Splunk® Enterprise

Developing Dashboards, Views, and Apps for Splunk Web

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Step 1: Getting started

You have a lot of options when building your app. First and foremost, decide on your app's scope and use case. To get you started, here's a high level view of how to build an app for Splunk. For more specifics, read through each step and the how-tos in this section.

What you need

You can jump right into building an app with the app builder in Splunk's Manager interface, but you may also want to carefully plan out and build your app. If so, here are a few things you might want to set up before you get started.

  • An editor for XML, CSS, and HTML files
    • You can build apps entirely within Splunk Web, but if you want to create custom XML, CSS or HTML you may want to use an editor designed for those formats.
    • Starting with Splunk 4.3, Splunk provides an XML editor available from Splunk Web. This editor provides syntax highlighting and auto-indent features. This editor opens when you edit XML files from Splunk Web.
    • For all formats, Splunk recommends Komodo Edit -- it's free, cross-platform, and supports text highlighting for a variety of standard formats.
  • Useful, relevant data
    • Index some data to showcase in your app.
    • Build knowledge around this data and present this knowledge through your app's UI.
    • For example, if you're building an app for your custom firewall data, set up a data input to index this data. You can optionally set up a custom index to keep this data segregated from the rest of your Splunk install.
  • Splunk knowledge objects
    • Objects include data visualization components, like saved searches and reports, as well as UI components to display these, such as views and dashboards.
  • Web development tools
    • These browser dependent tools help you troubleshoot your JavaScript, CSS and HTML.
    • If you're doing advanced customization, we strongly suggest you use one of these tools.
    • If you're using Firefox, you'll want to check out Firebug.
    • IE8 has a built-in console in the Tools menu, under Developer Tools.
    • Chrome has an Inspect Element option that is useful for inspecting CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and other resources.
    • Safari 4 also has a built-in console. First you have to enable the develop menu for the menu bar under Preferences > Advanced Tab. Check Show Developer Menu in menu bar. Then select Develop > Show web inspector.

App building overview

From a high level, app building follows these steps.

1. Get started:

  • What is your use case and how do you want to solve it?
  • Decide what data you want to work with and how you're going to get it into Splunk.
  • Storyboard your app so you know who will use it and how they'll navigate around.

2. Create your app workspace:

  • Use app builder to create your app workspace.
  • A more in-depth description of this step is located in this manual as Step 2: create your app.

3. Add configurations to your app:

  • Add custom configurations to index and process your data.
  • App configurations include data inputs, indexes, users and roles.
  • A more in-depth description of this step is located in this manual as Step 3: add configurations.

4. Create objects for your app:

  • Add saved searches and reports that display the information you're interested in.
  • Add dashboards and other views, and put your saved searches and reports in your dashboards.
  • A more in-depth description of this step is located in this manual as Step 4: add objects.

5. Set access controls and permissions for your app users:

  • Set permissions to allow your app users to add knowledge objects to your app.
  • Learn more about how object permissions work.
  • Optionally add users and roles for your app. Create a role for the users you want to access your app.
  • For example, if you're building an app for your web developer team, create a role called "Web_Developer" and add all your users into this role.
  • A more in-depth description of this step is located in this manual as Step 5: set permissions.
  • Read more about how to create roles

6. Build navigation

  • Build navigation for your app so users can easily navigate to dashboards, reports, saved searches and other views.
  • A more in-depth description of this step is located in this manual as Step 6: build navigation

7. Optionally add a setup screen for your app.

8. Optionally package your app for distribution on Splunkbase.

  • Splunkbase, Splunk's community for app developers is located here.
  • You can package your app for distribution on Splunkbase.
  • A more in-depth description of this step is located in this manual as Package your app.
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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


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