Creating a View
Now that you have added your first equipment to Critical Labs, you are now ready to create a view. If you haven’t added equipment to Critical Labs, follow the guide under Adding a Device.
Views are the main visual representation of information in Critical Labs. They are also how Critical Labs knows who will receive alerts on what information. There are 3 different types of views in Critical Labs:
- Overlay Views
- Asset Views
Overlay Views and Asset Views
This guide is going to cover specifically how to setup a dashboard view. However, it’s helpful to understand the capabilities of overlay views and asset views as well.
Overlay views are a non-alerting type of view that displays sensor data over an uploaded image. They are useful for primarily visual data such as data center layouts, one-line diagrams, and heat maps.
Asset views are a special type of view that deals with non-sensor, informational data, such as serial numbers or dates of install. In Critical Labs, this data is updated only once a day, and no alerts are sent from this data.
Asset views are lists of equipment that show informational data in a grid format for quick, sortable reference. They are especially useful for asset management and capacity planning.
Adding a Dashboard
Go to the My Views page by opening the top righthand menu and selecting My Views.
You should now be on the My Views page.
Click the add button to the top right of the view list.
In the screen that appears, make sure the Dashboard button is selected and click Next.
Select the equipment you plan to make a dashboard for and click Next.
The next step is optionally selecting a view template. View templates are pre-made dashboard layouts for the type of equipment you selected in the previous step. A view template may or may not be available, depending on what equipment you selected.
You may select a view template here, if you wish, but this guide assumes that you choose No Template.
The next section is tags. Tags are a good way to organize your views into categories to help you find them easier. Tags can be geographic (such as a location on a map) or simply text. Tags can also be nested underneath each other.
If you have any tags setup in your account, feel free to choose a tag or two to tag your new view. Otherwise, click Next.
The next section is sharing. This is how you determine who can see what views in Critical Labs.
Public views are views that are visible to anyone in your account. They are not visible to anyone outside of your account.
Private views are views that only you and your account administrators can see. You can also manually select other users to see private views.
You can also setup who can edit this view and who can share it with others in the list below. Since this is an advanced topic, we’re just going to click Next here.
The next step is alerts. From here, you can setup who gets emails for warning alerts, critical alerts, and equipment disconnect alerts from this dashboard.
Go ahead and click Next.
The last step is to give your dashboard a name. It’s good practice to name your view the same name as the equipment you are creating the view for, but you may name it whatever you wish.
Your view is now created! You will now be taken to a blank dashboard (if you selected a view template, then there will be widgets on your dashboard).
Building your Dashboard
Now that you have a fresh new dashboard, you can now add widgets to help you see all kinds of information about your device. Let’s first look at the top menu to show you what kinds of actions are available within a dashboard.
The Dashboard Menu
There should be a menu across the top part of your dashboard that looks like the following:
- Starting at the left, you will see the Add button. This allows you to add widgets to your dashboard. Widgets can show sensor data, trend data, text, images, and perform other specialized functions.
- The Add Header allows you to add headings to your dashboard to help organize your widgets. Headers span the entire length of the page and cannot be shortened.
- The Edit button allows you to rearrange the widgets on your dashboard, as well as to edit or delete individual widgets.
- The Screen Size button is a handy shortcut that allows you to see what a dashboard will look like on a mobile device. It also allows you to design your dashboards for both desktop and mobile independently, if desired.
- The Create a Template button allows you to create a view template from your dashboard. This template will copy the exact structure and data points that your view is pulling from your device(s) and saves it as a template that you can use for other views. View templates do not store sensor data, only structure. View templates are also frozen in time – this means that if you change your dashboard after templating it, the template will not update.
- Alert Settings is the exact same information contained on the alerts step when creating a view. It shows a list of users who can see the view and lets you assign who receives warning, critical, and equipment disconnected alerts.
- Share is the same information as the share step when creating a view, with added features. You can invite users from outside Critical Labs to see your view temporarily by generating a share link or invite a Critical Labs user to permanently see your view. You can also manage which users can see, edit, and share your view.
- The Set a Time Range button allows you to globally set the time range for any trend charts in your dashboard. Each trend can be updated individually, but this button will set the displayed time range for all trends.
- The Generate a Report button generates and downloads a basic PDF report of the data in your dashboard. This report will include drawings of trends, as well as a history of alerts within the time range currently being viewed in the dashboard.
- The View Traps button may or may not be available on your dashboard because not all equipment sends SNMP traps to Critical Labs. This is a handy shortcut to access traps if you are using them.
Adding a Widget
Begin by clicking the Add button in the dashboard menu.
A screen will appear with steps to add a widget.
You will notice that there are many different types of widget in Critical Labs. This is part of what makes Critical Labs so flexible and powerful. You can combine any number of widgets to create a unique, customizable, and templatable dashboard.
Let’s choose the Sensor Value widget and click Next.
This brings you to the sensor selection step.
In this step you will add a data point (known as a sensor) from your equipment to the view. Notice that even though you selected your equipment when adding the view, you still have access to any device and/or sensor in your account.
Choose a sensor (or multiple sensors) and click Next.
You will now see a list of display options for your sensor. Choose an option you would like to see. Click Next.
You may optionally add a link to your widget that will be displayed directly on the widget. This is useful if you want to have local links to your devices (only works on the same network as the device) or to link to offsite documentation.
Lastly, give your widget a name. You may use the default name Critical Labs assigns or come up with your own.
Woohoo! You have now made your very first widget! Feel free to experiment with adding more widgets of different types, and editing the dashboard to rearrange the layout.