The Boring Lab

Feature Release: Boring For Your Browser

It’s time to welcome a new Boring product to the party. Introducing: The Boring Web Dashboard! See what’s new in the updated, browser-based version of our popular VMS web dashboard. We’ve improved upon the features you know and love, added new functionality, and then made it as intuitive as possible for any member of your team to access your VMS.
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The Best Browser-Based Dashboard For Monitoring & Sharing The Health Status of Video Cameras & Recording Servers in Your XProtect VMS

Excel reports are great. Everyone loves excel. We have friends that are excel reports. We appreciate how they just tell it how it is; lay the facts out there and let you come to your own conclusions. We’ve always appreciated that about them, real straight-shooters.

But there is something about data insights displayed on a sleek, modern dashboard that gets our blood pumping. Not to mention that the insights you know and love (and then some!) will be available on any computer, using any browser, anytime, anywhere. 

Did you hear that? That’s the sound of fewer notifications because your team can check on the health of your cameras and recording servers themselves. 

The Boring browser-based web dashboard is a powerful new feature that complements our existing Toolbox product by giving you more insights and more ways to use them.

Accessible from any browser, you are able to share important system health information with relevant colleagues, even if they don’t have Milestone or the Boring Client installed on their computer. So now your colleague who refuses to give up their Macbook and the one who can’t read an excel report to save their life, won’t need to! They can simply log in to Boring from their browser and see everything they need to know about how your video security system is functioning. 

We just got chills. And we haven’t even told you about all of the cool new insights you can find on your new web dashboard!!!

Buckle up, we’re digging into every feature and showing you every filter, every setting, every insight, pixel by pixel. 

VMS Health Insights: Now Accessible to Whoever, Whenever, and Wherever You Need It

The Boring Web Dashboard is our first release in our mission to migrate the Boring Toolbox to a browser-based application.

Our main goal? Accessibility.

Security teams are typically small. And they need to be able to easily share data across cross functional teams. Currently, there’s no built in functionality in Milestone to do this.

Milestone users without The Boring Toolbox have no easy way to pull and share information about the health of their system. Their best option for sharing this critical information is to do so by sending screenshots… yikes.

But with The Boring Toolbox, Milestone users can share information about their VMS with their team in a number of ways! Pull a .csv report in seconds using one-click reporting, schedule reports to send on a regular cadence, or give your colleagues their own login to access the health insights themselves from their browser! No software needed!

All you need is a chrome browser to login and voila! They can see which cameras need attention, which recording servers are nearly full, and more valuable insights so your team can take action immediately. 

Features You'll Recognize From The OG Local & Global Dashboards

We took the features you know and love and brought new life to them, making them easier to use, better at providing valuable insights, and more accessible to cross functional teams.

Live Monitoring Summary

Live Monitoring on the web dashboard has the same functionality you know and love but now has a cool new look.

Live monitoring gives you easy access to real-time insights about the health of your VMS. The section is now in a higher and more prominent location on the interface, giving you more immediate visibility into what is happening with your system.

Recording Server Storage Health

Our recording server storage health quickly identifies only the recording servers that need your attention, but with new functionality.

The web dashboard monitors both XProtect archive configuration as well as physical storage on the servers themselves. In short, you don’t have to worry about losing precious video due to misconfiguration of archive storage in Milestone, and can be proactive about potential issues.

New Dashboard Insights You'll Love

In addition to retaining some familiar functionality, we’ve added a few exciting new features to the Web Dashboard.

Quickly Check Recent Camera & Recording Server Up & Down Events

If you haven’t logged into your Milestone VMS or the Boring Toolbox in a while, Recent Events is going to be your new best friend.

The feature appears on the right side of the interface and functions as a timeline of the most pertinent recent events that have occurred in your system while you were away.

A use case for Recent Events

If you’re watching Live Monitoring throughout the day, you may notice that a few of your cameras are not providing video. If this happens, don’t worry. You can check the Recent Events log to see which cameras went down and when. The log is updated in real-time, so you can see what is happening as it happens.

Filter By Camera Criticality

Previously, you could tag cameras as critical but you would have to turn on Critical Camera Mode on the site itself. But once Critical Camera Mode was turned on, The Boring Toolbox would only send notifications when a critical camera stops providing video.

In this new release, the change in notifications (emails) for critical cameras has been made optional. That means you can maintain current notification functionality yet see, on the dashboard, those higher SLA cameras that are having issues and need more immediate attention.

This feature can be life-changing for users that have cameras with differing service-level agreements.

A use case for critical cameras:

Video cameras located at a hospital are typically split into groups based on their functionality, ie. security and patient care. The cameras used for monitoring patient care are critical to the health and safety of the patient and staff and therefore are the most important and should be prioritized in making sure they have the highest uptime possible. An admin would tag the patient health cameras as critical so that if one of those critical cameras stop providing video, the admin is alerted separately from the rest of the cameras and can address those cameras urgently.
 
Critical cameras can be found in the Live Monitoring section of the dashboard for immediate visibility when you need it most.

Be Proactive In Identifying Potential Flapping Cameras

The idea behind flapping cameras was born while spending time supporting some of our clients. When working with them we saw the “cameras providing video” number on the live monitoring tile continuously fluctuate. Investigating this further we found that this behavior was caused by camera hardware or POE issues.

Being notified about recording errors is only really helpful when its a real and relevant issue. We solved the over-notification problem with the introduction of our notification thresholds which allows you to define what constitutes a relevant issue.

But what about the cameras that experience multiple down events within that threshold period? Great point, thanks for asking. Occasionally these temperamental cameras can fly under the radar without triggering a notification.

We call these ‘flapping cameras.’

Our new Flapping Camera module gives you the power to set your own filters on what defines a flapping camera, making it easier to pinpoint any cameras that may be acting abnormally.

For example: “See cameras with a minimum of [3] down events that lasted at least [30] seconds within the last [12] hours.”

The Flapping Camera signal gives you insight into potential problems within your system, allowing you to be even more proactive about the health of your VMS.

Monitor for Potential SD-Card Errors

The new SD card health monitoring is really useful for our customers who are using SD cards for edge storage.

Using an SD card can be beneficial in the event that a camera loses connection to the recording server, or if the recording server fails, your footage will be safe, saved on the SD Card.

Using SD cards as a failsafe is a great plan, that is, unless the SD Card is full or any other number of errors has gotten in the way of the recording. To verify the storage capacity of your SD Cards, you’d have to log into each camera manually. Depending on how many cameras you have in your system, that could potentially take a very long time.

Not anymore!

We have partnered with Axis, Hanwaha and Bosch to give you access to SD Card insights directly from your browser. No need to verify each SD Card manually, The Boring Toolbox will tell you which SD Cards need attention.

Easily Verify How Many Cameras Are Not Recording Video To Their Disk

The ‘cameras without saved video’ functionality was built to provide more in depth insights on which cameras in your system may not be recording any video to the disk.

Although some cameras may not be recording by design, calling them out allows admins to have even more visibility into what’s actually happening in their system so they know exactly when and how to take action when things go awry.

How to Access the Web Dashboard

All Boring customers with an active Boring Upgrade Subscription (BUS) will have access to all of the features included on our new Boring Browser Dashboard.

Get access today when you upgrade to the latest version of The Boring Toolbox.

Aspiring Boring Toolbox customer?

Try it FOR FREE when you sign up for a 30-day free trial.

By improving the existing features you know and love and adding new functionality, Boring’s Browser Dashboard is the most accessible Milestone VMS health dashboard in the game.

Get Access to The Boring Toolbox For Free

Sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial of The Boring Toolbox and start using our time-saving features today.

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