Skedler Review: The Report Scheduler Solution for Kibana

 Matteo Zuccon is a software developer with a passion for web development (RESTFull services, JS Frameworks), Elasticsearch, Spark, MongoDB, and agile processes. He runs whiletrue.run. Follow him on Twitter @matteo_zuccon

With Kibana you can create intuitive charts and dashboards. Since Aug 2016 you can export your dashboards in a PDF format thanks to Reporting. With Elastic version, 5 Reporting has been integrated into X-Pack for the Premium and Enterprise subscriptions.

Recently I tried Skedler, an easy to use report scheduling and distribution application for Kibana that allows you to centrally schedule and distribute Kibana Dashboards and Saved Searches as hourly/daily/weekly/monthly PDF, XLS or PNG reports to various stakeholders.

Skedler is a standalone app that allows you to utilize a new dashboard where you can manage Kibana reporting tasks (schedule, dashboards and saved search). Right now there are four different price plans (from free to premium edition).

In this post I am going to show you how to install Skedler (on Ubuntu) and how export/schedule a Kibana dashboard.

Install Pre-requisites

Install .deb package

Download the latest skedler-xg.deb file and extract it.  If you have previously installed the .deb package, remove it before installing the latest version.

Install .tar.gz package

Download the latest skedler-xg.tar.gz file and extract it.

Configure your options for Skedler v5

Skedler Reports has a number of configuring options that can be defined in its reporting.yml file (located in the skedler folder).  In the reporting.yml file, you can configure options to run Skedler in an air-gapped environment, change the port number, define the hostname, change the location for the Skedler database, and log files.

Read more about the reporting.yml configuration options.

Start Skedler for .deb

To start Skedler, the command is:

To check status, the command is:

To stop Skedler. the command is:

Start Skedler for .tar.gz

To run Skedler manually, the command is:

To run Skedler as a service, the commands are:

To start Skedler, the command is:

To check status, the command is:

To stop Skedler. the command is:

Access Skedler Reports

The default URL for accessing Skedler Reports v5 is:

http://localhost:3005/

If you had made configuration changes in the reporting.yml, then the Skedler URL is of the following format:

http://<hostname or your domainurl>:3005

or

http://<hostname or your domain url>:<port number>

Login to Skedler Reports

By default, you will see the Create an account UI.  Enter your email to create an administrator account in Skedler Reports. Click on Continue.

Note: If you have configured an email address and password in reporting.yml, then you can skip the create account step and proceed to Login.

An account will be created and you will be redirected to the Login page.

Sign in using the following credentials:

Username: <your email address>   (or the email address you configured in reporting.yml)Password: admin   (or the password you configured in reporting.yml)

Click Sign in.

You will see the Reports Dashboard after logging in to the skedler account.   

In this post, I demonstrated how to install and configure Skedler and how to create a simple schedule for our Kibana dashboard. My overall impression of Skedler is that it is a powerful application to use side-by-side with Kibana that allows you to deliver reports directly to your stakeholders.

These are the main benefits that Skedler offers:

  • It’s easy to install
  • Linux, Windows  and Mac OS support (it runs on Node.js server)
  • Reports are generated locally (your data isn’t sent to the cloud or Skedler servers)
  • Competitive price plans
  • Supports Kibana and Grafana.
  • Automatically discovers your existing Kibana Dashboards and Saved Searches (so you can easily use Skedler in any environment with no new stack installation needed)
  • It lets you centrally schedule and manage who gets which reports and when they get them
  • Allows for hourly, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules
  • Generates XLS and PNG reports besides PDF as opposed to Elastic Reporting that only supports PDF.
  • I strongly recommend that you try Skedler because it can help you to automatically deliver reports to your stakeholders and it integrates within your ELK environment without any modification to your stack.

Click here for free trial option.

You can find more resources about Skedler here:

Automated Kibana Reporting: A Marketer’s Guide

Skedler’s enhanced Kibana reporting solutions can do more than just enhance the way you manage information. It effectively transforms your Elasticsearch-Logstash-Kibana(ELK) platform into a business intelligence platform. Much of this is helped by Kibana’s dashboard, which applications such as Skedler improve on even further by incorporating actionable reporting, scheduling, and more. Marketing departments are particularly seeing the advantages of automating Kibana tasks through Skedler. They’re able to utilize ELK to gather intelligence, which is then easily exported as convenient, customer-friendly reports.

Two of our current case studies have demonstrated Kibana’s automated processes to be highly useful to their marketers.

Kane LPI, a third-party administration service specializing in investment and compliance, sought out Skedler to help them produce clear reports from thousands of lines of log entries from multiple systems. Kane LPI’s internal marketers needed to receive daily log reports in order to view daily analytics which could then be reviewed and sent to their clients. Skedler’s Kibana reporting solution produced clear scheduled reports from thousands of lines of log entries from multiple systems. This served as key monitoring tool while satisfying auditing requirements in the process.

Cybersecurity company Dynetics’ marketing department also benefitted from using the automated processes within Skedler. Their analysts simply didn’t have enough time to monitor all the dashboards within the NetAlert ELK stack application. However, after discovering Skedler, they saw that Skedler’s automated processes with Kibana allowed the department to quickly send security intelligence reports to customers. Without Skedler, this kind of process would have taken weeks to process manually, and their customers would have had to wait for answers.

Ready to start utilizing Skedler’s reporting solution for Kibana and engage with your customers? Try Skedler for free.

The Top 3 ELK Stack Tools Every Business Intelligence Analyst Needs in 2017

A version of this post, updated for 2018, can be found here: The Top 5 ELK Stack+ Tools Every Business Intelligence Analyst Needs.

The world’s most popular log management platform, ELK Stack, has ultimately reflected its nifty, modernized capabilities with this recent statistic: each month, it is downloaded 500,000 times. So what makes ELK Stack and ELK Stack Tools just so attractive? In many cases, it fulfills what’s really been needed in the log analytics space within SaaS: IT companies are favoring open source products more and more. Since it’s based on the Lucene search engine, Elasticsearch is a NoSQL database which forms as a log pipeline tool; accepting inputs from various sources, executing transformations, then exporting data to designated targets. It also carries enhanced customizability, which is a key preference nowadays, since program tweaking is more lucrative and stimulating for many engineers. This is coupled with ELK’s increased interoperability, which is now a practically indispensable feature, since most businesses don’t want to be limited by proprietary data formats.

ELK Stack tools which simply higher-tier those impressive elements will elevate data analysis just that little bit further; depending on what you want to do with it, of course.

Logstash

Elite tool Logstash is well-known for its intake, processing and output capabilities. It’s mainly intended for organizing and searching for log files, but works effectively for cleaning and streaming big data from all sorts of sources into a comprehensive database, including metrics, web applications, data stores, and various AWS services. Logstash also carries impressive input plugins such as cloudwatch and graphite, allowing you to sculpt your intelligence to be as easy to work with as possible. And, as data travels from source to store, those filters identify named fields to accelerate your analysis; deciphering geo coordinates from IP addresses, and anonymizing PII data. It even derives structure from seemingly unstructured data.

Kibana 5

Analysis program Kibana 5.0 boasts a wealth of new refurbishments for pioneering intelligence surveying. Apart from amplified functionalities such as increased rendering, less CPU usage, and elevated data and index handling, Kibana 5.0 has enriched visualisations with interactive platforms, leveraging the aggregation capabilities of Elasticsearch. Space and time auditing are a crucial part of Kibana’s make up: the map service empowers you to foresee geospatial data with custom location data on a schematic of your selection, whilst the time series allows you to perform advanced generation analysis by describing queries and transformations.

Skedler

ELK Stack reporting tool, Skedler, combines all the automated processes you’d never dream you could have within one unit. Fundamentally, it ups your speed-to-market auditing with cutting-edge scheduling, which Kibana alone does not offer; serving as a single system for both interactive analysis and reporting. Skedler methodically picks up your existing dashboards in the server for cataloging, whilst also enabling you to create filters, refine specific recipients, and filter file folders to use whilst scheduling. Additionally, Skedler automatically applies prerequisite filters with generate reports, preserving them as defined; and encompasses high-resolution PDF and PNG options to incorporate in reporting, which sequentially eliminates the need for redundant reporting systems.

There you have it, the top ELK stack tools no business intelligence analyst should ever be without!

Ready to start streamlining your analysis and start reporting with more stability? Right now, we’re offering a free trial.

Are You Wasting Time Manually Sending Kibana Reports?

Automated processes are, invariably, becoming more and more integral to our everyday lives, both in and out of the office. They’ve replaced much of the manual workforce and have improved systematic procedures, which otherwise would be at the mercy of various human error elements as well as higher risks of data breaches. This, as well as recognizing manual reporting as time-consuming labour, are some key issues we don’t need to worry about any more by virtue of processing automation; Kibana being one of those favorable products.

Focus on What Matters

As a result of businesses adopting bots as part of our everyday processes, we’re left with the far more creative aspects of information science (which automation hasn’t quite caught up with yet). Naturally, Elasticsearch’s aesthetically enhanced data delivery is one of its chief selling points: users are able to explore unchartered data with clear-cut digital graphics at their very disposal. This significant upgrade in data technology has allowed us to possess more varied and complex insights; it’s more exciting now than it has ever been before.

In contrast, however, tedious tasks such as email deliveries of reports to customers, compliance managers and other stakeholders remain arduous and time-consuming; deterring attention from more stimulating in-depth data analysis. What we know to be necessary is for analysts to have the time available to devote themselves to exploring Tableau’s analytics, instead of undergoing mundane processes such as manual spreadsheet creation, generating, email exporting, and distributing.

Automate Kibana Reports

Perhaps it’s possible that you’ve already started utilizing Kibana without realizing the perks of automated scheduling. Luckily, Skedler can completely undertake those prosaic tasks, at an affordable price. As an automated scheme which meets full compliance and operations requirements, Skedler allows your peers, customers and other stakeholders to be kept informed in a virtually effortless and secure way. Comprehensive exporting preferences such as PDF, XLS and PNG are also serviceable; allowing you the luxury of consigning instant or scheduled report generation in the format you desire.

Additionally, Skedler’s reporting motions are facilitated through its prestigious dashboard system, which automatically discovers your existing Kibana dashboards and saved searches to make them available for reporting – again, saving you time creating, scheduling and sending Kibana reports. All your filtered reporting and data chartering is available on a single, versatile platform; meaning you won’t spend extensive amounts of time searching through your outgoing email reports for a specific item.

Skedler simply allows you to examine all of your criteria through one umbrella server with clear functionalities to separate the stunning data visualization deliveries, and the slightly less exciting archive of manual spreadsheet generation and handling for other departments, which it can totally manage by itself.

Ready to start saving time by creating, scheduling and distributing Kibana reports automatically? Try Skedler for free.

3 Apps to Get the Most Out of Kibana 5.0

A new financial quarter starts, full-scale data appraisals are once again at the forefront for every business’ sales agenda. Luckily, Elasticsearch’s open source tool Kibana 5.0 is the talk of the town – and for good reason.

Improvements since version 4.0 are unequivocally noticeable. Its new and far more sleek user interface display not only wows in terms of visuals (note the subsidiary menu that minimizes when not in use), but demonstrates impressive UI capabilities that allows you to reach data far more effectively. The new CSV upload, for example, has the potential to catch a much wider data spread, transforming it to index mapping that’s effortlessly navigable. Its new management tab allows you to view the history of the files with associated data, as well as Elasticsearch indexes where you actively send log files.

This version’s huge boost in code architecture grants the potential for more augmentations than ever, especially with split code self-contained plugins with open-end code tweaking, resulting in several lucrative alpha and beta versions. And it’s essentially allowed us the privilege to now ask: what kind of data insight does my company really need, and which app is best to harness it?

1. Logz.io

Logz.io has fundamentally enriched Kibana with two major touches: increased data security, and more serviceable enterprise sequences as a result. Take their access user tokens, for example, which enable share visualizations and dashboard with those who aren’t necessarily Logz.io users, rather than the URL share function. You can pretty much be as selective with your data as you so please; specific and cross-referenced filter searches are an added function to the tokens. This makes it easy to attach pre-saved filters when back in Kibana.

2. Skedler

Skedler has specifically focused developed reporting capabilities with actionables to perform on data, effectively meaning you can do more with it all in a proactive way. Scheduling is an integral part of this program’s faculty, as it works with your existing database searches and dashboards; allowing you to organize dispatches daily, weekly, monthly and so on. Again, you’re able to action specific filters as and when you’re scheduling, making your reports as customized as needed when sending for peer review.

3. Predix

Predix has established itself as a strong contender for effective data trend sweeps, such as HTTP responses, latencies and visitors – and you’re able to debug apps at the sam e time. Combining this with Kibana’s exhaustive data visualizations and pragmatic dashboard, controlling and managing your log data not only highly secure, but it allows you to become more prognostic when forecasting future data.

Ready to save hours generating, scheduling and distributing PDF and XLS reports from your
Elasticsearch Kibana (ELK) application to your team, customers and other stakeholders? Try Skedler for free.

Skedler 2.2.1 – Keep pace with ELK, Time window support, Pause/Resume PDF/XLS Report

The Skedler v2.2.1 is here (yes, we have had 3 product updates since our previous blog post on v2.0 release).  It helps ELK users who need PDF, XLS reporting in three areas:

Keep pace with ELK releases

One of the challenges for the users of ELK stack is the torrid pace of new releases.  Each release is packed with features/bug fixes and significant internal changes.  It requires significant development and maintenance effort to keep pace with these changes.

A significant value and advantage of using Skedler is that it eliminates the burden and the time consuming effort of keeping pace with the changes in ELK.   We test Skedler against various ELK releases and keep you posted through the release notes and install guide.   The 2.2.1 version of Skedler is no different.  The latest version supports Elasticsearch (1.7 to latest) and Kibana (4.1 to latest).  And Skedler is ready for 5.0!

Generating reports using time windows

Timewindown-1024x761

If your stakeholders are asking for daily PDF/XLS reports using last 7 days of data,  it is now easy to setup using Skedler.   Set up a Kibana dashboard with the metrics/charts that you would like to track.  Simply schedule a daily PDF/XLS report for the dashboard with a time window of last 7 days and save it. It is that simple.  Alternatively, you can create save the time window in Kibana and use it in Skedler.  Skedler provides you the flexibility to choose the option that works best for your organization.

Pause/Resume reports with a button click

Pause-resume-1024x511

Sometimes you have to temporarily stop sending out reports to stakeholders for various reasons.   You can now pause a scheduled report with a click of button in Skedler.  When you are ready to send the reports again, you can resume report generation with a click.

In addition to the above features, we have added 15+ minor improvements in the PDF, XLS reporting since 2.0 based on the feedback that we received from our customers.

We invite you to try Skedler free for 15 days and explore if Skedler meets your requirement for scheduling and generating PDF, XLS  reports from your ELK application.

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Skedler v2.0 – Next Generation Reporting for ELK is Here!

It has been just 2 weeks since we released Skedler v 1.3, but we are thrilled to announce the availability of Skedler v2.0, the next generation of the Report Scheduler for Kibana/ELK applications. The new version has been re-architected from the ground up to provide an amazingly simple but powerful reporting solution for your ELK based log analysis, security, or analytics applications.

Skedler v2.0 is packed with innovative features and unmatched capability.  A few highlights are given below:

Support for Kibana 4.4 and Elasticsearch 2.2

The new release supports the latest release of Elasticsearch (2.2) and Kibana (4.4).  This is inline with the commitment to our customers to have Skedler keep pace with the latest releases of Kibana and Elasticsearch.   Our philosophy is that customers shouldn’t have to worry about the frequent architectural changes in Kibana or Elasticsearch.  We will handle it and make your life easy!

New Wizard UI for Scheduling Reports

Skedler v2.0 provides a step-by-step approach to scheduling reports.  You can create reports from dashboards or searches, customize the report, schedule it, and set up the email template in an intuitive UI.

PDF and Excel Reports from Search

If your end users prefer to use Excel to analyze the data, Skedler makes it so easy to deliver the data to them in a timely manner.  Simply create a search in Kibana (you don’t need to create any dashboard) and schedule a report in Skedler based on your search and configure it to email XLS reports.  Your end users will be happy and your life will be easy!

Report Level PDF Personalization

You can now customize the PDF reports including the logo at the individual report level.  So, if you are sending out reports to different customers, you can customize the reports with their logo and offer a personalized analytics solution.

And a Lot More

Skedler v2.0 has many more enhancements such as dynamic filters on Search based Reports, performance improvements, and not to mention that it includes all the goodness that Skedler v1.3 introduced.

See a Live Demo or Try It Free for 15 Days

If you would like to see a live demo of Skedler v2.0 or would simply like to test drive it in your environment for 15 days,  contact us to get started.

Skedler as Kibana Plugin

Just in time for the Elastic{On} 2016, we are excited to announce the availability of beta version of Skedler as Kibana plug-in.

Skedler Standard Edition made it easy to add report scheduling option to your Kibana/ELK application.  With Skedler Plug-in for Kibana, adding reporting option has become even simpler.   You can simply deploy the Skedler Plugin package in Kibana, configure the reporting.yml file and start scheduling reports from within your ELK application.

Skedler - Schedule reports from ELK Stack

Skedler Plugin in Kibana

Skedler Plug-in offers most of the features available in the Standard Edition.  The following features are currently available only in the Standard Edition and not in the Plug-in version.

  • Automatic saved search discovery
  • PDF reports from saved search
  • Include Excel report with PDF
  • Server core based scaling/multi-threading

The beta version of Skedler Plugin is now available to existing Skedler customers {only}.

If you are attending Elastic{On} and would like to see the Skedler Plug-in or Skedler Standard Edition in action, email shankar at guidanz dot com  to set up a time to meet in the conference.

Update as of 06/15/2016:  At this time, the Skedler plug-in is not available for download/beta.  The Skedler Standard/Advanced Edition offers the features and scalability that is currently not available in the plug-in architecture.  We invite you to try Skedler free.

Skedler v1.3 is here, loaded with features!

We are excited to announce the early availability of Skedler v1.3 with amazing features that have been on the wish list of our customers.

Schedule High Quality Customized PDF Reports

Skedler v1.3 - Customize ELK Stack report layout in schedule a report window

Customize your PDF in Skedler

Whether you email PDF reports to internal users, partners, or customers, quality and customization are important aspects to consider.  Skedler v1.3 is designed to make it incredibly easy to schedule and email customized high quality PDF reports based on your Kibana dashboards.   You can now customize the logo, report titles, page size, layout, and font for your scheduled PDF reports.   We have made significant enhancements to the PDF report quality.  You need to see it to believe it.

Attach Excel Report to PDF Reports

Skedler v1.3 - Select include excel reports in schedule a report window

Attach Excel Reports

What if your stakeholders prefer playing with the raw data using Excel?  We got your covered.  With one click, you can attach excel export to scheduled PDF reports of your Kibana dashboard.   Check out a sample excel report here.

Schedule PDF Reports from Kibana Searches

Skedler v1.3 - Select report type as searches in schedule a report window

Schedule Report for Kibana Search

Reports based on Kibana Discover (Search) tab has been a frequent request from our customers and today, we are happy to say that Skedler v1.3 has taken the first big step in fulfilling this popular request. You can now schedule PDF reports in Skedler for your saved searches in Kibana Discover tab.  No need to create dashboards! Combine it with the PDF customization capability to schedule high quality reports for your stakeholders.  You can’t generate Excel reports yet, but it is coming soon!

Easy to Install + Amazing Support

Skedler is designed such that most customers can get it running within an hour.  However, if your environment is unique (OS/network/Shield/Nginx/Mail server configuration issues) and if you need help with the configuration, we have an amazingly responsive and talented Skedler team to support you through your evaluation and beyond.

Free Trial

You can try Skedler free to experience the value of Skedler and decide if you would like to include it in your solution.  Contact us (use your official email id only please) to get started.  We will  send you an electronic (Docusign) Evaluation License Agreement.  Upon signing it, we will send you the link to download the latest version.

Email XLS Reports from ELK to data analysts

Introducing XLS Email Reports in Skedler 1.1

Skedler PDF reports  are an easy way to send actionable visual  information from your Elasticsearch-Kibana application to non-technical users.   But how do you meet the requirement from your customers, data analysts and users  who are looking for raw data from your Kibana application?   What if they would like to receive data periodically for analyzing with Microsoft Excel or Tableau?

We are proud to announce the beta release of Skedler 1.1 that allows you to schedule XLS reports in addition to PDF, PNG and in-line PNG reports.

Skedler - Select report format in schedule a report window

Schedule XLS reports in Skedler

Scheduled XLS reports makes it simple to schedule, generate, and send hourly/daily/weekly/monthly data snapshots to data analysts.   Skedler will automatically generate an XLS worksheet for each chart in your Kibana dashboard, combine all the worksheets into a single XLS file, and email the report to target recipients as per the schedule.

Consider the following Kibana dashboard with several charts providing information regarding Crime statistics in Alameda County for the past 90 days.

Skedler - Kibana® dashboard - Alameda County Past 90 days crime statistics

Alameda county – Past 90 days crime statistics

Skedler will automatically convert this dashboard into a single XLS report with multiple worksheets, one worksheet for each chart.

Skedler - Kibana® excel (XLS) report

Daily XLS Report screenshot

You can notice that the XLS report contains six(6) worksheets, each corresponding to the chart in the Kibana dashboard.   Skedler automatically uses the chart title for the worksheet name so that it is easy to identify the worksheets and the data.  You can download the sample email report from Daily XLS Report of All Crimes Dashboard.

In addition to emailing XLS report to customers, data analysts and others who prefer to use their own tools,  you can also generate and store the XLS reports in server side file folders which can then be used for various analysis or as a data feed for other applications.

Test drive Skedler v1.1 Beta with XLS reports

If you are interested in trying out the Beta release of Skedler v1.1,  contact us and we will help you get started with Skedler.  Skedler is easy to set up and get started.  We will provide you with the technical support required to get past common configuration issues.

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