My Homepage Status Monitoring Application

• Misc

Home is an application I developed last year (Nov-Dec) while learning the MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular and NodeJS) stack. It’s a homepage status monitor, more or less a glorified bookmark/favourites tool with the ability to scan if ports are open or closed on a host.

Problem

Every application is made to solve a particular problem. There needs to be a reason to make it.

  • There were so many web services and infrastructure at work that not everyone on the team knew which was where and how to access its correct URL.
  • There was a need to create transparency.
  • Infrastructure monitoring tools weren’t up to the task
    • Nagios and its clones: overhead using its agents
    • StatusPage.io: paid service
    • vCenter Operations Manager: only works for virtual machines

Idea

So with the problem in mind, I started prototyping the idea in my head:

  • All these services were in my bookmark bar so it work similar to it
  • It would be difficult to get complete system monitoring e.g. CPU, memory, disk usage. A simple is it up or down was good enough.
  • It has to be configurable and easy to make changes to. This would mean I had to use specific languages and tools to make it work.
  • It had to be good enough for everyone, including myself to use on a daily basis.

Plan

The plan to build it was based off the ideas I had:

  • Minimal and simple approach. This meant a single page design without any page refreshes for any CRUD operations.
  • Achieving the single page design meant I needed asynchronous background operations (e.g. AJAX).
  • To get asynchronous operations I had to use JavaScript. This was a good chance to finally learn the MEAN stack. The MEAN stack provides the ability to create dynamic web sites using free and open-source solutions.

Execution

I programmed it over the period of a month using IntelliJ’s WebStorm application. There were no reviews of any kind and I presented it as-is to my team. The results were very positive.

Additional Features

One cheesy feature I threw in was the weather feature. Weather provided by Forecast.io and animated icons from Skycons nicely present the forecast over one week period.

weather

Download/Source

You can download it over at GitHub:

https://github.com/calvinbui/home

Future

If anyone continues my work there were a few things I really wanted to achieve:

  • Drag and Drop functionality to reorder items and sections
  • Pin notices e.g. power outage @ 5pm
  • Better user experience with animations and better validation
  • Create more than just bookmarks e.g. notes
  • More system monitoring