CircleCI’s powerful features help dev teams automate and accelerate their build pipelines—while also allowing the flexibility that engineering teams need to build, test, and ship code across environments and tool stacks.
But with scale comes complexity—tracking and observing your CircleCI pipelines and workflows across different teams throughout your organization will become increasingly challenging as you grow.
As such, there are a few reasons you might be looking to build a CircleCI Dashboard that aggregates and connects pipeline and workflow data across projects and teams:
- To visualize CircleCI pipeline status alongside data locked away in other cloud resource—like your Kubernetes clusters, Cloud platforms, and more
- To share build pipeline or workflow data with someone who doesn’t have access to the console
- To roll up the status of all your production-level CircleCI pipelines to a wallboard or single pane of glass
- To set up more complex monitoring and send alerts to Slack, Teams, or ServiceNow
- To automate the creation or modification of Dashboards (e.g., with every new deployment)
- To monitor a complex product made up of many microservices in one place
- To enable Command and Control teams to see deployment and test errors at-a-glance
Whatever the reason, we’ve put together a write-up to help you plug into your CircleCI environment and surface any of its data in one place, for easy alerting and sharing, using the SquaredUp observability portal.
Getting started with SquaredUp
Creating an account and getting started with SquaredUp is simple. Just head over to squaredup.io/get-started to sign up for a free account.
Once you’ve created and verified your account, you’ll be able to quickly plug into your CircleCI environment and start dashboarding!
Let’s walk through this process next.
Step 1: Connect to CircleCI
SquaredUp has more than 50 out-of-the-box plugins (with more on the way) that enable you to connect to a range of cloud platforms, dev tools, databases, service management tools, and more.
But for our purposes here, we just want to plug into our CircleCI environment.
Upon creating our SquaredUp account, we’ll see a range of pre-built Dashboards visualizing some static sample data. These can be helpful to get familiarized with SquaredUp, but let’s instead jump right in and set up our CircleCI plugin.
From the pre-configured Demo Workspace, we click into the “Settings” menu, found in the lower left corner of the UI:
We should be automatically taken to the Plugins configuration page, where we’ll see both the Example Plugin with the sample data and the option to add a new Plugin.
Click on the “Add Plugin” button.
We can either search for CircleCI or scroll to the “CI/CD Tools” category, as seen below:
Upon selecting and confirming CircleCI, SquaredUp will show us more details about the out-of-box plugin configuration.
Here’s the list of data that SquaredUp can instantly stream from CircleCI:
- Pipelines / All
- Pipelines / Most Recent
- Workflows / All
- Workflows / Cancelled / All
- Workflows / Cancelled / Most Recent
- Workflows / Failed / All
- Workflows / Failed / Most Recent
- Workflows / Most Recent
- Workflows / Running / All
- Workflows / Running / Most Recent
- Workflows / Successful / All
- Workflows / Successful / Most Recent
- Workflows / Summary Metrics
It’s worth noting that SquaredUp won’t ingest all this data at once (i.e., won’t create yet another database). SquaredUp plugins are lightweight connections that leave data where it is and stream it on-demand via API (e.g., when viewing it on a Dashboard).
For CircleCI, all we need to do is choose a Display Name and provide our personal CircleCI API token, and SquaredUp will handle the rest.
Additionally, upon connecting to CircleCI, SquaredUp will automatically create a new Workspace for the plugin.
In SquaredUp, Workspaces are where different teams can organize their data and knowledge across the tools they use.
Step 2: Choose the CircleCI data you want to dashboard
In our shiny new Workspace, we can now jump right in and build our Dashboard.
In the left nav bar, click the ‘+’ sign next to the “Dashboards” tab.
Once we’ve set up the plugin, we can configure tiles on the Dashboard for any data we want to see by choosing the following:
(1) The scope (e.g., a specific project within your CircleCI environment)
(2) A data stream (e.g., an aggregation of all Workflows)
(3) How we want to see that data (e.g., a line graph)
We can also easily edit the name of the Dashboard and the individual tiles. Here’s a quick look at our first Dashboard tile:
From here, we can continue adding and adjusting tiles until we have our ideal CircleCI Dashboard, which might look something like this (note that I’ve edited the screenshot below to blur sensitive data):
Of course, each team and organization will want to dashboard different data in different ways, but the example above provides a look at a few ways you can visualize and arrange different data streams from CircleCI.
Getting more out of your CircleCI Dashboard
Getting a Dashboard up and running is a great start, but it’s just that...a start.
SquaredUp enables you to get so much more mileage out of its integration with CircleCI. Here are just a few possibilities:
- To put these insights to use, you might want to set up monitoring and configure alerting (e.g., for Slack, Teams, or ServiceNow).
- Monitor individual or grouped pipelines within a Dashboard, roll up their status to the Dashboard and Workspace levels, and easily share pipeline health across different teams in your organization.
- Additionally, you could scope this Workspace to include additional, related tools—Azure DevOps, AWS CloudWatch, GitHub, Zendesk, etc.—to better connect, aggregate, and monitor crucial data across your dev tools, all in one place.
Good luck, and happy dashboarding!