When you first install Orion NPM, it includes a number of views accessible from the built-in menus, and each of these views includes a large number of resources.  Our goal is to create an out-of-the-box experience that proves useful to most network engineers without requiring any customization.  We know, however, that one size doesn’t fit all.  That’s why we include many additional views and additional resources that, although available, are not visible by default. The design goal is to prevent the initial experience from being overwhelming to a new user while providing a rich source of new widgets that can be applied as a user grows in expertise.  We’re going to do a few posts on different non-default resources that you can add to solve different problems in your environment.

 

One useful resource that doesn’t appear anywhere by default is the “Report from Orion Report Writer Resource”.  The name describes the function:  It displays the results of a report from Orion Report Writer inside of an Orion view.  You know you can see a report by going to the Reports view and seeing the complete list of reports.  But what if you want to see the results of a report on a particular node?  In that case, the Reports view isn’t what you want. 

 

To edit a node details page, first drill down to a node details page.  In the upper-right corner, you’ll see the “Customize Page” button.  Click it.

 

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You’ll see a list of the resources in the columns on the page.  Click the plus-sign to add a new resource.

 

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Now you’ll see a long list of categories of resources.  Toward the bottom, you’ll see “Report Writer – Turn a Report from Report Writer into a Web Resource”.  Open that category to find “Report from Orion Report Writer”.  Select that one and click Submit.  Then click Done on the next page. 

 

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You should now be on the Node Details page.  Scroll to the bottom (unless you placed it somewhere else) of the page to see your new resource.  It’s there, but it doesn’t know what to show.  You can either click “Edit” or the bright blue words “Click Here”.  They both go to the same place.

 

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Next, you pick a report from the complete list of reports available in Report Writer.  Now, here’s the trick:  If you select a report, it will show the data for all nodes.  By default, it is not filtered to the current node.  Now, you may want to know the results for every node.  You may want to be able to compare the results for this node to everything else at a glance. 

 

 

 

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In the figure above, I selected the “Interface Types” report, which will show the number of interfaces of each type across all devices monitored by NPM, which is the report you see below.

 

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What if I just wanted to see the results for the current node?  In that case, I would need to add a filter.  So click “EDIT” and this time you’ll add a variable to the filter.  To limit the report to interfaces on the current node, we would add the statement “NodeID Like ${NodeID}”.  The first term, “NodeID” says you’re going to filter on the Node, and the second statement is an Orion variable that says this node, where this is defined by the node details page you’re currently viewing.  Check out the Admin Guide for a complete list of node variables and interface variables you can leverage.

 

 

 

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BTW, that same report with the node filter applied looks like this:

 

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That’s the long and short of the report resource.  It’s a simple resource, but it has a lot of flexibility because you use the Report Writer to modify any of Orion’s existing reports, or you can write reports from scratch, using either the wizard UI or, if you’re up for it, by writing raw SQL statements.  In essence, if there’s info in the database that you want to display on a resource, you can expose it virtually anywhere in the Orion UI.