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Revamped dashboards!

Tom de Bruijn

Tom de Bruijn on

Revamped dashboards!

We're launching a big update for the custom metrics dashboards. We combined dashboards and custom metrics in the navigation, improved the dashboard editor and updated the dashboard definition YAML.

Combining dashboards and custom metrics

The "Dashboard" and "Metrics" sections had grown so similar, it made sense to combine them in the navigation. All dashboards will now appear together in the sidebar as per our recent navigation change.

Differences between old navigation (left) and new navigation (right)

Left old, right new navigation.

Enhanced editor

Before today, all your dashboards were editable in one big YAML definition. This YAML became too large to easily manage in our online editor as the number of dashboards increased for an app. It was difficult to keep focus on which dashboard the YAML belonged to and syntax errors were difficult to spot.

New dashboard editor screenshot

The dashboard editor is now scoped per dashboard. This keeps focus on the dashboard that's being created or updated. We've also outfitted the editor with new features such as syntax highlighting and better validation so it's easier to track down where an error is coming from.

The new one is so much better, we're scared to show you the 'before' image 😉

New dashboard editor with error screenshot

Updated dashboard definition YAML

In order to support more features now, and in the future, we have made some changes to the YAML format of the dashboard definitions. Don't worry, we've updated all your existing dashboards to the new format automatically. There's no need to update these yourself.

The new format is explained in detail on our dashboards definition YAML documentation page.

These are some notable changes in the format:

  • The data on which the lines in a graph are based are now grouped under the metrics key on every graph. This makes it easier to configure fields and tags per metric.
  • We've combined the old fields and filter keys into the name key on the metrics items. This still supports the wildcards from the filter key like before: name: 'my_metric_*_key'.
  • The kind key has been renamed to fields. (The kind key was an old name we used for fields.) This now accepts an array of fields which makes it easy for measurements to show the mean, 90th percentile and 95th percentile in the same graph.
# Old YAML definition
title: 'Example dashboard'
graphs:
  -
    title: 'Query duration'
    line_label: '%namespace% - mean'
    format: duration
    kind: measurement
    fields:
      - query_duration
    headerType: legacy
tags:
      namespace: "*"
 
# New YAML definition
title: 'Example dashboard'
graphs:
  -
    title: 'Query duration'
    line_label: '%namespace% - %field%'
    format: duration
    metrics:
      -
        name: query_duration
        fields:
          - MEAN
          - P90
          - P95
        headerType: legacy
tags:
          namespace: "*"

We think these changes make it easier to edit the custom metrics dashboards and customize them even more! Let us know if and how we can do even better!

If you have feedback about this or any other feature, want to suggest changes or share something you like, please let us know. Your input is extremely valuable to us!

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Tom de Bruijn

Tom de Bruijn

Tom is a developer at AppSignal, organizer, and writer from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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