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Utilizing Business Value Dashboard widget group to display a dynamic list of key service metrics

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Operations Bridge Business Value Dashboard (BVD) displays the status of your business and IT environment and customers are finding success with it today. One of these customers, “Die Mobiliar”, discusses it in the linked video. Pic1.jpg

BVD provides flexibility in how you design your dashboard because the design is performed using Microsoft Visio. But when it comes to dynamic content, there are certain boundaries to consider because the layout of the dashboard in Visio is static.

But what if your business keeps changing? How do you keep your dashboard up-to-date as you introduce new services and retire old ones? How can you display the status of only those services that have a problem?

So far customers used the feed widget as a workaround to these questions, but starting with Operations Bridge 2017.08 they can use the BVD Widget Group to implement such dynamic lists.

Let’s assume you have a list of services that you want to display the key metrics of. The list of services keeps changing, but the metrics you want to show is the same across all services. For example: while services change, you still want to know the severity and performance of a service.

Let’s see how you do this using the BVD widget group.

Let’s first have a look at the Visio part.


1. Visio - Development of the dashboard

Pic2.jpgBusiness Value Dashboard 10.62 introduces a new widget type called ‘Widget Group’ widget.

The widget itself looks like a rectangle with an indicated scroll bar. Scrolling is needed when the number of services doesn’t fit in this rectangle anymore in BVD.

In our example, we want to display the service name, severity, a performance metric as text and a performance graph for each service in our dynamic list. The customer places corresponding widgets into the widget group.

Pic3.jpgPreviously, users had to copy these widgets for each service, now you only have to create them once. In addition to widgets, arbitrary shapes can also be added to enrich the representation of a service. In this example, a white background is added.

Then the four widgets and the shape need to be grouped. The resulting group makes up a single line item in the list of services.

In a next step, this group has to be grouped with the Widget Group widget. The order of the grouping is important. Finally the dashboard is stored as a .svg file and uploaded to BVD.

Pay attention to the top and left distance of the line-item group and the surrounding widget group border. The left distance will be maintained when rendering the list and the top distance will become the vertical gap between each item and the widget group border.


2. Data sending - Structure of JSON

Which and how many services are displayed in Business Value Dashboard now depends on what data you send. For this capability you need to send all corresponding data as an array to the widget group. Here you see an example of what an array looks like.

Pic4.jpgA property with name “items” must be used which has an array as value.
Each item which makes up a single line item in the list of services in BVD must contain one key-value pair with the key “id”. In the example, a number is used as an “id” for the service. The other two key-value pairs cover severity and performance.

The list of items should be homogenous and should consist of the same types of key-value pairs.


3. BVD - Assignment of data channel and widgets

Before you can perform the assignments you have to send data to BVD. Please find a description in the appendix where you can get a data generator for this to test it.

When you select the widget group widget you see that a data channel can be assigned.
When you select the widgets within the widget group no data channel can be assigned.

The data channel assigned to the widget group widget is inherited by the enclosed widgets. I.e. one data channel is assigned to the complete array in JSON.

For the enclosed widgets you can chose the data fields respectively status fields, in the example “id”, “severity”, and “performance”.










4. Final dashboard in BVD

Pic6.jpgHere you can see the final result in BVD. As the input data changes, the list of services displayed in the widget group dynamically changes as well.

If the number of items gets larger than the available space, BVD will show a scrollbar to scroll through the list of items.

Get more details here.


Explore all the capabilities of the Operations Bridge Suite and technology integrations by visiting these sites:



If you like to use a data generator to send respective data please do the following:

  1. Go to GitHub
    and follow the instructions in the section “Installing” of
  2. Select the folder “examples” and read the respective
  3. Select the folder “Widget_Group” and read the respective
  4. Follow the steps described in the file from step 2 using the .svg and .json files which
    are stored in the “Widget_Group” folder. The .svg file already contains the assignment
    information and such only needs to be uploaded to BVD. The Visio file *.vsdx is provided for your
  5. Run the command mentioned in the file from step 3 and check the result in BVD >
    Dashboards for the dashboard “With_Widget_Group”.
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