At New Relic, we do everything we can to enable you to move faster with confidence. And that includes helping you move faster in the way that your business interacts with ours. That’s why today we’re announcing the New Relic Insights Dashboard API.

As the use of New Relic Insights spreads throughout our customers’ organizations, the management, curation, and organization of dashboards across accounts becomes more complex. At the same time, as a DevOps organization we rely heavily on APIs to make it easy to share information among systems, both internally and with our customers.

Combining Insights with API-led connectivity allows organizations to quickly deliver new capabilities, reduce development time and friction, and pivot rapidly when things change.

The Insights Dashboard API is designed to give you programmatic control over your organization’s dashboards to enable unique solutions in a wide variety of use cases.

What is the Insights Dashboard API?

The Insights Dashboard API is a REST API that offers a collection of endpoints to give Insights customers more programmatic control over the dashboards in their specific sub-accounts, or accounts across their organization. The API includes five types of endpoints designed to let customers fully incorporate the API into their processes and workflows: Create, List, Show, Update, and Delete.

The Insights Dashboard API uses a new Insights Dashboard schema. This allows users to see and configure dashboard and widget data in an easy-to-consume JSON format.

As shown in the example below, the metadata in the dashboard header provides the same customization options provided in the Insights UI, including dashboard icon, visibility and editing permissions, and filters:

new relic insights dashboard header metadata code example

The Dashboard API also offers additional functionality, including a filterable LIST endpoint and pagination.

How does the Insights Dashboard API work?

The Insights Dashboard API works just like any other API. The New Relic API Explorer lets customers navigate to the different API endpoints:

insights dashboard endpoints

Endpoints are located in the left navigation list under “Dashboards.”

In order to use the Insights Dashboard API, customers must have already generated a user-level admin API key. Customers can generate API keys by going to Accounts > API Keys in any New Relic product. Once a key is generated, customers can insert request commands into their code to start using the API.

curl request example copy

Example cURL request for the Create endpoint.

Why is the Insights API Dashboard important?

The Insights Dashboard API can be valuable in a variety of use cases, not just when creating or deleting an arbitrary dashboard:

Reinforcing the monitoring culture—As organizations scale, it can be difficult to keep your finger on the pulse of what every team is doing at any given time. Some teams may be better at monitoring than others, but are they even monitoring the right things? IT organizations can use the Insights Dashboard API to help federate the management of dashboards across the entire organization. By defining a standard set of metrics to promote consistent observability and monitoring across teams and departments, administrators can control any changes, and ensure that teams will always see the most updated version.

Creating shared knowledge—DevOps users in different organizational areas often try to monitor and solve the same problems. However, due to the structure of their New Relic accounts, users on different teams may not be able to see all the interesting and unique dashboards others have created. Customers can use the Insights Dashboard API to create JSON “templates” of dashboards that can be stored in a centralized repository. That enables a self-service model, leveraging best-in-class dashboards across the organization.

Eliminating the question of “What should I monitor?”—It often takes time to ramp up monitoring of new applications or services, and that includes setting up monitoring dashboards. Insights Dashboard APIs can speed onboarding of new teams by sharing existing dashboards. Teams can move faster when they don’t have to start by asking, “What should we be monitoring?”

Leverage automation to increase efficiency and speed—As the number of dashboards in an organization increases, maintaining them can add overhead. The Insights Dashboard API can help you spend less time manually maintaining dashboards and more time focusing on monitoring your application performance. Connecting API calls to events in your systems lets you move faster and work at scale, reducing the manual work and making dashboards easier to manage across your organization.

Get started with the Insights Dashboard API

The Insights Dashboard API is a key link in the DevOps toolchain. It can do much more than just create dashboards; it can help organizations create a consistent monitoring process, and support a monitoring culture by making it easy to share Insights dashboards—already populated with the metrics that matter—with every team and department in the company.

It’s easy to get started. Create your API key and visit the New Relic API Explorer. You can learn more about the Insights Dashboard API capabilities in the documentation.

 

Mia Isaacson is associate product manager for New Relic Insights. She is based in Portland, Oregon, and has two Great Danes, Butler and Rambo.

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