Working with plugin dashboards

The dashboards for plugins allow you to visualize the data generated by your plugins for New Relic Plugins. They can be customized to present data in ways that suit your needs.

Plugin authors and publishers can add, edit, and delete dashboards. However, plugin users cannot customize the plugin dashboards they acquire from Plugin Central.

Viewing the default dashboard

Brand new plugins automatically include a default dashboard. Once your plugin agent starts sending data to New Relic Plugins API, and you can select it from the New Relic Plugins menu bar, you can view the default dashboard and change it as needed.

To view the default dashboard for your plugin:

  1. From the New Relic Plugins menu bar, select your plugin.
  2. From the plugin's summary page, select a component (instance).

Adding dashboards

In addition to the default dashboard included with brand new New Relic Plugins, you can create as many additional dashboards for your plugin as you want or need. After you publish your plugin, all of its dashboards and summary metrics you create (in addition to the default dashboard) will be available "out of the box" for your plugin users (consumers) to use and enjoy.

The customized dashboards that display plugin data are part of the plugin. Plugin consumers cannot add additional dashboards. This needs to be done by the author or publisher as part of a plugin fork or update.

screen plugin dashboard0618.png
Plugins > (selected plugin) > Edit > Dashboards > Add > Create: Here is an example of how to create an additional custom dashboard for your plugin.

To create additional dashboards:

  1. From the New Relic Plugins menu bar, select your plugin.
  2. From the plugin's summary page, select Edit.
  3. From the Dashboards section of the plugin's editing page, select Add.
  4. Specify a title for your dashboard, select a page layout, then select Create.
  5. From the new dashboard page, type a label for the new chart or table, and then select Add chart or table.
  6. Edit the chart, including the case-sensitive Metric(s) (for example, a metric name you see in the agent output, such as Component/SIN[Value]) and Value (for example, Total value). To use additional options (for example, number format), select Advanced options.
  7. Select Save and Preview to preview the chart or table. Or, select Save and finish when you are satisfied with the appearance of the chart or table.

You can use a wildcard (*) to show multiple metrics on a chart. For example, to include the metric component/foo/bar and the metric component/foo/xyz, use the metric name component/foo/*.

Review the new chart that appears on the customized dashboard, and continue adding, editing, or rearranging charts and tables on your dashboard as needed. When finished, select I'm done editing.

Avoiding metric grouping problems

The New Relic Plugins product provides flexibility for how your metric names appear by using wildcards. When creating a chart, consider whether you want the metric names to appear with identical namespace segments, or include a wildcard to strip the namespace segments. For example:

  Component/Database/Metric1
  Component/Database/Metric2
  Component/Database/Metric3

OR

  Metric1
  Metric2
  Metric3

To prevent problems with metric grouping issues, avoid defining values that result in excessively large numbers. For example, if a plugin's chart value is 1 widget and New Relic Plugins collects 3 million widgets, change the value to 1 million widgets so that the chart can show millions of widgets more efficiently. Also, avoid creating high-precision values containing many digits after a decimal point.

Changing or deleting dashboards

To update or remove any plugin dashboard, including the default:

  1. From the New Relic Plugins menu bar, select your plugin.
  2. From the plugin's summary page, select Edit.
  3. From the dashboard's edit page, select Edit dashboard or Delete dashboard as appropriate.

Keep a stable "production" version of your plugin that users can acquire from Plugin Central, and create a "development" version that you are actively improving, testing, browsing the presentation of metrics on your custom dashboard, or otherwise have in a non-production state.

For more help

Additional documentation resources include:

Recommendations for learning more: