'))

    1. Mark Riffe
      2017-07-10 10:58

      Martin: thanks for pointing this out. I'll review the existing documentation and work with the assigned engineer to determine the best place to note the issue. —Mark

    1. Mark Riffe
      2017-07-18 11:02

      Martin: I've added a note to the documentation pointing out the SQL parameter issue.

      Do let me know if you find other issues regarding this or other UMP portlets.

      —Mark