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Introducing area charts for custom dashboards.

Robert Robert Beekman on

Today we’re making area and relative area graphs available for our dashboards to help you display data in new ways.

If you’ve visited the “performance graphs” page for your app on AppSignal.com, you have seen the “event graphs”. These graphs depict event durations such as Database calls and HTTP requests.

Area charts

Starting today we’re making available the display key in our dashboard YAML syntax, allowing you to display (custom) metrics as area charts.

Syntax

The display option accepts three values:

In the dashboard YAML it would look like this:

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title: Event details
graphs:
  - title: Received/transmitted LINE
    display: LINE
    format: number
    metrics:
      - name: event_details_received
        fields:
          - COUNTER
      - name: event_details_emitted
        fields:
          - COUNTER
  - title: Received/transmitted AREA
    display: AREA
    format: number
    metrics:
      - name: event_details_received
        fields:
          - COUNTER
      - name: event_details_emitted
        fields:
          - COUNTER
  - title: Received/transmitted AREA_RELATIVE
    display: AREA_RELATIVE
    format: percent
    metrics:
      - name: event_details_received
        fields:
          - COUNTER
      - name: event_details_emitted
        fields:
          - COUNTER

This dashboard YAML would generate the following charts for these metrics:

Area charts

Use cases

The AREA_RELATIVE is a convenient way to compare values over time against each other. In the three graphs above you can see in the LINE and AREA charts that the values of both measurements has increased a lot over time. But it’s hard to see how the values compare against each other.

The AREA_RELATIVE display option converts the values to a percentage and shows that while the value of both measurements has increased, but relative to each other they have stayed the same.

Area chart relative

You can now take an existing graph and edit it (by clicking the edit button on the right top of a page with graphs) and change a graph type by changing the display field for that graph in the YAML. You can read more about these graphs and how to use them in custom dashboards on our documentation page.

Let us know how you’re using area and relative area charts to display data from your app!

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