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Introducing Dashboards

Samir Brizini
Samir Brizini
Chief Product Officer
Samir Brizini
April 11, 2024
 min read
Introducing Dashboards

Dashboards in Rely allow your engineering teams to create and consume views that best tell the story and have answers for the use cases they care about

Dashboards in Rely allow your engineering teams to create and consume views that best tell the story and have answers for the use cases they care about:

  • Onboarding engineers is a pain with scattered information across 10s of tools. They now have a view of everything they need to know from day 1
  • A service your team depends on is behaving weirdly? Find all its performance metrics and owner’s communication channels at a glance
  • To give you maximum value, Dashboards come to Rely out-of-the-box for the most common use cases
  • Do you have use cases specific to your particular needs? Dashboards are entirely customizable end-to-end

Why do Dashboards matter?

Developers often struggle with fragmented data sources and limited visibility into key data points (e.g. performance metrics, link to dashboards, documentation, etc.). This can lead to inefficiencies, wasted time searching for information, and difficulty making data-driven decisions.

Thanks to Rely’s no-config plugins and customizable Data Model, your Software Catalog can already collect and centralize everything your teams care about (documentation, ownership, dependencies, etc.).

But because troubleshooting Deployment issues is different from onboarding new engineers or solving production incidents, each use case deserves its dedicated view.

Custom Dashboards transform the game for developers within Rely. Here's how:

  • Opinionated by Default: Get instant value from Rely’s Dashboards thanks to the views now automatically created for your Services, Teams & Resources. Platform Engineers and SREs have created them for your common needs.
  • Personalized Insights: Craft dashboards tailored to your specific needs and workflows. Surface the data most relevant to your daily tasks and projects in a single, centralized location.
  • Actionable Metrics: Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time. Gain insights into API usage, deployment frequency, error rates, and other critical metrics that empower proactive problem-solving.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Foster teamwork by creating shared dashboards for specific projects or initiatives. Track progress collaboratively and maintain clear visibility across your development teams.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Custom dashboards equip developers with the information they need to make informed choices about code quality, performance optimization, and resource allocation.

Want to learn more about Dashboards in Rely?

  • Experience them hands-on in our demo
  • Reach out to our experts to explore how they can help your own use cases: link
  • Keep reading to have concrete examples and learn how to get started 👇

Seeing is Believing

These are a few examples of use case-driven Dashboards that you can freely adopt and edit to make them best fit your business and needs.

Service Homepage

As your teams last over time, they tend to both grow and renew themselves. 

The two or three developers present at the initiation of a project are no longer part of this same team after a year or two. 

The team now has 10 people in it and the onboarding experience for the number 4 and 5 is vastly different from number 10’s. So far tribal knowledge has been the norm to teach each new member about the scope of the team.

  • What services are under its purview?
  • For each service, where to find the most relevant resources like documentation or runbooks?
  • Which Observability tools are used? Where are the links to the most relevant dashboards in these tools?
  • How to find the running versions of this service in each environment?

And these are just a few of the many many questions that new members ask about.

And the same issue applies to external teams:

  • Who owns this service that we need to shut down quickly for Resource maintenance?
  • How to reach out to them?
  • What’s the procedure to safely shut it down and restart it?

To answer these questions and more, the Homepage is a reliable place to centralize the most important information about your entities in Rely.

Performance Check-Up

Your teams know how to check the performance of their own applications and services. They just know that the APM telemetry is in New Relic, the Logs are in Datadog, and the metrics are in a Prometheus cluster. And for each of these tools, they know which dashboard to consult in specific situations.

Experience shows however this tribal knowledge faces strong limitations when it comes to onboarding new engineers or making your key performance indicators available to other teams (who own for instance downstream Services). For these new members and external teams, it often boils down to chasing owners through channels and sifting through static (and often outdated) documentation.

Centralizing not only key performance indicators but also direct links to the relevant dashboards enables all stakeholders—whether they're seasoned or new, and regardless of being internal or external—to establish robust, unified principles. 

  • Standardization: the indicators are uniform and teams are expected to report indicators that allow comparison and analysis of trends.
  • Quick access: the performance metrics are always found in the same view, readily available only a click away from the Homepage.

With performance-dedicated dashboards, your teams can ship with confidence and transparency. They will have at-a-glance answers to typical questions like:

  • What are the effects of the latest deployment?
  • Does the service meet its SLO requirements?
  • Are the error rate and latency kept in check with usage growth?

The Observability view is an essential part of your developers’ workflow, both within and outside of their teams.

Deployment Analysis

As true followers of “you build it you won it”, engineering teams tend to put together their CI pipelines (and often their CD pipelines too) to best fit their workflows. With those in hand, they aim to ship fast and often.

So tracking the latest changes in your applications can become once more a feat of tribal knowledge: staying up to date with the deployment process of each team. 

With the Deployment View all stakeholders (Engineering Managers, dependent teams, new members, etc.) can get instant access to key information about the current deployment. 

They can then answer questions like:

  • What’s the latest image deployed in Production?
  • Did it introduce any new code vulnerabilities?
  • What were the results of the gating tests?
  • How often does this service get deployed? How successful on average?
  • What’s the deployment history for this service? (coming soon with the Pipeline widget!)

These are examples of views engineering teams can benefit from out of the box or fully take over and customize to their own needs.

Want to dive deeper into Dashboards in Rely?

  • Experience them hands-on in our demo
  • Reach out to our experts to explore how they can help your own use cases: link
  • Keep reading to learn how to get started 👇

Getting Started

To tailor the entity-details page to your needs, Rely allows you to add custom tabs to aggregate and present data in the ways that are most relevant to your use case. Here’s how to get started:

Adding a Custom Tab

Click the plus sign icon, located at the upper right corner of the entity details page. 

This icon comes with a tooltip: "Add tab." To configure Your Tab in the creation modal, you will need to provide:

  • Name: The display name for your new tab.
  • Icon: A visual identifier for your tab.
  • Type: Select the nature of your tab—either focusing on a specific property value (like JSON, YAML, Markdown, Swagger, etc.) or a dashboard tab for more comprehensive data aggregation.

Creating a Dashboard Tab

Dashboard tabs stand out by allowing you to combine information from various formats and sources into a single, interactive view. Follow these steps to create and configure your dashboard tab:

  • Select Dashboard Tab Type: When adding a new tab, choose the dashboard option to start with a blank canvas.
  • Add Widgets: Utilize the widget library to create various widgets onto your dashboard grid. Widgets can range from simple property value displays to complex tables and charts aggregating data from multiple entities.
  • Configure Widgets: Each widget on your dashboard can be individually configured. This might involve setting target blueprints, target entities, adjusting visualization parameters, or defining what information should be displayed.
  • Organize Your Dashboard: Place and resize your widgets within the grid to create an organized and informative dashboard. You can group related widgets together or separate them into different sections for clarity.

Available Widgets

Widgets are versatile components that you can use to build your dashboards. Here's a quick overview of the widgets currently available in Rely:

  • Table View: Display lists of entities  with customizable filters, sorting and group statements.
  • Field View:  Group and showcase various properties and relations of an entity, tailoring the wdiget to fit specific operational needs.
  • Property Value: Focus on individual property values, offering detailed views on data such as configuration files, documentation, etc.

Ready to experience Dashboards in Rely?

  • Experience them hands-on in our demo
  • Talk to our platform architects to get their help in designing and building your internal developer portal link

Samir Brizini
Samir Brizini
Chief Product Officer
Samir Brizini
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