Our short blog series which covers new and improved features in SquaredUp v3.1 continues with Enhanced SQL Integration. In this blog, we'll discuss how SquaredUp allows you to enrich your SCOM data with information residing in external sources that are backed by SQL databases.
The example below specifically covers Microsoft System Center Service Manager, but you can use our SQL Tile to dynamically pull back data from any SQL-backed data source, whether that's a product from a third-party vendor or, for example, a home-grown CMDB.
If you want to catch up on some of the other new features in v3.1, you'll find links to the feature blogs provided below;
- Visual Application Discovery & Analysis
- Enhanced Performance Reporting
- Role-Based Navigation + User and Group Permissions
- Custom Labelling
Enhanced SQL integration
Our SQL tile has always been a great way to compliment your SCOM monitoring data with information from other sources and get everything you need onto a single dashboard. Now, with v3.1, we’ve expanded on these capabilities by allowing you to use the SQL tile within Perspectives and to include information from the Perspective context directly within in your SQL queries.
As an example, let’s say that you want to display information from an ITSM tool (such as Microsoft System Center Service Manager) that stores information in a SQL database. Previously you could write a SQL query to pull out this information, but since the SQL query had to be static you could only pull information for, let’s say, all tickets, rather than just the tickets related to a dynamic component.
Now in v3.1 we can use values from the SCOM Object targeted by a Perspective as parameters within a SQL query, allowing us to build Perspectives like the one below:
As you can see, within the context of a single server (APP01), we’ve pulled in the following information about this specific server from Service Manager;
- Asset Properties such as the Custodian (ie. Owner)
- Recent Incidents
- Recent Changes
- Open Incidents
- Open Change Requests
In the example above, we’ve made this Perspective available on all Windows Computers and, using only the SQL tile and a Status tile, we can immediately understand who owns this computer, what known issues are currently reported, what upcoming changes are scheduled and what the current Health Status is of all the Distributed Applications which this server is a part of, enormously helpful information when trying to understand the possible cause and context of performance issues.
Of course, this is all customisable, allowing you to pull in whatever information you want from Service Manager or any other SQL-based tool of your choosing and display it against any Object. Because v3.1 now supports parameterised / dynamic queries, you only need to design your Perspective once, and can then apply it to, let’s say, an entire Class of Objects.
For example, because this works on any Object, we’ve done the same for Distributed Applications, allowing us to see not only the health of the components making up our application, but also open incidents, ownership, contact information and the maintenance schedule against this specific application.
The short video below shows that in action, starting with looking at APP01 from an IIS Perspective, to quickly switching to our Service Manager Perspective for APP01. From there we can see that our Sales App is in a critical state and navigating to that provides a comprehensive overview of the Health and Performance of the entire application, powered by Visual Application Discovery and Analysis (VADA).
From here, it’s just a simple click to our Service Manager Perspective to show us all the relevant ITSM data for this entire application.
(click on the video to see in a larger window)
The beauty of this type of integration is just how lightweight it is; there’s no heavyweight data synchronisation or retention, you simply pull the data you need, on-demand, so you can put the right data in front of the right users at the right time.
To get a better idea of how you can use the power of parameterised queries with the SQL tile (and also OMS and WebAPI tiles), you can skip straight to the relevant part of the recording of our v3.1 Release Webinar.