Glorious PowerShell Dashboards

I’ve covered the topic of dashboards on this blog a few times before, from layering CSS on PowerShell’s built-in HTML capabilities, to hacking together HTML 5 templates with PowerShell, as the hunt continues for the next great thing in PowerShell reporting. Guys, the hunt is OVER!  Time to ascend to the next level in reporting…

It’s the motherlode!  Adam Driscoll’s AWESOME PowerShell Universal Dashboard, a gorgeous and dead-simple dashboard tool which makes it super easy to retrieve values from your environment and spin them into adaptive, animated dashboards full of sexy transitions and colors.   Click here to see it in action. Or just look at these sexy animations and tasteful colors.  Deploy this and then show your boss.  It’s guaranteed to impress, blow his pants off, and get you a huge raise or maybe a $5 Starbucks gift card.

1GIF

In this post, we’ll learn what the PowerShell Universal Dashboard is, how to quickly get setup, and I’ll share my own TOTALLY PIMPED OUT CUSTOM Dashboard with you free, for you to modify to fit your environment, and get that free Pumpkin Spice, son!

What is it?

The PowerShell Universal Dashboard is an absolutely gorgeous module created by the great Adam Driscoll.  It seeks to make it dead-simple to create useful, interactive dashboards anywhere you can run PowerShell.  It’s built using .net Core Kestrel and ChartJS, and you can run it locally for folks to connect to see your dashboard, or deploy right to IIS or even Azure!

If you didn’t earlier, you really should click here to see it in action!!!

Getting Started

To begin, simply launch PowerShell and run the following command.

Install-Module UniversalDashboard

Next, copy the code for Adam’s sample Dashboard from here and run it.  You should see this screen appear

Now, PowerShell Pro Tools IS a paid piece of software.  But the trial license is super generous, so simply put in your e-mail and you’ll receive a license automatically in a few minutes. Continue reading

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Building Better PowerShell Dashboards

First off, YUUGE props to Flynn Bundy for shining lights on the possibility with his post Making DSC Beautiful and @Neeco of HTML5Up.com for these gorgeous HTML5 and CSS templates.

If you check out HTML5up.com, there are a ton of absolutely beautiful templates, for free! (Well, you have to leave a link to the site, unless you pay $20, then you can edit it to your heart’s content).

templates

Some of them REALLY lend themselves well to a dashboard system for consumption of data.

…you know, PowerShell makes an excellent data collection and processing system.

It even has  native HTML capabilities, as we’ve covered previously in our post: Using ConvertTo-HTML and CSS to create useful web reports from PowerShell.  If you’re lost and don’t even know where to start, begin here.  I’ll bet we could make some REALLY cool looking dashboards using PowerShell and Neeco’s templates!

Let’s make a cool PowerShell Dashboard

So, I’ll start by finding a template that I like.  I choose the gorgeous Phantom, which is also the top one from the list.  Now, you might be asking yourself “FoxDeploy, did you even look at all of the templates first?” to which I would respond: SURE.

Let’s take a look at Phantom.   It’s got a nice set of fonts and a good layout, with a big title glob of text, then a smaller description below it.  It’s followed by a big element or DIV called Tiles, with colored squares inside of it, called articles.

PhantomBreakdown.png
Breaking down the Phantom Template

Let’s take a look into the code and see how this is represented.

PhantomBreakdownCode

A few things jump out at me here.  Looking back at the image of the template itself, I see the first three squares/cards/cubes are red, blue and green. Continue reading