28 August 2012 blogs Gerben van Bokhorst 3 min read
Live Maps customers take visualizing System Center data to another level by creating meaningful and fancy looking dashboards that they share with different teams within their organization. Sometimes the power of making those dashboards look fancy is underestimated. By spending a little more time on the design you will see that it will be much easier to get buy in from different teams to start using the data in System Center. Not every IT guy is a graphical designer of course that’s why I’ll show you in this article how you can leverage existing Office tools to quickly create nice looking dashboards.
In this example we create an overview dashboard for a number of business processes (value streams) within an eCommerce service. Each value stream has a business, application and infrastructure view all created with the Live Maps authoring console. For the overview dashboard we use PowerPoint. By using the built in objects and styles of PowerPoint you can very quickly create a slide like shown below.
To use this as a dashboard with Live Maps you need to export the slide as a bitmap file by using the Save As option in PowerPoint. Any bitmap format will do but in this example we use the PNG format.
Note: By default the bitmap export resolution in PowerPoint is low. This Microsoft support article explains how you can increase the resolution. We use 150 dpi in this example.
To import the dashboard into Live Maps we switch to the Live Maps Authoring console. For the dashboard we create a new diagram view.
After the blank view has been created you change the background image through the Page Properties – Background Image – Browse option.
Next we drag and drop the underlying Live Maps views on top of the dashboard view. Via the context menu you can hide the label text and set the state icon size. For easier positioning of the state icon you can disable Snap to Grid in the Page Properties of the view.
After you are done editing you can look at the result from within the OpsMgr console or via the Live Maps web console.
Depending on the audience you can create different dashboards. Business people are generally not interested in actionable items in the application or infrastructure layer but just want to know the availability for the business of a given service.
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