Teradata is pleased to announce the official release of Teradata Viewpoint 13.12 effective August 26th, 2011.
This new Viewpoint release delivers two of the most commonly customer requested features, those being shareable pages and query groups. One common implementation of shareable pages will be role-based default dashboards. No more blank screens for new users! The release also introduces a significant change in the supported browser strategy, additional Viewpoint management features, a documented/supported Viewpoint DCS BAR backup strategy, new Teradata Database management aspects, and of course, represents an integration of patch releases into the base release. See below for more details on each of these enhancements.
Shareable pages is one of the two premier features in the Viewpoint 13.12 release. As it also accomplishes "default dashboards", qualifies it as the most sought after new Viewpoint feature request, period. Can you feel the excitement? The first thing one should know with this new feature is the roles permissions for administrating shared pages. Within the Admin - Roles Manager menu, there is a new option under the General tab (the last option shown below) that defines if members of this role have the ability to create and administer shared pages.
So once permissions are granted, this is how a new shared page would be created. The first thing one will notice is that the "Add Page" has been replaced with a "+" pull down allowing both "Add Page" and "Add Shared Page" options:
The first step to creating a shared page will be to set the properties for it. This includes the name, the assigned role, and other aspects. For instance, if we want a user dashboard that the user cannot modify, it might look something like below. You could even restrict them from removing the dashboard from their view although that has not been configured that way in this example. Notice the "Show first time user logs in" option which should be selected if you want this shared dashboard to be the default dashboard for a particular role.
Once "OK" is chosen, you are taken to a framework to create your shared dashboard. An important note is that when building a dashboard, by default you will be restricted to the permissions of the role you have selected. This ensures you don't build something that the intended users cannot use. Here is a built dashboard to be shared with DBAs.
There is a pull down menu for shared dashboard operations. This is where you can publish, reset properties, or submit copy, edit, or close operations. Publish adds this new shared page to the Add Content menu under the new Shared Pages option.
Prior to Viewpoint 13.12, one had to choose between one of two query viewing strategies, either only your own queries with the My Queries portlet or all system queries via the Query Monitor portlet. However customers wanted a more than one but not all strategy. This is the basis of the new Query Groups portlet. Utilizing query groups is a two step process, first one needs to define the query group and view permissions to that group. Then one can view the queries of all members of that group. Some common use cases may be for a manager who wants to monitor all his or her team members' queries or sharing Teradata system queries across different user communities or application users. The first step is to setup the query group members which is done in the new Admin - Query Groups setup option. In the example below, we are creating a query group for members of a data lab class session. Note the different Teradata Database identity options to choose from, being account string, query band, username, and workload.
The Access tab is then used to assign Viewpoint users or Viewpoint roles that are allowed to view this group queries. So query group composition is based on Teradata Database identities while viewing permissions are utilizing Teradata Viewpoint identities.
Once the query group definitions are completed, one would use the new Query Groups portlet located under the Add Content - Monitoring menu to view queries of that new query group. The Query Groups portlet operations are essentially the same as what you have with the Query Monitor portlet, just a subset of the system queries. It's that easy!
The first of which is new alerting on the Viewpoint data collectors. No longer does one need to check if a data collector is having an issue, now you can let Viewpoint proactively notify you with for example an email or SNMP trap. This new alerting feature can be found within the Admin menus and specifically under the Teradata Systems - Alerts option where there is a new Data Collectors choice. Configuration of this new alerting option is essentially the same as other alerts in this area. For simplicity, the data collector alerting is configured as a bulk alert where one chooses all collectors of concern within a single alert setup. The example below includes an email alert action.
The other two new features are for improved Viewpoint user management. Both of these have been implemented within the Admin menus and specifically under the User Manager option. First, an "export" option has been added to allow for a full dump of the Teradata Viewpoint user information. This can be found in the upper right corner of the User Manager screen using the same export mechanism as other Viewpoint portlets (as shown below). A common use case for this will be to export out the user information and leverage the email column for easy generation of a Viewpoint users email distribution list.
The second new user management feature is visible in the snapshot above, being the new user "Last Login" column. Customers will now have insight into who is actually using Viewpoint and the last date where they logged in. This can be considered both a security audit and management feature. Unfortunately there is no mechanism for a bulk load of the past Viewpoint last login information so this information will start accumulating upon upgrade to the Viewpoint 13.12 release.
The supported browser strategy changes dramatically with Viewpoint 13.12. First, support for Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 7.x and 8.x continues but formal support for IE 6.x has been discontinued. Support for Mozilla Firefox has been extended to now include both 3.x and 4.x versions.
Also excited to welcome in two new browser families with official support for Apple Safari 5.x and Google Chrome 10.x versions. More choices and better performance with the newer browsers should enrich the experience of the Viewpoint user community.
Note that new major browser versions are being released at a much faster rate now than ever before. So please ensure you are using a formally supported browser version. For instance there are already newer versions of Firefox and Chrome available but have not completed Viewpoint certification cycles yet. Look for future updates as we review how best to complete certifications with the more aggressive release strategies.
Utilizing BAR solutions to backup the Viewpoint data collection repository is now a fully supported and documented procedure. Guidelines for general single file BAR backups can be found in the BAR documentation. Specifics for backing up the Viewpoint DCS is documented in the Teradata Viewpoint 13.12 Configuration Guide. This compliments the prior backup options of residence on the Viewpoint server or an NFS share with off-line storage options supported through the BAR architecture. This does involve obtaining the appropriate licensing and installation of a BAR client on the Viewpoint server.
The primary feature addition to Teradata Management capabilities is the enabling of a "live" pull of query explain information directly from the Teradata system. This ability has been added to the "Query Monitor" and new "Query Groups" portlets. This new action allows one to get the query explain plan at any point in time for critical system and query analysis. Sharing this capability and usage of it should be carefully considered however as it does make direct calls to the Teradata system. The ability is enabled in the Admin - Roles Manager menu and specifically under the Permissions tab of the relevant portlets as shown below for Query Groups.
Worth noting is this ability will only be available to queries that have explain plan information shown in Viewpoint, so active queries that run for more than 5 CPU seconds. In those cases, the new option will appear when viewing the explain plan in the details view of that session. Notice the new "pull from database" icon next to the explain plan export option. Clicking that new icon will pull the information for immediate display.
The other new database management feature is a late arriving addition driven by customer demand. The Teradata "Database Space" and "Table Space" collectors found in the Admin location for Teradata system data collectors previously had a collection range of 3600-604800 or (1 hour to 1 week) and default of 86400 (24 hours). The issue was that the one hour collection frequency was not sufficient for many use cases and in particular when database space was being adjusted. So that frequency rate has been changed to 300 (5 minutes) for those that need it. The default remains at 24 hours. The reason is that frequent collections use more DCS space and the need for frequent space collections is seen more for exceptions than the norm.
The CPU Utilization calculations and display have been modified with Teradata Viewpoint 13.12. In prior Viewpoint versions, the CPU equation consisted of System CPU + User CPU + CPU Wait I/O Equation by default. Now the CPU utilization metrics in portlets like Capacity Heatmap are adjusted to remove Wait I/O, so only user + system CPU.
Teradata Viewpoint 13.12 supports multiple Teradata Database releases including V2R6.2, Teradata 12.0, 13.0, and 13.10. The one exception is that workload management / TASM configuration with the Workload Designer portlet only supports Teradata 12.0 and newer. Note that Teradata Viewpoint 13.12 will be the last Viewpoint release to officially support Teradata DB V2R6.2. If you are on that or an earlier release of Teradata Database, it really is time to consider an upgrade.
An associated 13.12 version of the Teradata Viewpoint Configuration Guide and Teradata Viewpoint User Guide will be available in the normal Viewpoint location for documentation.
As with any new Viewpoint release, Viewpoint 13.12 has integrated all past patches into the base version. There were a number of alert enhancements within Viewpoint 13.11 patches worth noting and therefore are described below:
That's all for the Teradata Viewpoint 13.12 release. Enjoy.