Dashboards — User Interface

Figure 1, Dashboard Example

In a sense, dashboards are a collection of saved searches of the repository (see Searches) and other components. These saved searches, though, are shown in widgets. They could be charts, tables, or other text. The value of this is that it allows you to monitor easily several aspects of your data, whatever is of interest to you, and compare their results side by side.

The screenshot shown in Figure 1 here is an example of a dashboard. It was created in the Getting Started tutorial.

Create a Dashboard

Figure 2, Add New Dashboard

To create a Dashboard for a select repository, click on the Dashboards tab at the top of the Humio User Interface. You’ll see a large button labeled, + New Dashboard. After you click it, a dialog box will appear like the one in Figure 2 here. You’ll have three basic choices: create an empty dashboard, make a copy of an existing dashboard that you’ll then modify, or use a dashboard template.

To start, you won’t have any dashboards from which to clone, or any templates. When you build a dashboard you think you’ll want to be the basis for a template, though, you can create one by selecting Export as template from the dashboard.

Figure 3, Dashboard Management

To create an empty dashboard, enter a name for it and then click the purple button labeled, Create Dashboard. You’ll soon afterwards see it listed on the same screen. Click on the vertical dots (i.e., more_vert) a good bit to the right of the dashboard name. You’ll then see a dialog box like the one in Figure 3 here.

The first choice is Wall Monitors & Shared URLs. This is so that you can use a dashboard on a wall mounted monitor by way of a web browser, or something similar. This allows you to display information in a fairly public setting.

The Clone choice is to duplicate a dashboard so that you can then modify it for other purposes. This is the same as the second choice when making a new dashboard, mentioned above. The third choice is to Rename the dashboard. The next is to Export as a template the dashboard. This is how you create a template, as mentioned also above when creating a new dashboard. The last choice is to Delete the dashboard.

But if you ignore all of these choices and instead click on the name of the dashboard, it will open it, showing a blank screen. To make it useful, you’ll need to create and add widgets.

Widgets

Figure 4, New Dashboard Widget

As mentioned above, widgets are mainly saved searches. You’ll have to go back to the Search tab to enter queries and to save them as widgets. For instance, you could enter timechart(statuscode) in the search box for the repository. You’ll get a time chart based on the Apache http status codes found in the repository. This was discussed in documentation page for User Interface Search, specifically on Narrowing Fields). If you’re satisfied with the query, click on Save as… near the top right of the screen, and choose to save the query, not the data, as a Dashboard Widget.

A dialog box will appear for you to enter information about the widget. First, there’s a message explaing that although the query was for a static period of time, it will be converted to a live query. Dashboards are for streaming data, data up until now. Next you’ll have to indicate for which dashboard the widget will be used. One choice is [New Dashboard] to have it create a new dashboard with this widget. That means that you could have skipped the previous step above to add a new dashboard.

The next choice is to indicate if this is a new widget or replacing an existing one. If it’s a replacement, you’ll have to select the widget it’s replacing. Incidentally, widgets are associated with one repository. So you won’t see widgets from other dashboards in this list. If you choose to create a new widget, you’ll need to enter some text in the Widget Title box to give it a label and to be able to identify it later. The Widget Description is optional. There’s a check-box to say whether you want to open the dashboard after creating the widget. If you want to stay on the Search tab so that you can define more widgets, uncheck this box. When you’re ready, hit Save.

Dashboard Properties

Figure 5, Dashboard Properties

Once you have a few widgets in a dashboard, you may want to make some changes as to how it’s organized, how it’s labeled, and what time frame it covers. To begin to make these kind of changes, click on the button labeled, Edit, near the top right — somewhat under Help. That will open a box called, Dashboard Properties.

The Dashboard Properties box in the right margin (see Figure 5 here) provides some information on the dashboard. First is the name of the dashboard. You can change that here — it’s the same as using the Rename choice from the list of dashboards mentioned above. Next is where the description of the dashboard would be shown. Since none was entered for the example in Figure 5, there’s an input box in case you want to enter one now — or if there was already, you could change the description.

Figure 6, Dashboard Buttons

The next section of the dashboard properties is the Default Time Interval — it’s expanded in the screenshot in Figure 5. It shows the starting and ending time for the repository data used. In Figure 5, it’s from 1 day ago to now, and the data is not live, but static. Other than switching to live queries, you can change these values here. To do that, you would do as you did on the Search page: click on the button for the time-frame. In Figure 6 you can see a cropped screenshot of the Dashboard page, showing the buttons at the top left. Notice the one that reads in this shot Last 24h (live). You would click on that to expand the time frame. You can also click on the left and right arrow-heads of ether side of it. Those will increase the time range by set amounts. The amount in which they increase the range are set in the Dashboard Properties shown in Figure 5.

While still in Dashboard Edit mode, you’ll see on each widget there is also text that says Edit. If you click on one, the right margin will show the properties for the widget. This will allow you to change the titles and descriptions for them. For a time-chart widget, you have many more options that allow you to change how the graph is displayed.

Show Queries

Figure 7, Showing Queries

You may have noticed when you clicked on the Edit button for the dashboard, there were a three buttons that appeared to left of it (see Figure 5 above). One of those buttons says, Show Queries. If you click on it, the queries behind each widget is shown. The screenshot in Figure 7 here shows this, using the dashboard shown in Figure 1 at the begining of this page.

By showing queries for the widgets, you can see how their results are generated. You can also directly edit a query here. Or, if the results aren’t quite right for a widget, you might want to copy a particular query, switch to the Search page and paste it in the query input box there so that you can try modifying it. When you have the way you want, you can go back to the Dashboard page, open Edit and Show Queries again and paste the new query into the widget you want to change.

Figure 8, Widget Edit Menu

Instead of showing queries, when in Edit mode, you could just click on the the vertical dots icon (i.e., more_vert) at the top right of a widget (see Figure 8 here). That gives you a few choices, which will vary based on the type of widget. One of those choices for almost all widgets is Edit in Search View. If you click on it, it will copy the query for you, switch you to the Search page and paste the query into the query input box and run the query.

Changing the Look

You don’t have to accept where the User Interface places the widgets or the size it sets for them. You can easily reposition and resize the widgets as you prefer them. Click on the Edit button again at the top right. Then drag the widgets into different positions. You can resize them with your mouse. It’s a little delicate to get your mouse in the right position to widen a widget, but it can be done.

Another button that appears when in Edit mode is the Add Note button. If you click on it, you can add a widget that has only text. You can see an example of such a widget in the bottom left of the screenshot in Figure 1 above. Note widgets allow you to use markdown to format the text and add other elements, such as, links to other dashboards and to external web pages — and dashboards on external systems. You may also include some parameters. Below are examples of some:

{{startTime}}
{{endTime}}
{{ parameter "my-param-id" }}

[Open Elsewhere](https://example.com?start={{startTime}}&end={{endTime}}&param={{ parameter "404" }})