A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

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A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

So you have Viewpoint installed and you are logged in for the first time, a blank Viewpoint pane stares back at you ... Now what?

This article discusses some of the commonly used portlets, portlet settings/permissions, and suggested dashboards for various users in a Teradata environment. It is worth noting that there is no single blueprint for Viewpoint that works for everyone, so the focus of this article will be on the Viewpoint usage commonalities considering a Business User, Power User, and DBA and covering the Teradata Self Service, Teradata Management, and TASM Portlets.

Before getting too deep into this article, let's first discuss some of the aspects of Viewpoint that need to be considered.

  • Viewpoint configuration is purposely dynamic and highly configurable. This is a huge differentiator for the product allowing one to make whatever dashboard setup or portlet view one may need versus being wedged into a set configuration chosen for the "majority".
  • Viewpoint permissions are role based. Viewpoint has its own user identities that are grouped into Viewpoint roles. Permissions for portlet access, system access, metrics, functions, and portlet features are all done through role permissions. These settings are located in the Admin menu under the "Roles Manager" choice option.
  • Viewpoint is intutive. There are many customers up and running with Viewpoint that were able to get through this without assistance. As more portlets have become available, they can leverage their past experiences and just tend to the new portlets. However, for new Viewpoint customers, the amount of content now available may warrant more initial planning.
  • Viewpoint offers built-in assistance. On-line help, tool tips, and pop-ups provide more information during the Viewpoint experience. If you haven't read the recent "Viewpoint Learning to Learn" blog on this, now may be a good time to do that.
  • Viewpoint performance. Performance of Teradata Viewpoint has direct dependence on the client used. So if one has an older PC or laptop, you may need to restrict the number of portlets per dashboard. So keep this in mind if experiencing slow responsiveness. Note there is little value in having more than four portlets on a page anyways because you will only see the others by scrolling down. So create another page/dashboard instead.

Business User

An important theme of Viewpoint is the self-service aspect, providing the Teradata community more information allowing them to make better decisions about their day.  The Teradata Self Service Portlets that are included with the Viewpoint appliance are all good candidates for a business user, and in particular, one that submits ad-hoc queries. A common starting dashboard for this type of user would include the System Health, Canary Response Times, and one of the session/query monitoring portlets, either MyQueries or Query Monitor. System Health even at the summary level gives end-users an idea of how system resources are being utilized based on key performance indicators. This may allow an end-user to understand better why queries may be taking a bit longer to run knowing the system is in a busy state. Regarding permissions, a few customers feel that the summary view of System Health is sufficient for these users and set the permissions accordingly in Roles Manager, shown below for the "clair" system.

 

Canary Response Times can be used as not only a system performance indicator but can also be guidance to how a certain type of query may perform. For these users, it is imperative to provide a method for tracking the progress of submitted queries. The remaining question to consider is whether these users should see all the queries on the system or just their own. Initially, the thought was that they would most likely be restricted to only seeing their own and therefore MyQueries would be the portlet of choice. One differentiating advantage of MyQueries is the fact that one can see all their queries submitted across multiple Teradata systems in one view. The possibly surprising, more common model however is providing these users with the Query Monitor portlet so they can see, not only their own queries, but all queries on a particular Teradata system. Allowing access to both may be the best approach.

Having information on system queries provides the business users more information about the load of the system and in particular, the status of their own queries. For instance, maybe their query is blocked by another query. Prior to having this visibility, a common business user action was to resubmit the query because "it's usually done by now". If sharing Query Monitor, one should first review the available permissions around this portlet to determine if all aspects of seeing and taking actions on queries should be shared. For example, there may be confidential information in the SQL that shouldn't be shared with everyone. If so, this can be disabled within the Roles Manager for Query Monitor by turning off the "View SQL" portlet option. So this first suggested dashboard would look something like this:

SQL Scratchpad is another important portlet for business users allowing query submittal directly from a Viewpoint portlet. This portlet was covered in a recent blog describing SQL Scratchpad Query Management.  Since SQL Scratchpad really has three distinct panes, query submission, query results, and an object browser, it warrants a page to itself and run in a maximized view. SQL Scratchpad offers a management facility similar to query portlets thus allowing both query submittal and management from this single view. One can even monitor the submitted query progress through the Explain plan if so desired. A sample SQL Scratchpad dashboard is below.

Other portlets that may warrant consideration for the business user community would be Viewpoint Calendar and External Content. Calendar provides another means of communication beyond email notification for Teradata events. For instance, communicating a planned maintenance window. Also if there are other web applications desired for linkage in Viewpoint for easier access by the business users, one should check into usage of the External Content portlet. 

Power User

The Power User will have business user dashboards like the ones above but will also likely need a deeper level of sophistication requiring additional portlets. First, regardless of whether they have MyQueries or not, power users will want Query Monitor. So what else might they need? Power users may want to view metrics usage on systems, so having a dashboard with Capacity Heatmap, Metrics Graph or Metrics Analysis would make sense.

Power users may also want to monitor TASM (Teradata Active System Management) queries through the system and therefore would have a Workload Monitor view. This provides another level of query management specific to TASM and above what the query portlets provide. Workload Monitor is one of the more sophisticated portlets available and therefore could be considered for having a dedicated dashboard. Check out the Teradata Viewpoint 13.02 released article for more information on the new TASM portlets, Workload Monitor and Workload Health.

DBA

There really aren't any portlets in the portlet bundles being discussed here that a DBA wouldn't want to have access to. It now just becomes more of a preference as to which ones they include in what dashboards. There are some considerations, certainly, for instance if all the TASM portlets are needed or not due to customer choices of implementation and platform, but overall these decisions will be answered based on DBA preference. There are some seemingly logically related portlets. For instance, having a view of System Health, Canary Response Times, and Query Monitor on a single DBA operations page ... or possibly a summary page that contains Productivity and Todays Statistics.

Therefore, a more interesting discussion may be about how different views of a single portlet may be used to address very different DBA management and monitoring tasks. As discussed in the Teradata Viewpoint 13.03 released article, Query Monitor can be tailored for very different purposes. It wouldn't be uncommon for a DBA to have multiple instances of this portlet in different dashboards. For instance, one monitoring all sessions by session identifiers, another tracking by user or account string, and a third for tracking those top suspicious queries with thresholds set in preferences. Here are samples of a dashboard with different views of Query Monitor, one by session and the other by user:

The same idea can be applied to System Health. Maybe a DBA who has multiple systems to monitor wants a summary view of all, but at the same time wants a view into the detailed thresholds of the production system. Two instances of System Health would provide this:

 

Similarly, Todays Statistics has three different metric views (System, Performance, Query) that can be chosen in Preferences that could constitute three of these instances, even on the same dashboard page. Node Resources can provide node, vproc, amp, pe views that can provide different information:

So DBAs will have to not only decide which portlets they really need, and in which combinations but will also need to consider the different visualizations a single portlet can provide. Consider the amount of customization a portlet provides (different report columns) and the flexibility in options is vast, with no one blueprint for everyone. As a DBA, one will want to really understand the capabilities of each portlet. On-line help should assist greatly here. Think out of the box here.

Summary

So to summarize what has been covered in this article, here is a list of dashboards with possible starting portlet configurations for a Business User and Power User. The DBA is going to be more preference and specific need around the site concerns and activities.

Business User - Dashboard #1:

  • System Health
  • Canary Response Times
  • Query Monitor or MyQueries

Business User - Dashboard #2:

  • SQL Scratchpad

Business User - Dashboard #3:

  • Calendar
  • External Content

Power User - Dashboard #4:

  • Capacity Heatmap
  • Metrics Analysis
  • Metrics Graph

Power User - Dashboard #5:

  • Workload Monitor

If you would like to offer your ideas on portlets and dashboards, please contribute at this Viewpoint Forum Topic

16 REPLIES

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

hi, this naren, am working to portlets .i have some need to TeraData to portlets , how to work terradata to portlet, i don,t idea of terradata portlets

am using liferay portlets. First how to learn terraData.which bookflow ? you have any pdf materail to send to mail :yagantinaren@gmail.com
Teradata Employee

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

Naren,

I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. If you are interested in developing Viewpoint portlets, then you should review the information on Developer Exchange regarding the Viewpoint Portlet Development Kit (PDK). It does require you to have Java programming skills. For support of the PDK, you should leverage the Developer Exchange forums.
Enthusiast

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

Hi gryback,

What is the time difference in viewpoint when an event occurs, lets say a session is blocked. I have found it takes quit long time until it shows the actual real time value or result.

tnx,
ilf
Teradata Employee

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

Visibility in Viewpoint for any type of activity will depend on the specific data collector that is involved with that data collection. The Viewpoint Configuration Guide documents which data collectors are involved in portlet displays. Information depends on the collection rate for that data collector. For instance, session information is collected every 30 seconds by default.
Enthusiast

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

Hi Gary,
I don't see updatespace utility in 'remote console' portlet. is this possible to add this?
Teradata Employee

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

You should submit an RFC request through a GSC incident.
Enthusiast

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

Gary, Thanks I created incident to GSC.

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

Hi, I've created utility sessions rules to Viewpoint Session Control. We have tested DataStage application session count in Teradata.
I want to delete those defined Utility Sessions but where can I found that TAB that stands on manual:

You can create a utility session in Release 13.10 or later. A utility session controls the
number of sessions that are allowed to be logged on to each utility at one time. After the
utility session is created, additional controls in the Utility Sessions tab allow you to clone,
delete, and enable or disable the utility session. (We have Teradata Viewpoint Version 13.11.00.xx)
Teradata Employee

Re: A starter's guide to portlets and dashboards

Utility management is a TASM feature so to utilize these, one needs to have TASM and a platform where TASM is supported. Setup would then be done through a TASM workload definition (WD) and configured through the Workload Designer portlet. Please check with your Teradata Account Team to ensure you have the necessary solutions to pursue your desired implementation.