WatersWorks

Blog archive

InfluxDB Makes it Easier for Disparate Devs to Collaborate on Time Series Data

The challenges of building applications that need to handle the massive volumes and countless sources of time-stamped data produced by sensors, applications, and infrastructure are myriad. Because of the uniquely critical need for efficient communication among dev team members working with what is known as "time series" data is critical, distributed teams especially challenged.

Enter time series database provider InfluxData, which recently announced a solution to this challenge, at least within the InfluxDB Cloud. The new InfluxDB Notebooks allows developers to discuss time series data analyses and trends inside the platform, so team members don't have to use third-party messaging apps, which can slow them down significantly. This new capability allows users to create what the company calls "a durable artifact" that shows teams how time series data is analyzed to solve business problems.

"Development teams are more distributed than ever, but until now, they haven’t had the tools they need to seamlessly communicate around time series data," said Russ Savage, director of product management at InfluxData, in a statement. "To solve this problem, we’ve reimagined InfluxDB as a way to collaborate around data, not just store it. This new approach will dramatically save time for developers, so they can focus on building software."

InfluxData provides a time series database platform aimed at developers building Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, and monitoring software. The company's new InfluxDB Notebooks adds a number of capabilities to the platform, including

  • Design time series data pipelines with dynamic data, live code, and real-time visualizations — all with inline explanatory notes. This capabilities allows dev team members to show their work and sharing it with others.
  • The ability to share incident investigations to explain root causes following service outages, and to build "runbooks" to avoid future outages.
  • The ability to document how Internet of Things sensor data has been collected, normalized, enriched, and "downsampled" to facilitate preventive maintenance and forecast device obsolescence.

The company says it plans to add another new capability to its platform: InfluxDB Annotations, which will make it possible to add notes directly on dashboard cells to more quickly highlight and explain the meaning of anomalies in time series data, and to coordinate troubleshooting efforts. It will be used to capture context and share details about ongoing investigations into outlier data points that are underway.

This capability will save teams time "by eliminating the need for multiple people to repeat the same investigation," the company says. Both features are designed to support "better collaboration workflows between developers,  SREs, and every stakeholder involved in time series collection, enrichment, and analysis."

Where InfluxDB Notebooks allows teams to "weave together computational information" such as code, data, and statistics with narrative and graphs, InfluxDB Annotations will help developers "share contextual clues" so they can quickly determine the root cause of incidents and restore services faster.

Posted by John K. Waters on 04/29/2021 at 9:54 AM