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Integration made easy: Custom menu links in the NOC Dashboard.

Integration made easy: Custom menu links in the NOC Dashboard.

The myMO Dashboard, soon to be known as the Novell Operations Center Dashboard allows users to visualize data in the Novell Operations Center server (NOC server). By placing the dashboard portlets anywhere on the page, you can create multitudes of views for the data in your NOC server. Having seen many different ways in which customers use the dashboard, the recurring pattern is that the Navigation or the Layout portlets are almost always present on the page and are used to “drive” other portlets. “Driving” refers to the act of clicking on an element in one portlet and thus making other portlets on the page update their view with the information specific to the clicked element.

The Navigation portlet allows you to navigate the element hierarchy using a tree control. What I would like to highlight in this blog is that in addition to driving other portlets on the page, the Navigation portlet can also be used to integrate the NOC Dashboard with other applications in your IT infrastructure. As long as that application has a http endpoint, the Navigation portlet can be used to present a right click menu with context sensitive links that open a http url and pass parameters with values coming from the clicked element's properties. Currently, you can pass element's name, dname and the value of one property as a url parameter.

Let's say we want to be able to open a help desk ticket when the condition of a service model turns critical. Go to the Navigation portlet's preferences, click on “Advanced” tab and then click on “Common”. To enable right click menus, select an existing menu or create a new one in the “Currently selected menu” section. The dashboard comes with an Example menu to give you an idea of what kind of menus can be created. We want a menu with a Custom Link, that will open a url of your help desk application. Let's use the Example menu and create our custom link. After selecting the menu, click “Edit Menu...”. A menu wizard dialog show up. Click on the “New Link Wizard...” button to bring up the Link Wizard. Screen capture below show how you want to set up a link that would open a new browser window and point to the help desk system url with the necessary parameters to open a trouble ticket.

screenshot.png

To make sure that this link only appears for elements that are critical, we set up a match on the “Condition” property and perform a case-insensitive match for a value of “critical”. We pass the name of the service model via the parameter “name”. We also pass the value of the element's “Contact” property in the “contact” url parameter. The “Contact” property comes from the system property page that applies to all service models. The result url looks as follows: http://helpdeskserver.yourcompany.com/?name=DocumentManagement&contact=John+Doe

The current implementation is flexible enough to support most integration scenarios.
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