AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform

3.8.x Documentation



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This topic describes how to create custom dashboards. To use existing dashboards, see Use a Custom Dashboard.

Click Custom Dashboards from the lower left navigation pane to reach the Custom Dashboard window

Creating a Custom Dashboard
from AppDynamics, 5 minutes

Using Dashboard Widgets

With dashboard widgets you can:

  • Add labels to your dashboard and status indicators
  • Display metrics using a metric value, a graph, or pie chart widget
  • Add health status indicators for critical metrics
  • Add images and other external content

Widget Properties

 Widgets have basic display properties such as position, size, and design elements, as well as widget-specific properties.  You can arrange widgets on a dashboard to suit your needs.

Properties include:

Position/Size: These settings are the coordinates and dimensions of the widget on the grid. You can specify these numbers for precise alignment.

Design: These properties define design elements such as font size and color, background color, and widget border.

Misc: This optional section contains properties specific to a widget, such as the drill-down URL and double-click action.

  • (Optional) Drilldown URL: Some widgets have an option to specify a Drilldown URL. You can specify a Drilldown URL as a shortcut to help find the root cause of a performance problem. For example, if you are monitoring slow requests for all the nodes of an application you may see an increase in the number of slow requests and want to do further investigatation. You want to reach a particular node from your dashboard. Clicking the Drilldown URL takes you to the target URL for more details.
  • (Optional) Double-click action: Some widgets have an option to define the result of double-clicking the widget. The options are to open the Metric Browser or the Drilldown URL

Time Range: Use this property to specify whether the widget uses the global time range of the overall dashboard or a time range that is specific to the widget. This widget-specific time range can be different from the global dashboard time range.

Available Widgets

Each widget has specific characteristics. Specific properties for each widget are described in the widget-specific sections of this topic. Available widgets include:

Label: Text used to annotate the dashboard.

Graph: One or more metrics displayed in a graph format.

Metric Value: A string that displays the value of a metric.

IFrame: URL to display content.

Image: URL to an image file. Use the full HTTP URL to the image.

Pie: Metrics in a pie chart format.

Status Light: Health rule violations.

As you set the properties, the appearance of the widgets update.

Creating a Custom Dashboard

To create a custom dashboard

  1. From the left navigation pane click Custom Dashboards or from the central area on the Home page, click View Custom Dashboards.
  2. Click Create Dashboard.
  3. In the Create New Dashboard window:

    1. Name the dashboard. Names must be unique.
    2. Confirm or change the Auto-refresh Interval to control how often the data in the widgets refresh.
    3. Confirm or change the width and height.
    4. Use Background Color to pick a color or enter the hex code. The default background color is white.
    5. Click OK. The Dashboard editor opens.

To add a widget

  1. From the Add Widgets dropdown list, select and drag widgets to the dashboard.
  2. Select the widget to display its Properties window.
  3. In the widget properties window specify the values of its properties. The exact properties vary according to the type of widget.
  4. When you are finished click Save.

To specify a global dashboard time range

Use the Dashboard Time Range dropdown list to select a global time range for the dashboard. When you add widgets to your dashboard, you can specify whether the widgets use this global time range or a widget-specific time range. If you do not specify a widget-specific time range, the global time range is used.

To specify a Drilldown URL

For some widgets, you can specify a Drilldown URL, a shortcut to an AppDynamics window, that opens when you click on the widget in the dashboard.

For example, if you are monitoring node health for all the tiers of an application you may see an increase in the number of slow requests and want to investigate the cause. You want to reach the App Servers List of all tiers from your dashboard by clicking the widget.

To get the URL:

  1. Navigate to the window that you want to open when the widget is clicked.
  2. Click the link icon  and select Copy a link to this screen to the clipboard.

To set the URL:

  1. Select the widget. You can add a Drilldown URL to a Label widget or to a Status Light widget.
  2. In the Properties window, select Misc.
  3. Paste the URL.
  4. Click Save.

To specify a metric to display for a metric value widget

  1. Click Select a metric and choose an application.
    If you want to display a metric in a series in a graph or pie chart, selecting a metric is step 5 in that procedure. See To specify a series for display in a graph or pie chart widget for the previous steps.
  2. Browse the available metrics and select one.
  3. By default the widget shows the value of the selected metric. You can use the  dropdown list to change the function of the selected metric. All values are calculated for the time range in effect for the widget. Not all functions are available for all  metrics.
    • Minimum: Minimum value, only available for averaged metrics
    • Maximum: Maximum value, only available for averaged metrics
    • Value: Contains the average or the sum across the time range depending on the metric
    • Sum: Aggregated value of the metric over the time range
    • Count: A count of the observed values over the time range
    • Current: The sum of the most recent minute's metric data value across all the included nodes
  4. By default the Metric Value widget displays the value of the selected metric. You can optionally specify a format string using text and the following tokens:
    • ${v} = value
    • ${t} = time range specified in the widget Properties
    • ${m} = name of the metric
    • ${f} = name of the function (depends on your section, could be Value, Count, Sum and so on).

      For example:
  5. Click Save

To display metrics in a graph

  1. Add the Graph widget to the grid and use the properties window to configure the widget. There are several panels in the Graph Properties window. 

  2. Click a panel to expand it and view the available settings.
  3. In the Graph panel, enter titles for the following:
    1. Graph
    2. Vertical axis
    3. Horizontal axis
  4. If you want the value of the time range to display in the horizontal axis label, check Show Timerange.
  5. Background colors lets you specify two colors that blend into each other. If you only want one color, set the same color for both.
  6. In the Legend panel, check Enabled to display the name of the metric. 
    You can position the legend at the right or bottom of the widget. If the widget is on the bottom, you can also specify the number of columns to display.
  7. In the Time Range panel specify whether to use the dashboard global time range or a widget-specific time range.
  8. See To specify series to display for a graph or pie chart widget.
  9. Click Save.

To display metrics in a pie chart

  1. In the Graph panel of the Pie Chart Properties window:
    1. Enter a title for the graph.
    2. If you want to display a legend check Show Legend.
    3. If you don't want to see the labels or values next to the pie chart, uncheck those options.
    4. If you want to show the values as percentages check Show Values as %.
  2. You can use the label widget with a transparent background to further describe the pieces of the pie.
  3. See To specify series to display for a graph or pie chart widget. Add additional metrics that make sense for a pie chart; they will display in correct proportion to each other.
  4. Click Save.

To specify a series for display in a graph or pie chart widget

  1. In the Graph panel of the properties window, click Add (the + icon) to open the Edit Series window.
  2. Each series has an internal name that is not displayed on the widget. You can use the default or enter a name more suited to your needs.
  3. Select an application.
  4. Select a metric category. You can choose from a variety of metrics in the system.
    Each category has its own properties to define the metric, such as from a particular tier or using names that meet certain match conditions.

    Overall Application Performance: Use a predefined metric and refine it in Step 5.

    Business Transaction Performance: Use the second dropdown to specify which business transaction or transactions to use. For example you can show metrics for a specific tier:

    Node Health - Transaction Performance and Node Health - Hardware, etc.: Use the options and dropdown lists to specify tiers and nodes. For example to show the metrics by tier:
    Node Health - JMX: Use the options and metric browser to select specific JMX objects. For example to select all JDBC connection pools:

    Error Rates: Use the pulldown to specify all errors, specific errors, errors in specific tiers, or errors that match naming conditions, including regular expressions.

    Custom: Use any metrics that are available: 

  5. Select a value match condition and a metric from the category.

    For example, if you chose a category of Node Health - Transaction Performance on all tiers, you can use the value of Average Response Time for all tiers:

  6. Select Line, Area, or Column from the Series Display Type dropdown list.
  7. The Series Colors list shows the colors used in the display. You do not need to select a color. The colors are used in order as listed on the panel, one for each value in your series. You can add or remove colors. To add colors:
    1. Click an existing color square.
    2. Use the color picker to select a new color or type in your color hex code.
    3. Click Add Color. The new color is added to the list. 
  8. AppDynamics formats the metric name by default. If you want to use the original metric name check Use Raw Metric Name in Legend.
  9. Some metric categories return more than one metric. AppDynamics displays them all by default. If you want to display only some of them, click Advanced (optional) and enter the number of metrics and sort order to display. For example, to display the "Top 10":
  10. It can be helpful to have baseline data in a graph to compare against current data. If you want to add baseline data, check Include Baseline Data and select a baseline to use. See Behavior Learning and Anomaly Detection for a discussion of baseline patterns and how they are used in AppDynamics to monitor applications.
  11. Optionally add additional metrics. The metrics display with each other.
    (info) Note: Multiple metrics may expand the vertical axis such that some metrics are hard to see. Resize the widget to make the metrics more visible.
  12. Click Save.

To display information from another website or dashboard

Use the IFrame widget to display another URL inside a dashboard in HTML mode.

  1. In the IFrame text box, enter the URL to display.
  2. Adjust the size of the IFrame so that it is larger than the website or dashboard. If using a dashboard, add space at the top for the embedded dashboard's header.
  3. Click Save to save your updates.


If your dashboard URL is over secure HTTP and the dashboard contains an IFrame that is not loaded over HTTPS, the IFrame may not render in the browser. For example, this discrepancy causes issues in Chrome's security model. The alternatives are to serve the embedded IFrame over HTTPS or run Chrome using the command line flag --allow-running-insecure-content to prevent Chrome from checking for insecure content.

To display health rule status lights

  1. Drag a status light widget from the Add Widgets dropdown to the dashboard.
  2. In the Health Rules panell of the properties window, click Select Health Rule.
  3. Select the application.
  4. Choose a health rule and click Select Health Rule.
  5. Click Save. 

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