Building Big Data applications is easy - Part 3

by Admin 27. June 2014 10:07

Splunk Web Framework - Part 3


Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been more than five weeks since my last post… In my own defense I have been travelling a lot again with a couple of trips to Switzerland, one to Germany and some other stuff that I’m already forgetting. Normally I’d spend the hours stuck at foreign airports writing interesting little articles to keep you all amused. Unfortunately some of the airports I have been stuck at have somewhat limited resources, and I also have some other projects on the go which are rather limiting my time for posting. More on that in another post though…

So this time I thought I’d just tidy up what we have been talking about with developing using the Splunk Web Framework. By now you have the core of what you need so I just thought I’d throw a couple of things out there for you to consider if you are building your own Apps.


The first thing is nice and simple. I wanted to have some navigation in my app so I found some code on the Interweb for a CSS menu bar. Nice and simple, no JavaScript needed, ready to paste directly into you style sheet and html markup file. But I wanted the menu bar to be the same on every page so that I didn’t find things getting out of step. Easy peezy, just something like:

{% include "menu2.html" %}

Inside your content block to include HTML from another file. Using this technique you can easily build modular code that will be easier to read and maintain.

The next thing I wanted to do was to visualize some data in a different way. I quickly discovered that it is very easy using Scalable Vector Graphics in HTML 5 to build your own charts. Even better, other people have already done this and in the true spirit of the net have made these freely available. Just look-up d3 Charts to find a wealth of visualisations you can add straight into your app.


All you need to do is to download (or reference) the JavaScript for the visualisation you want like this:

<script src="{{STATIC_URL}}{{app_name}}/sankey.js"></script>

And then hook it up in JavaScript to your data manager by doing something like this:

var data ='results', {

output_mode: 'json_rows',

count: 0 // get all results


Lastly I wanted to handle some click events on my charts. The Splunk charts have some default click handling but that takes you back into the search application which isn’t what I wanted. To handle the click event you need to ensure it is enabled but that the default event is overridden. Set the property


In the Django binding for the chart item (previously we set this to none) and create a JavaScript handler on the chart by doing something like this:

myChart.on("click:chart", function (e) {

    e.preventDefault(); // Prevent redirecting to the Search app



    document.getElementById("tab-header-3").className = headerClass + ' active';

    document.getElementById("tab-content-3").className = contentClass + ' active';        





What your handler does is up to you of course but in mine I was linking the selection in one chart to the drive the visualisation in another. This is very easy in Splunk 6.1 and comes as a default but I felt I was pretty clever doing this in 6.0. It just goes to show how hard it is to stay out in front.

One bonus piece before we go. The whole point of using the Django Web Framework is that it allows you to access other services and facilities hosted on your server. This makes it really easy to build applications that mix Splunk with other things to allow you to build very rich systems. This is a very trivial example but this is how you can pass data to your App from the server.

In the file, add some code like this:



def home(request):

    now =

    today = now.strftime("%A, %b %d, %Y")

    return {

        "today": today


This creates a variable in your Django template populated at view time. To make use of the value just put this anywhere in your markup:

{{ today }}

And you will have the time. Clearly a trivial example and I’m sure that you can think of better ideas for this.

There is a lot more that you can do of course. It is fairly simple to include AJAX calls from you code for instance which would give you a very interactive dashboard able to get data from many different sources. Here however we start to get away from the core Splunkiness of what we set-out to do so I will leave that to the reader to explore further as the mood takes them.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief series.


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