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Dashboard kiosk mode & markdown tiles for frictionless management reporting

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Management reports need to do many things well, but above all else, they must be easily accessible by all key stakeholders. While Dynatrace dashboards have long provided the necessary tools for delivering key information and progressively providing new and improved data visualizations, to-date they’ve only been accessible to logged-in users. With Dynatrace version 1.164, we’ve made Dynatrace dashboards more accessible to all users and stakeholders, thereby eliminating the barriers to data access.

Kiosk mode: Dashboard access without login

While strict access permissions can still be configured where required, you now have the option of sharing your Dynatrace dashboards publicly in a de-facto kiosk mode. Based on your defined dashboard-access settings, you can share your dashboards with anyone—even publicly, if you wish—without forcing users to sign in or be distracted by the full Dynatrace web UI. This functionality is enabled via an authentication token that’s included in links to shared dashboards. These tokens reflect the complete permission context of the sharing user at the time a dashboard is shared.

While Dynatrace dashboard kiosk mode is ideal for reporting status to managers and executives, it’s also ideal for Network Operations Center (NOC) screens.

To set up a dashboard for kiosk mode and enable public sharing of your business-reporting dashboards, see Share dashboards.

Note: Changes to permission settings can be applied to shared dashboards by renewing the underlying authentication tokens. This process invalidates existing shared links.

When a publicly shared dashboard is accessed, viewers can see the sharing context (for example, a specific management zone and analysis time frame) but they can’t click on dashboard tiles to access further analysis. Beginning with Dynatrace version 1.166, a note will be displayed on shared dashboards explaining that tiles can’t be clicked while dashboards are in kiosk mode.

Sharing context of a publicly shared dashboard

Markdown tiles for custom dashboard workflows

Some weeks ago, we introduced a new dashboard tile for displaying rich text that supports common Markdown syntax. Besides the potential applications of simply displaying custom text on your dashboards, you can also add hyperlinks to markdown tiles. Such custom linking opens up a number of intriguing possibilities for organizing your dashboards. For example, you might want to have an overview dashboard that shows high-level performance and a number of sub-dashboards that provide more detailed visualizations. Markdown tiles enable you to interlink your dashboards to create master-detail relationships.

Linking to another dashboard using the Markdown tile

Setting up links to internal resources like dashboards is fairly easy—just copy the relevant parts of the source URL and mold it into a Markdown hyperlink. The hash characters (#) function as a placeholder for your Dynatrace environment’s base URL.

Linking to another dashboard using the Markdown tile

Of course, you aren’t limited to linking to internal resources only, links to external resources are also supported. This means you can provide links to all sorts of helpful resources directly from your shared dashboards, including:

  • Service-specific multidimensional-analysis charts
  • Wiki pages that provide more detail about visualized data
  • External tools that are relevant to your business

The Markdown tile will be further improved in the near future, including support for images so that you can, for example, display your company logo on your Dynatace dashboards (trust us—your management will love seeing your company logo displayed on your management-reporting dashboards).

What you get with this update

  • An additional sharing option—management no longer needs to sign in to view your dashboards
  • Kiosk-mode for easy support of NOC screen setup
  • Rich text (Markdown) support for displaying text and links on dashboards
  • Hyperlinks for DIY dashboard structuring and workflow

What’s next

These new features are just one more step in our ongoing Dynatrace dashboarding journey. We have many more dashboard and reporting enhancements in the works that we’ll announce in the coming weeks. So be sure to check out our forum post for additional planned enhancements related to custom dashboards.