SquaredUp allows you to visualize data from different sources, such as PowerShell, Azure Log Analytics, Elasticsearch, a Web API and any data sources you can think of. In this overview of new features, we look at SquaredUp Community Edition and it’s new visual enhancements and dashboard capabilities.

Aggregating, visualizing, and making sense of data is the key to having meaningful information that can be consumed in the way in which it is intended. SquaredUp is an all-encompassing dashboarding solution that allows organizations to connect to data sources, pull down data, and visualize it using dashboards. Recently, SquaredUp 5.3 was released, featuring many new improvements and capabilities.

A brief overview of SquaredUp ^

Before diving into the newest features of Community Edition, , what is SquaredUp? SquaredUp is an all-encompassing dashboarding and data visualization platform that allows organizations to surface data wherever it exists. In addition, it provides an easy way to create beautiful web-driven dashboards without requiring any web coding skills.

Instead, it uses a wizard-based interface to create dashboards from various data sources and aggregate your data, no matter where it exists, into attractive dashboards that present the data in an intuitive, seamless way. In addition, the SquaredUp dashboard designer provides "point and click" tools to add your data sources and display the data as intended.

SquaredUp makes it easy to share dashboards with others. You can share dashboards with a single click without the need for complicated permissions configuration and other challenges. This capability makes the sharing of data a commodity that can be used for a wide range of use cases.

SquaredUp provides a wide range of editions that cater to various use cases and environments.

  • Community Edition (formerly Dashboard Server)—free - With SquaredUp Community Edition, you can connect to and surface any data to provide real-time insights for your team.
  • Azure Edition—With the Azure Edition of SquaredUp, you can gain visibility into the cost, applications, and performance of your Azure-based resources.
  • SCOM Edition—With SquaredUp SCOM Edition, you can add graphical context to your SCOM data with dynamic dashboards and the ability to share them across the organization.

Community Edition review of new features ^

The latest release of SquaredUp Community Edition focuses on visualizations. In particular, the following new visualizations have been added:

  • Updated status image visualizations
  • Conditional colors in scalar values
  • Display improvements with donuts
  • Logs as grid
  • Default dashboard timeframe
  • Sharing and importing dashboards in the gallery

Updated status image visualizations

With SquaredUp’s enhanced image visualizations, you can now overlay the statuses of any data source over images with the PowerShell, Web API, and SQL objects. It is a great way to visually show data points relevant to a specific geographic region, as shown below. Many customers use the overlay data to show the data points or states of a particular application for Dev, Prod, and UAT environments. It is an excellent new capability, especially if you show data points related to physical locations.

Show data center status with image visualizations in SquaredUp

Show data center status with image visualizations in SquaredUp

Overlay statuses over any image

Overlay statuses over any image

Once you have the data objects, it's simply a matter of moving them around on the image to place them where you want.

Conditional colors in scalar values ^

Like the image overlay concept, the conditional colors in scalar values enable the addition of conditional colors in scalar tiles for any data point from an external source, including SCOM and Azure. With this new enhancement, customers can add visual impact to the data and critical metrics displayed in the environment.

Conditional colors in scalar values in SquaredUp

Conditional colors in scalar values in SquaredUp

In the color selector, you can easily configure the conditional formatting of scalar values.

Configuring the conditional colors for scalar values in SquaredUp

Configuring the conditional colors for scalar values in SquaredUp

Configuring the conditional colors for scalar values in SquaredUp

Display improvements with donuts

Another visualization improvement with the latest release is choosing and mapping a specific color to a segment or legend of a donut chart. The segment can then be displayed as a percentage. You can also sort the segments by the value or legend of your choice.

Display improvements with donuts

Display improvements with donuts

Below is a look at configuring colors by label.

Configuring a donut chart in SquaredUp

Configuring a donut chart in SquaredUp

Logs as grid

The grid is a display component available on a number of tiles, including log analytics, PowerShell, SQL, and other integration tiles. So, instead of pulling in a table full of text, you can use the Grid tile to turn simple text tables into appealing tables that visually represent the data. The example below was created by the SquaredUp community and is available to download from their new Dashboard Gallery.

Logs as Grid View in SquaredUp

Logs as Grid View in SquaredUp

Sharing and importing dashboards in the gallery

A nice feature with SquaredUp is easy access to community dashboards. Instead of reinventing the wheel, accessing community dashboards that have already been written for specific data sources and layouts can be a significant timesaver.

With the new release, SquaredUp has reworked the Dashboard Gallery. As a result, you can easily choose from dashboards submitted to the community and export your own dashboards with a few clicks.

A view of the SquaredUp Gallery with freely available dashboards

A view of the SquaredUp Gallery with freely available dashboards

Default dashboard timeframe

Moving on from the visual enhancements are a couple of features that relate to the sharing of dashboards. The first of these new features is the ability to set the default timeframe for a dashboard. If you share a dashboard, it may be important to set its default timeframe.

In other words, if you have a dashboard that can be configured to display various time spans for the data, such as 1 hour, 12 hours, 24 hours, a week, and so on, there may be a particular setting that is the most relevant.

Configuring the dashboard timeframe for SquaredUp dashboards

Configuring the dashboard timeframe for SquaredUp dashboards

Wrapping up ^

SquaredUp 5.3 Community Edition is readily available for download. The latest version provides excellent new options for displaying your data in more visually appealing and intuitive ways. The updated status image visualizations, conditional colors in scalar values, display improvements with donut charts, and logs as grid enhancements are welcome additions to the look and feel of the dashboards created in SquaredUp.

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The new settings for default dashboard timeframe and the more straightforward process of importing and exporting dashboards will allow customers to tweak shared dashboards further and easily take advantage of community resources available with prewritten dashboards.

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