Data preview and source types
Essentially, the purpose of data preview is to help you apply the right source type to your incoming data. The source type is one of the default fields that Splunk assigns to all incoming data. The source type determines how Splunk formats your data during indexing. By assigning the correct source type to your data, the indexed version of the data (the event data) will look the way you want it to, with proper timestamps and event breaks.
Splunk comes with a large number of predefined source types. When consuming data, in most cases, Splunk will automatically assign the correct source type to your data and process the data appropriately. If your data is specialized, you might need to manually select a different predefined source type to the data. In other cases, you might need to create a new source type with customized event processing settings.
Data preview can help ensure that you assign the right source type to your data. It shows you the results of applying any predefined source type to the data. It also allows you to modify the settings for a source type interactively, until you achieve the desired results. At that point, you can save the modifications as a new source type.
Data preview lets you:
- See what your data will look like without any changes, using a default source type that Splunk automatically assigns.
- Apply a different source type to see whether that offers better results.
- Modify settings for timestamps and event breaks to improve the quality of the indexed data and save the modifications as a new source type.
- Create a new source type from scratch.
Data preview saves any new source types to a
props.conf file, which you can later distribute across the indexers in your deployment, so that the source types are available globally. See "Data preview and distributed Splunk" for details.
For detailed information on source types, see "Why source types matter" in this manual. In addition, several topics in the "Configure event processing", "Configure timestamps", and "Configure source types" chapters provide advanced information on source type processing.
Overview of data preview
Prepare your data
This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 4.3, 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.3, 4.3.4, 4.3.5, 4.3.6, 4.3.7, 5.0, 5.0.1, 5.0.2, 5.0.3, 5.0.4, 5.0.5, 5.0.6, 5.0.7, 5.0.8, 5.0.9, 5.0.10, 5.0.11, 5.0.12, 5.0.13, 5.0.14, 5.0.15, 5.0.16, 5.0.17, 5.0.18