World War Widget: The alert view vs the alert widget

If you saw the first blog post on this topic (Performance view vs Performance widget) you can probably guess what the focus is for this one. Alert view vs Alert widget: Epic Rap Battle edition! (sorry, just kidding but you gotta admit it would be a funny topic).

 

What does the alert view look like?

Alerts01.png

What does the alert widget look like?

 

What reads from where?

It appears that both the Alert widget and the Alert view read from the OperationsManager database. To test this I paused the VM running my OperationsManagerDW and I was still able to open and refresh data from both the Alert view and the Alert widget). This appears to be backed up by checking on the stored procedures to see if there is one for the Alert widget (see http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2013/12/09/fixing-the-objects-by-performance-widget-when-using-the-all-performance-instances-scom-sysctr.aspx for an example of where these are at in SQL). Tao Yang pointed out to me that this is stored in the OperationsManager database and pointed to Stefan Roth’s article which discusses various widgets and where they get their data from at http://stefanroth.net/2013/09/25/quick-post-scom-2012-where-does-widget-data-come-from/.

Tao found that when developing is most recent blog post (http://blog.tyang.org/2015/03/13/using-squared-up-as-an-universal-dashboard-solution/) his SQL queries only found alert histories in the alert.valert and alert.valertResolutionState views. But in the OperationsDatabase, everything is in the dbo.AlertView view (Thanks to Tao and Stefan for their contributions in this area!).

 

General functionality:

Both of these ways to view alert data are very functional and allow you to take an alert, right-click on it and pivot to different aspects of that object (like performance, state, run tasks, etc). Both appear to perform approximately the same at least in my OpsMgr 2012 R2 UR5 environment and others that I have worked in.

 

Benefits of the alert view:

Sort by age:

On the alert view, you can sort by age. This is very helpful when finding new alerts.

This option is not available on the widget (note the blue arrow on the right is greyed out).

Full alert details below:

The alert view lets you show the alert details in the same pane displayed at the bottom which can also be easily moved out of the way to not be displayed.

The alert widget has similar functionality using the option to enable alert details in-line (shown below).

Which of these is preferable is really more of a personal opinion/choice.

 

Benefits of the alert widget:

Is Monitor Alert:

The "Is Monitor Alert" field is the best addition I have found in this widget. This column allows you to quickly determine whether an alert was raised by a rule or a monitor. You may wonder why this is important… This is important due to the rule of the monitor.

An example of this setting in action is shown below (alerts with the circle on the left are from monitors, those without are from alerts).

For additional reading, I discussed this widget and this setting in detail in the following blog post: http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2012/01/30/quicktrick-find-alerts-from-a-monitor-or-rule-in-opsmgr-2012-scom.aspx

 

So when to use which?

Realistically, both of these work well and there isn’t much of a huge difference between them. The highlights as I see them are below.

What are your thoughts? Where have you seen the performance view work better than the widget or vice versa?

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