opCharts power is found in the ability to create, assign, and save custom dashboards designed to address specific user or functional needs. For example, you might create a series of executive-level dashboards that only reflect very abstracted data based on the status of groups of nodes and display these on both geographic and topological maps. Other dashboards meant for use by Tier-I technicians might show node or device-level details as well as interface information overlaid on a graphical network diagram. Each of these options can be quickly and easily built using opCharts then assigned for access by users with specific rights, and even made the default dashboards for certain users based on their role or responsibility.

The following section will describe what components can be added to a dashboard, the various methods for adding these components to a new or existing dashboard, how to organize the layout of the components, and how to control user access and assignment of the default dashboard.

Join Paul McClendon, an Opmantek Support Engineer, as he gives a. quick overview of creating a dashboard in opCharts.

Dashboard Components

Every dashboard is constructed from individual Components organized within a 2-dimensional grid in a logical or visually appealing way. There are four basic components available for use in opCharts. These are:

Creating a New Dashboard

A new dashboard can be created from the Dashboards view; select Views -> Dashboards from the opCharts menu bar, then click the blue button with a "+" located in the top-left corner to open the new dashboard screen.

Dashboard Columns

Think of the dashboard's layout as a 2-dimensional grid. The Dashboard Columns field allow you to subdivide the usable horizontal space into equally spaced units. The horizontal width is defined by the browser window's width, but the vertical height is defined by the number and layout of the Components you add to the dashboard.

Adding a Component to a Dashboard

A Component can be added to a Dashboard either by selecting the Add to Dashboard button (The (plus) button located in the top-right corner of every Component window) or by clicking the Add Component button from within the Edit Dashboard view.

Note: A component must exist before you can add it to a Dashboard (see: Components (NMIS Charts, opCharts, & Maps) for more information).

Component Info

The Component info panel allows you to define the width and height of the Component's window, and the location of the Component's window within the Dashboard grid. The width and height field values are all relative to the number of columns set in Dashboard Column's field. 

Component Info Panel

Next, select your Data Source Type, additional fields may appear based on the type of source you select.

Component Layout

Continue to add additional Components and arrange them in an order that presents the data clearly and with purpose

5 Column Dashboard Sample    Rendered Dashboard

Saving the Dashboard

When you have completed editing your dashboard click the Save Dashboard button from the Dashboard menu on the left; this will open the Save Dashboard dialog. 

Save Dashboard Dialog

  • Name: The common name to be used when referring to this dashboard, used in all menus
  • Description: Shown in the Dashboard View (Views->Dashboard)
  • Dashboard Group: Assigns the Dashboard to a group, allows for fast selection when viewing dashboards in the same group (so you don't have to go hunting to find related dashboards). The name given to the group will appear in a new section on the left side panel and each dashboard assigned to the group will be available in a select box.

Setting the Default Dashboard

The default dashboard is what you see when your first sign in to opCharts or when you click the opCharts icon in the top left corner of the screen.  Any custom dashboard can be viewed in this spot, if no default dashboard is set opCharts automatically forwards you to the nodes view.  This setting is stored per-user so each user can choose which dashboard they would like to see when they sign in.

To set your default dashboard view the dashboard you would like to be your default, on the left side menu click the button labeled "Make Default Dashboard." Clicking the opCharts logo should now display this dashboard on the opCharts home screen.  If you click the "Make Default Dashboard" button on another dashboard it will replace your current selection.

To unset your default dashboard view the dashboard that is currently the default (Views→Dashboards, then click the dashboard name) and click the button labeled "Remove Default Dashboard."  Clicking the opCharts logo should now redirect you to the nodes view.

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