Canary

 

For users who maintain/develop Sideview XML views.

If you are a Sideview Utils user, or if you are an administrator of one or more internally-developed Sideview XML views or apps, here’s what you need to know.

The “Advanced XML” systems are being removed/disabled in Splunk 8, and there are actions you should take before upgrading.

If you are first learning about this, here are more details — Technically when you go to a Sideview XML view in Splunk (i.e. a view that was developed using User Interface modules from Sideview Utils) you are technically running an “Advanced XML” view in Splunk. This remains true even though technically Sideview Utils has all this time been patching or replacing most of the actual running code underneath.

Splunk deprecated the “Advanced XML” systems long ago, and in Splunk 8 they didn’t really remove it but they kind of “turned it off”. But it’s OK – Sideview was ready, and your custom Sideview XML views have a good chance of continuing to run on Splunk 8 and beyond. Read on.

Beginning now and going forward you should install the Canary app as well as Sideview Utils.

Sideview has developed and released a new front end to Splunk that runs as a Splunk app called “Canary”.

Although Canary’s main mission is to ensure that Sideview’s own commercial apps continue to run on Splunk 8 in the absence of the “Advanced XML” systems, it also happens to be broadly backwards-compatible to a decent subset of the views that could be created with Sideview Utils. Whether or not your particular views and dashboards are within this subset, is the critical question.

It runs in both Splunk 7.X and Splunk 8.X, so you can start testing all this now before upgrading to Splunk 8.

OK, how do I go about testing? What do I do next?

  1. Update Sideview Utils to latest (it still has a role in some redirection behavior from old URLs to the new ones).
  2. Get the latest version of the Canary app installed (it is available on splunkbase).
  3. Go to the app in Splunk.
  4. On its landing page you’ll see a ​big chart analyzing all of your views across all installed apps.
    Note that the categories include “Sideview XML migratable” and “Sideview XML not migratable” as well as “Simple XML” and “HTML dashboard”.
  5. Click on a bar, in an app you’re interested in, that says “Sideview XML not migratable”
  6. You should get a detailed list with details about each view in the given app. This will tell you the thing (or things) that Canary doesn’t like in there. It will frequently spell out how to address the problem.
  7. Use whichever method you’re most comfortable with to make the suggested changes if there are any, either using the Editor or hand-editing the view XML files in a decent text editor

What about Sideview Admin Tools

Sideview Admin Tools is no more. It is effectively EOL and we’ll be taking it down soon. Canary itself has a new copy of the Sideview Editor (if you don’t see it, make sure you’re not just running an old version of Canary). If there was another tool in Sideview Admin Tools that you missed and that you don’t see in Canary just let us know!

Custom CSS and Custom JS will likely be a problem

Custom CSS – The Canary UI has a different look and feel and the pages have a different HTML structure. If you have invested a lot of time and energy in custom CSS, it may take some work to make a given view render nicely again.

Custom JS – this is basically a whole new user interface framework, so if you’ve written a lot of “customBehavior” code, it’s not particularly likely that all this code will work out of the box. Contact us though as the work to convert may actually be surprisingly minimal.

Will Canary be free for Internal Use the way Sideview Utils was
Yes. It’s available under the same “Free Internal Use License Agreement” terms that Sideview Utils had and with the same “internal use” restriction. Similarly we do also sell reasonably priced commerrcial licensing for it for anyone who needs it to be a commercial thing, and for that matter we still sell the “Developer Licensing” for anyone who wants to make and distribute their own Splunk app that uses its technology.