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KyK – Mobile App for Zenoss

KyK – Mobile App Interface to the Zenoss Monitoring System

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Summary

Internally at dotUK we were already utilising the Zenoss Monitoring system to monitor core infrastructure and client installations, however we wanted an improved method of accessing, and acknowledging alerts in as quick, and seamless a manner as possible – from wherever you were located.

Technical

Client dotUK
Platforms iOS (iPhone/ iPod), Android Smartphone, Zenoss API
Technologies Titanium Mobile, Javascript, REST API
Development type Mobile App, Web Services Integration

Case Study

The Zenoss monitoring system is a hosted product, in our case within our core datacentre in the North East, and is primarily accessible from with a web browser.  Alerts to SLA’d events are primarily handled through email, SMS, and Voice, but access to view and acknowledge alerts is web based, and can be inconvenient if not situated near a browser.

KyK ScreenshotHowever Zenoss, it’s own web interface included, is powered by a REST based API utilising JSON as the common language, and using Basic HTTP authentication to identify and route allowed user access.  It is through this API that we decided to interface, from a mobile based application, for convenience.  Primarily an iOS app (iPhone App, also compatible with iPad and iPod) was chosen, as internally it was the smartphone of choice, however it was considered that as a cross platform mobile application co we should lead by example and build for all core smartphone platforms, and hence in addition to iOS, Android was added to the roadmap.

In order to develop for multiple platforms technical considerations (iOS development natively uses Objective C, whilst Android utilises Java) have to be weighed against time, budget, support costs, and other resources.  In an ideal world dual, parallel developments could be made, but in this case we chose to develop using the Titanium Mobile framework from Appcelerator, which allows for the re-use of up to 95% of code across both platforms, including the core UI with only exceptions being made for platform specific functions and anomalies.  With dotUK being one of the few Titanium Certified App Developers in the UK, and certainly in the North East Developer Community it was also deemed an excellent showcase for the platform.

With that in mind KyK (from the Afrikaans for ‘Watching’) was born as a concept and was successfully launched in August 2012 into the Apple App Store in two flavours.  KyK-Lite that offers a free, read only mobile app interface to Zenoss, and the commercial product KyK that allows all the features of KyK-Lite, but in addition allows the ability to acknowledge events in real time, and to view the logs of existing active, but acknowledged events.  In addition an active Beta release has been made for the Android platform.

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