You have to look hard for a company that makes cooler software than Panic. At least if you’re a Mac user, titles like Coda, Prompt, and Transmit should ring a bell.
Panic’s latest app is Status Board. It turns your iPad into a highly customizable dashboard. There are many widgets that come with the app, including a clock, a calendar, email, Twitter, RSS, and more.
We’ve seen similar things before, but there’s a twist: you can also make your own widgets for Status Board. Using the Do-It-Yourself widget, we created a very simple example of how you can display the status of your Pingdom checks in your very own widget on your iPad.
Introducing the Pingdom widget
There are already some widgets integrating Pingdom’s monitoring service with Status Board including this one by Justin Mecham. Since we think Status Board is such a cool app with a lot of potential we wanted to create something fairly simple, which as many of our 300,000+ customers as possible could download, install, and use.
With this widget on your iPad, you will see a list of all your Pingdom checks and their current status. It updates itself every minute and each check is shown as being up, down, or paused. If you need to, you can triple-tap the widget to make it reload anytime you want to.
The widget does require you to upload a few files to a web hosting account. But don’t worry; it will work on pretty much any type of account, including shared hosting ones.
To get this widget up and running, you need to upload a few files to your web hosting account. You also have to edit a PHP file to make sure the widget knows which Pingdom account to access, but no coding or programming is required.
Installation on your server
1. First, download this ZIP file and unzip it.
You now see the folder pingdom-statusboard. To the right here you will see a list of the files that should be inside this folder.
2. Upload the entire folder to your web hosting account. A shared hosting account should work just fine as long as there is support for PHP.
3. You need to edit the update.php file and put in your Pingdom login and Pingdom API application key. Open the update.php file with your favorite text editor and make the changes. Make sure you save the changes to the file once you are done.
4. First, your log in details:
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_USERPWD, "youremailaddress:yourpingdompassword");
5. Then, you need your Pingdom API application key. In my.pingdom.com, go to Account > The Pingdom API and follow the instructions. Then copy the key (that rather long piece of characters and numbers) and paste it into the “update.php” file:
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array("App-Key: Your-Pingdom-API-Application-key"));
6. Make sure you save the file. If you edited the file on your computer make sure you upload it to your server.
7. Now that the widget is configured on the server you can go ahead and add it to your iPad.
Set it up in Status Board
1. In Status Board on your iPad, switch mode (cogwheel symbol top left of the screen) so you see the white checkmark in the top left of the display.
2. Tap the Do-It-Yourself icon (bottom of the screen, far right), and drag it out to the place on the dashboard where you would want the widget to be displayed. You can move and resize it later if you want to.
3. Tap the widget to open the Do-It-Yourself panel as shown below.
4. Type in or paste the URL to the folder you uploaded to your server. E.g. http://www.example.com/pingdom-statusboard/.
5. Then tap the checkmark at the top left of the iPad display to switch to normal mode in Status Board.
Your widget will now load and show a list of your checks and their status.
If you want to resize the widget, just touch and drag the bottom right corner of the widget to the size you want. To move it around, similarly just touch it and drag it to where you want it.
Panic has blogged about a number of ideas for how you could use Status Board. In addition, we’d like to throw in a few ideas ourselves:
- Change how often the widget is updated.
- Change the size and look (edit the CSS.) Perhaps you want it bigger, wider, or with different colors.
- Make it so that you can tap the status of a check in the widget to pause and un-pause it.
- Integrate data from other services.
- Add a chart to the widget to show the performance of a check. Perhaps the user should be able to tap a check to display the chart for that particular check.
- Since the widget is really just a web page you could show it anywhere with a web browser.
We hope you will install the widget
This is of course just one example of what kind of things you can do with a Pingdom account in terms of integrating it with apps and services. There’s our WordPress plugin and bookmarklet for Real User Monitoring just to name a few.
We hope you will give our widget a try and make your own customized version of it. If you come up with something really cool, let us know, we’d love to know more about it.