That was an old Austin Powers reference for those who missed it ;-)   So, what do I mean by this?   Well, a question we get asked all the time by customers is “How do I get the pretty charts I see on my Orion website into a report that I can send to my boss on a regular basis to make him/her happy?”.    Seems like a reasonable request, right?   But, before I dive into this topic, you’ll need to ask yourself what types of reports does your boss care about seeing?   Does she want the charts as well as the detailed data behind the charts?    Or, would she be perfectly happy with the Orion website pages she’s seen while looking over your shoulder?  

Let’s start with the latter use-case since it’s the simplest and requires only a few steps in Orion Report Scheduler.

How to send an existing Orion website page as a scheduled HTML email to your boss:

To begin, you’ll need to open the Report Scheduler app on your Orion server (Start > All Programs > SolarWinds Orion > Alerting, Reporting, and Mapping > Orion Report Scheduler).   Click the Add+ button to create a new report job.   You’ll see the following screen where you’ll want to fill in the job name and click Continue. 

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On the next screen, you’ll see a prompt to add a link to a Web Report or Page in Orion. 

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Rather than try to find this URL manually, simply click on the ‘…’ button and you’ll see a browser pop up where you can navigate to the Orion website page you want.   In this example, I’d like to send the “Top 10 List” page so I’ve logged in and navigated to that page below.  

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When you click the “Use Current URL” button, this will automatically populate the previous screen as you can see below.  Notice that I’ve also checked the “Retrieve a Printable Version of this Page” option.  This will remove the banner and the menu bar from the page.   BTW, if you’re like me and you can’t stand to wait, try adding “&printable=true” to the URL in Orion to see what the page will look like when it’s sent.

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When I click “Continue”, you’ll see I can set up my schedule.   In this case, I’m going to send it every morning at 8am.  You can also schedule it to be sent weekly, monthly, or just this once.

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Finally, you’ll need to enter the email address of the folks you want to send it to.   If you want the email to actually go anywhere ;-), make sure to also fill out field on the “Email From” and “SMTP Server” tabs.

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Click “Continue” one more time, enter the Windows credentials you want this job to run under (use a service account whose password doesn’t change often), and then you’re done!   You should see your new job listed in the Report Scheduler window.    If you want to run it now to test, simply right-click and select “Run Selected Job Now”.   Just be aware that if it works, your boss will be getting the email each time you run the job!

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NOTE:  Some of you may have issues with your email server gobbling graphics in HTML pages.  If you can’t work around this, fear not because we’ve got a solution in the works.  As noted on So what’s on tap next for Orion NPM, we’re working on enhancing Report Scheduler to allow you to send Orion pages and reports as PDF email attachments in addition to HTML.  

Ok, but what about first use-case?  That is, the management team that wants their charts and their detailed table-based data too?    Well, you have a couple of options in Orion to address that need.   It’s a little more involved so I’ll talk you through that in part 2 of this series.  

In the meantime, have a great weekend and please let me know in your comments if there’s anything else you’d like covered in part 2!