12 minute readApplies to: v4

What is a perspective?

Overview

A perspective is one of several different views of an object or group, showing a focused set of information. Each perspective is one page, which can be made to appear for many objects, dynamically showing the relevant information. For example, the 'Performance' perspective is one page that appears for all objects, showing the graphs relevant to that object.

In the screenshot below the red box highlights the perspectives for an Enterprise Application (EA) called 'Sales App':

Where are the perspectives?

Perspectives are fully customisable, so you can show several different views of the same object to fulfil the needs of different audiences, such as a specific team, and present the information in a more actionable way for them. For example, a SQL server will have a SQL perspective, as well as Memory, Disk, and Performance perspectives, and you can add a perspective for use by a particular team. Typically a perspective will match a particular management pack, although it doesn't have to.

In contrast to standalone dashboards, perspectives are object-level dashboards. That is, they are dashboards that are shown in the context of a specific object. Perspectives can be created by a SCOM admin for an object such as an application, group or server, and also for an alert, monitor or rule.

Because perspectives have an object context (e.g. the application, group or server) they have a number of advantages over standalone dashboards:

  • the overall health state of the object is shown in the title
  • users can put the object into maintenance mode
  • users can run other tasks against the object
  • tiles are automatically scoped to the object (no need to separately scope each tile)
  • the user can easily switch to other perspectives for the same object

So the general advice is: if a dashboard is about a specific object (remember that includes applications and groups) then it's probably best to make it a perspective.

You may also like to take a look at the SquaredUp webinar Introduction to Perspectives (32 mins).

Perspective Settings

Target

The real power of perspectives is to create dynamic 'templates' that can be shown for any matching object, but even if you are creating dashboards for a specific application or group it is often better to create these as perspectives. For example, you can create one perspective for a particular Enterprise Application (EA), which then appears for ('targets') all EAs, and dynamically displays the information relevant to each application.

Perspective Target

A perspective can be targeted at:

  • one object only - the perspective will only be shown for this object, for example one server, a particular SCOM group or Enterprise Application (EA).
  • all objects - the perspective will be shown when drilling down on any object.
  • members of:

    • a group - the perspective will be shown for all members of the chosen group.
    • a class - the perspective will be shown for any object of this class (Windows Computer, Logical Disk, IIS Role etc).

To make a perspective show for all EAs add the class Enterprise Application (v1) by clicking in the class box and starting to type Enterprise Application (v1) then selecting it from the list.

The perspective target will only show you the groups and classes that the object you have drilled down to is a member of.

Suppress

Usually all perspectives which match the current object context are shown to the user. The Suppress option allows you to 'suppress' (hide by default) the perspective based on object matching criteria (SquaredUp v4.2 and above). So whilst a perspective might be targeted at all members of a class or group, you can also choose to hide it from a subset of objects. This presents a simpler, tidier perspective ribbon to users, and if required, users can click the show more button on the perspective ribbon to view suppressed perspectives.

Show more perspectives

Scoping tiles on perspectives

When a tile appears on a perspective it can be dynamically scoped to the object that the perspective targets. So a tile's scope gives different options when the tile is on a perspective compared with a dashboard.

When a tile appears on a dashboard, its scope will show list, group and advanced.

On a perspective the scope shows different options, allowing you to scope the tile to this object, objects related to this object or other specific objects. It is using this relational scoping that the perspective can be made to dynamically show data for a number of objects.

Suggestions

The realtime contextual suggestions (available in SquaredUp v4.2 and above) provide a list of options based on the current scope's relationships. They aim to help you select a suitable scope, but do not cover every possible scope. These dynamic suggestions are only shown for tiles on perspectives (some tiles don't support suggestions), and no suggestions are shown if the object has no children, parents or siblings.

Perspective Tile Scope Suggestions

This allows you to quickly find a relevant scope for your tile, in a way that is more intuitive than navigating the SCOM object model for classes and groups. If you select a suggested scope and then click custom it will automatically fill in the selected suggestion, and allow you to edit it further, making it easy to create a scope that wasn't suggested but is similar to one that was.

The list of options includes:

  • This object, the currently selected object
  • Children of various types (particularly useful)
  • Relevant parents of this object
  • Siblings of this object (objects of the same type that are hosted by the same parent)

The options to select children are written as paths, which is especially useful when looking several levels deep. Some paths end with a wildcard (*), meaning that they select all objects of any type within a path. Other paths contain an ellipsis (...) part way through, meaning that you are looking for objects of a particular type in all of the objects contained in the path preceding the ellipsis. You can click the show more triangle to expand the list of suggestions.

For example, the path to find all the windows computers in an EA may read "Map / ... / Windows Computer", and will return all objects of the Windows Computer class contained within all of the tiers. To be more specific, you can expand that option and select a single tier (e.g., "Map / Web / Windows Computer", to find all Windows Computers in the web tier of the EA). Another option you might see is "Map / *", that would show all the tiers contained in the map, and can be expanded to show options to select all of the objects within each tier (e.g. "Map / Web / *").

Custom

If the desired scope is not visible in the list, then it can be created through the custom scope picker.

For example, for a perspective created for the group IIS8 Computer Group adding a Status tile scoped to show children with a class of object will show the group members, i.e. the members of the IIS8 Computer Group.

The scope of tiles will only show you the groups and classes that the object you have drilled down to is a member of.

IISGroupMembers

Editing the scope to work for many objects

Often the purpose of a perspective is for the one perspective you designed to be shown for many objects. For this to work, you may need to edit the tile's scope so that it is not specific to one object, and will work for whichever object is being shown.

Editing a tile's scope for an EA perspective

Enterprise Applications (EAs) are designed so that you can map out the servers that make up the application. You can then configure tiles to show information related to just the servers on the EA's map. When you create a perspective you often want that perspective to show for any EA, not just the one EA where you created the perspective. To make the tile's scope work for any EA you may need to edit the scope as described below:

  1. For an EA you want to scope to the servers that are specified on the EA map by selecting something from the suggestions (SquaredUp 4.2 and above) that shows something similar to the following:

    This /<YourApplicationName> Map / ... / Windows Computer

    The above will scope the tile to all the objects of class Windows Computer on this EAs map.

    The screenshot below shows some scope suggestions for an application called FinanceXS. The bold text shows the currently selected scope is This object. The cursor shows the option This / FinanceXS / ... / Windows Computer. Once chosen this scope will show all the Windows computers shown on the applications map.

    Scoping the Web API Splunk tile

    Next we need to adjust the specified scope to allow it to work for all EAs, rather than just this one.

  2. In the scope section click custom.
  3. Click on the text <YourApplicationName> Map (children) which is your first scope step. This will expand the scope step so you can edit it.

    Edit Scope Step so it works for all EAs

  4. Remove the auto-populated class <YourApplicationName> Map by clicking the cross x next to it.

    Remove the auto-populated class

  5. Start typing Enterprise Application - Map and select this from the list to add this class. This is so that this tile scope will work for all EAs, rather than just this one EA.

    Add the class 'Enterprise Application - Map'

  6. The scope is now configured to show all the Windows computers on the EA's map, whichever EA you happen to be viewing with the perspective.

Other specific objects

If there is no relationship between the desired scope and the current object, then the scope can be selected with the other specific objects panel. This should be a last resort, as non-relative scopes will show the same items for every object this perspective is scoped against.

To learn more about the SCOM object model and see how tiles on a perspective can be scoped take a look at this webinar Perspective Tile Scoping (29 mins).

Walkthrough: Viewing and changing perspective settings

  1. In SquaredUp browse to an Enterprise Application by clicking on Applications > Enterprise Applications and click on one of the EAs at the bottom of the page. If you don't have any Enterprise Applications yet, browse to a server from Overview > Servers.
  2. Let's take a look at the performance perspective. If necessary, click the show more button on the perspective ribbon to see the performance perspective, and then click on the performance perspective to view it.

    Show more perspectives

  3. Click the edit button Edit Perspective at the top right of the page.
  4. Click the settings button Perspective Settings that appears next to the edit button, to view the perspective settings.

    Perspective Title And Target

  5. The Title box allows you to change the perspective title. Remember, this perspective probably appears for several objects so the title should not be specific to this object.
  6. The Target section shows what the perspective is targeted at, in other words, which SCOM objects will show this perspective on their perspective ribbon. The performance perspective shows the target is the class all objects meaning that this perspective will show for all SCOM objects. If you were to look at the components perspective you would see it shows a target of the class Enterprise Application (v1), meaning the components perspective will show for all objects with the class Enterprise Application (v1), in other words all EAs.
  7. The Suppress section determines whether the perspective is hidden for any objects.

    On a fresh install of SquaredUp v4.2 and above the performance and monitored entity perspectives are hidden by default for Enterprise Applications. This presents a simpler view to users, while they can still click the show more button on the perspective ribbon to see any suppressed (hidden by default) perspectives.

    Suppressed

    If SquaredUp has been upgraded from an earlier version, perspective suppression (hiding by default) will still be available, but no perspectives will be pre-configured as suppressed.

  8. If the perspective is not currently suppressed for any objects, you can click Suppress this perspective (hide by default) to choose how to hide this perspective. The scoping selection will automatically pick a class to match the perspective. If you are viewing an EA then the class shown is Enterprise Application (v1), so you can click add to hide this performance perspective for all EAs.

    Suppress For

    Only classes applicable to the object being viewed are available, so you need to be viewing an EA to suppress the performance perspective for the Enterprise Application (v1) class.

  9. If you have made a change to the perspective it will show as draft. To publish the changes click the unpublished changes button at the top of the screen, then click publish to make the changes live.

    Publish Button

Creating a new perspective

For more information about creating new perspectives, including a walkthrough of creating a new perspective for an Enterprise Application, see How to create a perspective

FAQs and Troubleshooting

Can I convert a dashboard to a perspective?

If you have a standalone dashboard that is a good candidate for becoming a perspective, you can convert it quite simply using the Convert to perspective button

I have duplicates of some perspectives on the perspective ribbon, what can I do?

This can happen if the same dashboard pack is imported more than once. The easiest way to resolve this is to delete the duplicate perspectives from SquaredUp. Make sure you have a backup of SquaredUp, because this can't be undone, then click on a duplicated perspective, click the edit button at the top right of the page, and then click the delete button.

Delete Button

How do perspectives relate to how I used to use SquaredUp v2?

  • In SquaredUp v2 when you drill down to an object you have one page showing a generic object view, for example all the information about a server. In v2 you might have created your own drilldown page, in SquaredUp v4 you now have several perspectives, each with a different focus.
  • A perspective can work in a similar way to the v2 page scope, allowing you to have several tiles scoped to the object you are viewing.
  • The Monitored Entity perspective gives you a view very similar to the v2 server page.
  • The Performance perspective is similar to the view performance page in v2.
  • Perspectives replace the v2 favorite metrics.

Convert To Perspective

Webinar: Introduction to Perspectives

Webinar: Perspective Tile Scoping

Webinar: Application Dashboards

Webinar: Masterclass - Total Dashboard Architecture video on YouTube

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