InfoBox item conventions and guidelines

To promote usability and consistency with other PATROL KMs with which your users are familiar, follow the following conventions and guidelines for InfoBox items.

What information is appropriate for an InfoBox

The following kinds of information could be included in your PATROL KM's InfoBoxes:

  • Version information
  • Current application state information
  • Machine type
  • Hardware parameters (memory size, processor speed and type)
  • Time/date information (for example, time of last restart, time of last/next collector, and so forth)

Other information which may be helpful at a high level for the instance may be included. Items displayed by existing PATROL KMs include:

  • User license information
  • Time the instance was started
  • Database creation date
  • Number of connected users

Often, InfoBoxes and parameters can display similar data. This would provide your user with the capability to view data on demand with an InfoBox and to continually sample data with a parameter. 

The following types of information are appropriate candidates for InfoBox items:

  • Items that return non-numeric data
  • Data that seldom changes value
  • Data which has no easily determined range
  • Data that is suitable for a snap shot
  • Data that does not require history

 How many InfoBox items should be displayed

The number of items added to an InfoBox should be limited because InfoBoxes with many values make it difficult for the user to locate the desired value, and large InfoBoxes can be difficult to display. If additional information is required, the information should be displayed using specific menu commands.

 Considering the length of each returned data value

Be aware that the amount of information that can be displayed in each InfoBox Value item is limited to approximately 35 characters. (An InfoBox Item name can contain 30 characters.) Data such as KM Version, Application Version, and Number of Users are ideal. A report displaying a list of mounted file systems is not recommended because only the first 35 characters would be visible.

 InfoBox items and performance

It is also important that InfoBox values be easily retrievable. When an InfoBox is opened, the PATROL Agent must load, compile, and execute a PSL or an OS process for each InfoBox item. If an InfoBox command process is long or complex, it can have a significant impact on the PATROL Agent performance the ability to display the data.

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