• EnglishEspañol日本語한국어Português
  • Log inStart now

Use sliding windows for smoother charts

You can use the sliding windows function to create charts using the SLIDE BY clause in conjunction with the TIMESERIES clause, which lets you gather data in time "windows" that overlap with each other.


You can also use sliding windows via the UI in the condition advanced signal settings.

For example, in the image below, a query gathers data with 5 minute windows. The windows "slide" by 1 minute. Each window overlaps with the previous window by 4 minutes.

5-minute windows with 1-minute "slide"

In contrast to sliding windows, "tumbling" or "cascading" windows don't overlap. For example, in this TIMESERIES 3 minutes NRQL query, the windows are 3 minutes in length, with each beginning when the other ends without an overlap in the measurement interval.

3-minute windows with no overlap or "slide".

When to use sliding windows

Sliding windows are helpful when you need to smooth out "spiky" charts. You can use sliding windows to smooth line graphs that have a lot of variation over short periods of time. This is most useful in cases where the rolling aggregate (for example a rolling mean) is more important than aggregates from narrow windows of time.

In the example below, data varies greatly from one minute to another, so the 1-minute tumbling window chart shows many high peaks and low valleys.

TIMESERIES query without SLIDE BY clause

However, in this example, 5-minute wide TIMESERIES windows are smoothed with the help of 1-minute SLIDE BY intervals. The query returns similar data but creates a much smoother chart.

TIMESERIES query with SLIDE BY clause

SLIDE BY syntax

Valid NRQL syntax for the SLIDE BY clause follows the format below.

SELECT ... TIMESERIES integer1 units SLIDE BY integer2 units

integer1 specifies the sliding window width and integer2 specifies the SLIDE BY interval. units is a time unit, such as second, minute, hour, or day. All standard NRQL time units are accepted.

Here’s a real-life example showing 5-minute TIMESERIES windows with a 1-minute SLIDE BY interval.

SELECT average(duration) from Transaction TIMESERIES 5 minutes SLIDE BY 1 minute


When paired with SLIDE BY, TIMESERIES does not support AUTO or MAX. The TIMESERIES value must be an integer time unit value. In other words, SLIDE BY AUTO or SLIDE BY MAX will work, but TIMESERIES AUTO or TIMESERIES MAX followed by SLIDE BY and MAX, AUTO, or a specific integer time unit is not supported.

Translation from PromQL-style queries

When applicable, a PromQL-style query is translated into a NRQL sliding window query. For example, if your PromQL style query uses rate(request_count[5m]) for the past 60 minutes with a 1-minute window overlap, here's how that query would translate into NRQL.

SELECT rate(sum(request_count), 1 SECONDS) FROM Metric SINCE 3600 SECONDS AGO UNTIL NOW
FACET dimensions() LIMIT 100 TIMESERIES 300000 SLIDE BY 60000

In the translation output, the default unit of millisecond is used for TIMESERIES and SLIDE BY clauses. For TIMESERIES, 300000 ms is 300 seconds, or 5 minutes, specifying a window size of 5 minutes. For SLIDE BY, 60000 ms is 60 seconds, specifying a slide interval of 1 minute.

Use SLIDE BY with MAX and AUTO

You can combine SLIDE BY with MAX and AUTO arguments to further tailor query results, as shown in the examples below.

SELECT average(duration) FROM Transaction TIMESERIES 5 minutes SLIDE BY MAX
SELECT average(duration) FROM Transaction TIMESERIES 5 minutes SLIDE BY AUTO


The SLIDE BY value as determined by AUTO or MAX can produce a step interval greater than the window size, which will show up as gaps and unexpected results. If you experience these issues with query results, consider checking for instances of SLIDE BY where the step interval exceeds the window size.

Copyright © 2024 New Relic Inc.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.