In the latest release of Micro Focus Operations Bridge, we have implemented various enhancements that make the Business Value Dashboard creation more intuitive and faster than ever before (available from Operations Bridge 2018.05).
The additions include new template layouts for different screen sizes and guides to easily position BVD shapes, new enhanced out-of-the-box Visio stencil, a simplified process for changing colors in complete dashboards, a rule to calculate new data fields, as well as the option to import/export data collectors associated with dashboards. Furthermore, we have released a set of executive white-labeled sample dashboards showing multiple business and IT aspects (available on the ITOM Marketplace) that you can use as a starting point for designing your own dashboard.
Let’s review these enhancements in more detail.
1. New out-of-the-box Visio stencil shapes. (Shapes enable you to add charts and other widgets to your dashboard.) The following screen gives you an overview of the shapes including the new ones (highlighted in blue): As you can see, the existing BVD Visio stencil set has been enhanced with the following shapes:
- Bar Chart: One bar that can handle one data field
- Stacked Bar Chart: One bar that can handle multiple data fields
- Legend: A predefined legend that automatically adjusts its color depending on the selected theme
- Smartphone Frame: A frame with the ratio of a smartphone, to help you lay out your dashboard on a smartphone
- World Map: A map with grouped continents and countries. You can select single continents/countries in order to color only that individual part of the world (for example, to indicate problems in certain regions). Let’s review the following example:
a. Select the World Map shape
b. Go to America -> South America -> Bolivia
c. Apply the color using Format Shape > FILL > Solid Fill or using the Status Color Group widget:
Tip: It may happen that you need to wait for a few seconds between each click to “deep-dive” into the geographical grouping. Therefore, as an alternative, you can use Drawing Explorer (available on the Developer tab) in order to directly navigate to the desired location on the map:
Another important addition to cover in this blog is that the shapes now support theming. (A theme in Visio is a set of colors and effects that you can apply to a drawing). This allows you to change the color scheme of a complete dashboard in a single click (for example, to a company color scheme). The in-built Visio theming functionality can be accessed from the DESIGN tab:
The BVD Visio stencil shapes surrounded by a blue line in the example below adapt to the coloring of the selected theme:
The enhanced BVD Visio Stencil is available at the following locations:
- BVD -> Administration -> Resources -> Tools & Samples -> Visio Stencil and Tools
- The ITOM Marketplace. The BVD Visio stencil file (BusinessValueDashboardStencil.vssx) contains all shapes required to create a dashboard. To use the stencil file, download and open it in Microsoft Visio.
Tip: The Visio stencil file on the ITOM Marketplace contains the latest version of the stencil with the latest fixes and extensions. To make sure you always have the latest updates, use this file instead of the shipped version that comes with the BVD.
For more information on working with Visio stencils, see the Operations Bridge help center.
2. An updated guide template now allows easier dashboard layout for different screen sizes. You can choose to create a page in one of the following ratios: 4:3, 16:9, 3:2, and Smartphone (9:16).
Tip: Guides are designed to help you in easy widget placement on the dashboard. Using guides, you can place the widgets in the right place and choose the right grid size. For more information on working with guides, see the Operations Bridge help center.
3. You can use calculations before you display a value in a dashboard (based on the values from the data channel you assigned to a widget). The following calculations are possible:
a. Mathematical operations (+, -, *, /, sin, cos, ln, etc.)
b. Logical operations (=, < >, and or, etc.)
c. Functions (min, max, random, etc.)
A typical use case for a calculation rule is to display the sum of values that is not already contained in the incoming data and therefore first needs to be calculated. For example, you created a Donut Chart that shows the number of critical, major, and minor events. You want to add the sum of all 3 values in a Text Value widget within the Donut, but that sum is not part of the incoming data. You can now calculate it using Minor + Major + Critical as a calculation rule and assign the new calculatedProperty to the Text Value Widget:
4. We have also implemented the new menu entries to allow import and export of the data collectors associated with dashboards.
- Export downloads data collectors to your local file system (you can either select individual collector(s) or all data collectors from the list)
- Using Import, you can add previously exported data collectors
Note: On import, if the data collector with the same name exists, a warning appears which lists the conflicting data collectors. Select Skip, Overwrite, or Cancel to proceed or to terminate the import operation.
5. Last but not least, we have released a set of executive white-labeled sample dashboards showing multiple business and IT aspects (available on the ITOM Marketplace). Just download the Execute-Dashboards.zip file, extract the content, and install the packaged fonts (Anton and Raleway) before opening the dashboards for editing and SVG generation in Visio. (The font licenses are shipped with the font files.)
To create a new dashboard based on a sample dashboard in a few simple steps, open the sample dashboard of your choice in Visio, modify the desired fields to change the logo, font, design theme and background color, and… your new dashboard is ready in just a few clicks! You can further adjust it with other data, headlines, etc. as needed.
The example below presents a sample white-labeled dashboard and a dashboard based on it and edited in Microsoft Visio:
A white-labeled sample dashboard
In only 5 steps (outlined below), we could adjust this white-labeled dashboard to the Micro Focus branded dashboard presented in the following screenshot.
A Micro Focus-branded dashboard based on the white-labeled sample dashboard
Below are 5 steps that we carried out to create our company-branded dashboard:
a. Changed the font
b. Replaced the logo
c. Changed the theme
d. Adjusted the background color
e. Applied company’s branding guidelines
You can further customize your dashboard as required by your business needs, as shown in the example below.
A customized dashboard based on the white-labeled sample dashboard:
If you have feedback or suggestions, don’t hesitate to comment on this article.
Explore full capabilities of Operations Bridge by taking a look at our Operations Bridge Manager, Operations Bridge Analytics, Operations Bridge Reporter, Operations Connector (OpsCx), Business Value Dashboard (BVD) and Operations Orchestration (OO) documentation!
To get more information on this release and how customers are using Operations Bridge, we are happy to announce the following events:
- Webinar replay – Hybrid IT is the New Normal
- Webinar replay – Solving the Complexity of Hybrid Cloud Monitoring
- Micro Focus events world wide
Read all our news at the Operations Bridge blog.
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