SignalFx Developers Guide

Working with Dashboards

Dashboards are groups of charts that appear together and use the same filtering options. Each dashboard appears on a 12x100 logical grid with charts assigned to specific grid locations. Charts may be any size from 1x1 to 12x3; if you assign overlapping dashboard locations, SignalFx attempts to resize or reorganize the layout to ensure all the charts fit on the grid.

Dashboard types

SignalFx has three types of dashboards:

This is also the classification for dashboard groups.

Built-in dashboards

SignalFx adds built-in dashboards when it creates an organization for your account, and when you add a data-monitoring integration:

  • Organization creation: These dashboards help you monitor your organization. They also contain sample data.

  • Data-monitoring integration: These dashboards contain charts that give you immediate visibility into the key metrics provided by the integration

Built-in dashboards are provided by SignalFx, and they’re not editable. They do appear in the response body of calls to the Get Dashboard and Get Dashboards operations. You can identify them by their "creator" property, which is always AAAAAAAAAAA.

In addition, built-in dashboards have names and descriptions indicating that they’re built-in.

Custom dashboards

All dashboards you create are custom dashboards. Most custom dashboards contain charts that monitor incoming data.

User default dashboards

When you join an organization, you receive a user default dashboard group and dashboard. These offer a place where you can learn about, develop, and modify dashboards before moving them into production.

When it’s first created, a user default dashboard has the following properties:

  • Dashboard name: Your email address

  • Dashboard description: "Default dashboard"

  • Creator: Your SignalFx ID

  • chartDensity: "DEFAULT"

  • All other user-settable properties: null

Dashboards and dashboard groups

A dashboard is always associated with at least one dashboard group.

If the mirrored dashboards feature is available in your organization, you can associate a single dashboard with multiple groups.

If the mirrored dashboards feature isn’t available, you can only associate a dashboard with one group.

Adding dashboards

SignalFx offers several ways to add a dashboard to a group using the API. Start by getting the dashboard group ID of the destination group, because a dashboard always has to belong to at least one group. To do this:

  1. In the web UI, click the name of the dashboard group.

  2. In the address bar, find the string groupId=<DASHBOARD_GROUP_ID>&.


Next, add the dashboard.

Adding a new dashboard

You can add a new dashboard to a group in these ways:

Add the dashboard with one or more existing charts
  1. Because the charts must already exist, create them first using the operation POST https://api.{REALM} Save the chart IDs for each new chart.

  2. Create a request body for adding the dashboard with the charts.

    1. For each chart, create a JSON object that contains:

      • chartId: The chart ID

      • column: Horizontal position of chart in the dashboard, as a 0-based index

      • height: Number of rows the chart should span from 1 to 3

      • row: Vertical position of the chart in the dashboard, as a 0-based index

      • width: Number of columns the chart should span, from 1 to 12

    2. Add the JSON objects to a charts array property in the request body.

  3. Set the name of the dashboard by adding a name property to the request body.

  4. Set the dashboard group for the dashboard by adding a groupId property with a value of <DASHBOARD_GROUP_ID>

  5. Use the POST https://api.{REALM} operation to send the request body.

    To learn more, refer to the Create Single Dashboard reference.

Add the dashboard with one or more new charts

Use the POST https://api.{REALM} operation to create a new dashboard that contains new charts. The request body is an array of chart specifications.

If you don’t specify an existing dashboard group when you create a dashboard using the API, SignalFx also creates a dashboard group for the dashboard. To learn more about dashboard groups, see Working with Dashboard Groups.

Cloning a dashboard

Cloned dashboards are copies of existing dashboards that are completely independent of the original dashboard. You can change their settings and and the charts they contain without affecting the original.

You can clone any dashboard including built-in dashboards, custom dashboards, and user dashboards.

To learn how to add a cloned dashboard to a group, see the section Adding a dashboard clone to a group.

Adding a mirror of a dashboard

If the mirrored dashboard feature is available in your organization, you can add a mirror of a dashboard to a dashboard group. Dashboard mirroring lets you add the same dashboard to multiple groups or even multiple times to the same group.

All mirrors of a dashboard contain the same charts and chart layout and the same list of available dashboard variables. You can edit a dashboard from any of its mirrors, and any changes you make to the dashboard are visible in all mirrors.

You can also override the dashboard name, filters, and dashboard variables for a mirror. The overrides only apply to that mirror, so other mirrors are unaffected. To learn more about mirrored dashboards, see the topic Mirroring dashboards in the product documentation.

To learn how to add a mirrored dashboard to a group, see the topic Adding a mirrored dashboard to a group.

Viewing dashboards

To view dashboards in the web UI that you create using the API, use their DASHBOARD_ID as follows:{DASHBOARD_ID}

The dashboard ID is always visible in the web UI for the dashboard.

These dashboards also appear in the catalog and in their associated dashboard group.

Deleting dashboards

When you delete a dashboard, the charts it contains become orphans. They’re unchanged, and you can add them to a new dashboard if you want.

When you delete a dashboard group, all of its dashboards are deleted, and all of the charts belonging to those dashboards are also deleted.

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