Operations Manager 2012 included a new style of Dashboard view which uses widgets (for details see this article at Windows IT Pro magazine). This new dashboard functionality is extremely impressive and provides a very flexible framework which can be used to add a variety of widgets and to put them into a variety of different configurations. In Operations Manager 2007 we had another "Dashboard view” which provided a way to put multiple views onto a single dashboard view. These were useful when creating views where were targeted to users and specific applications/servers (see this article for examples of how to use groups to customize OpsMgr). The figure below shows the options available when adding a view in OpsMgr 2007 R2:
In almost all situations, the new dashboard view is superior to the previous dashboard view. The widgets are in almost all situations equivalent to or superior to the original views (Alert widget = Alert View, State widget = State View, Performance widget = Performance View, etc).
However, there are a few limitations on the widgets which currently would make it preferred to create a view instead of using a widget. As an example, the performance widget does not allow you to to scale the list of performance counters to a smaller size so attempts to put three widgets together makes it unreadable if there are several performance counters per widget. Additionally, there are currently no widgets to display events, diagram views, task state views or web page views.
In OpsMgr 2012 when you attempt to create a new view, the following is the list of options available: (note the different icon on the Dashboard View in OpsMgr 2012 when compared with the Dashboard View in OpsMgr 2007 R2)
So that brings us to the core question. While the new dashboard view is better in almost all situations, that’s in almost all situations. What about when it’s not the best choice or:
What if you want to create a view which has multiple different views instead of multiple different widgets within the dashboard view.
There is not an option in the Operations Manager console to create a new OpsMgr 2007 R2 style dashboard view. I am sure that this could be done with the authoring tools but not specifically in the console. During our testing we found that we could copy an existing OpsMgr 2007 R2 style dashboard view and paste it into another folder. These dashboards can then have views added to them and they function as expected. To make this process easier, I have created a sealed OpsMgr 2007 R2 style dashboard management pack which includes each of the different variations available within the OpsMgr 2007 R2 style layouts so that they can be copied from this management pack into other folders in the OpsMgr console.
This management pack is available for download at: http://www.systemcentercentral.com/PackCatalog/PackCatalogDetails/tabid/145/indexid/96029/Default.aspx
Once this management pack is imported into an OpsMgr 2012 environment you can copy and paste from these views in the OpsMgr2007R2Dashboards folder into the folder that you want your OpsMgr 2007 R2 style dashboards into and then add the appropriate views into the dashboard!