We’ve been working very hard in recent weeks to prepare for the release of our updated user interface here at AppFirst. We are excited about all the new features and over the next few months we will add even more functionality and flexibility to our product.
I would like to share some of the new features available with the new user interface. There are many changes and improvements that have been made throughout the UI and we’ll touch on some of them in this blog post.
For starters we have incorporated responsive design to many of our views and are moving toward a full HTML5 implementation. With the plethora of devices on the market today we wanted a better experience for our customers across all devices. Additionally, we have improved several of the workflows to make them more intuitive and easier to work with.
So what are some of the new features? Here are some of the highlights:
Autodetect is a great new feature for our users. AppFirst has always supported some level of autodetection, however the new Autodetect is much more integrated into the user interface with “opt in” and “opt out” options at every step. For every software component we find, Autodetect can find and configure alerts, log sources, polled data items, progress groups, and dashboards.
First-time users will use Autodetect when they first install a collector. However, Autodetect is also available through Admin so users can run it at any time on any number of servers they choose. We are really excited about this new feature and we think our customers will be as well.
Customers have always loved our dashboards. Now we’ve taken them to the next level with new features customers have been asking for. For example, the ability to duplicate dashboards, copy widgets from one dashboard to another, copy widgets within a dashboard, and a new feature called TV Mode. TV Mode allows customers to display their favorite dashboards on a large centralized TV within their office or network operations center. Because some computer monitors are on the small side, TV Mode allows you to display more widgets than will fit in the normal view. Simply choose how many widgets to view and how often to rotate views and TV mode will rotate through all your widgets in an “ad rotator” fashion.
Dashboard Widget Market
Our new Widget Market is where users will find all of the widgets that can be added to dashboards. Widgets provide small templated views of specific metrics, whether it’s system metrics, log metrics, process metrics, or any other data source in AppFirst.
Many of our widgets now support an extra level of functionality as well.
- The ability to drill down with Correlate in context of the data from that widget.
- Using the Polled Data Metrics widget, you can create a more detailed view of specific application components, such as Apache, IIS, Oracle, and so on. We call this the “Widget Detail” view.
The market is still in it’s early stages and we plan to add many more widgets over the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates!
The Servers view has also been redesigned to quickly and easily provide more information about all your servers, VMs, or cloud instances. Like many of the views in the new user interface, there are more options for searching, filtering, and paging large numbers of servers. Multiple metrics are shown for multiple servers and users can toggle between a list-view and a grid-view. Clicking on a single server displays a wide range of details in a tabbed view format.
Alert History and Alert Status have been combined into a single new Alerts view, establishing a logical workflow to investigate alerts. Use the visual bar chart to easily identify the volume and criticality of alerts over time. You can then dive into the time interval you want to investigate and view the alerts that triggered at that point in time. We included a Resolve button so you can clear alerts of their critical or warning status, indicating to your team that things are now OK.
Virtually everything in Admin has been logically changed or redesigned. This new design offers a streamlined way for users to find and configure Admin options, including adding new users and collectors, organizing servers and process groups, and access to the new Autodetect feature. Users will also like the new Setup area for configuring alerts, logs, devices, and polled data items.
First Time User Experience
New users will now be guided through a much more complete experience when installing their first collector. Collector options have been expanded from Linux and Windows to include other operating systems like Solaris, FreeBSD, and AIX. Additionally, we’ve included links to easily access our integrations with configuration management tools like Chef and Puppet.
After installing the first collector, users will head to Autodetect where alerts, logs, polled data items, process groups, and even dashboards can be configured automatically. Now you can spend less time considering how and what data to collect in your environment.
So that’s a quick tour of some of the new changes and some insights into the usability improvements. We are excited about all the new changes and are always interested in hearing from you about what you like and what you think we could improve upon. Let us know your thoughts!
*Note – current customers will have the ability to return to the classic interface for the next several weeks to help with the transition.