A new year and a new version: welcome to netTerrain 9.0! The advent of 9.0 marks our last single digit major release and the first incarnation of the 9.x series, also called “Europe” (which you’ll notice as soon as you log in or take a look at the guide covers featuring beautiful landscapes from the continent).

9.0 brings a plethora of improvements, but probably the new ‘big’ feature is the brand new mobile netTerrain app. We also added features around usability, visualization, work orders and more. There were the usual new features, small fixes and improvements, and also many tickets related to the Collector and the API. Some of the features are specific to a product — such as the improvements in the strand and circuit management for the Outside Plant (OSP) product or the rack composite view for the Data Center Infrastructure (DCIM) product — but mostly all improvements apply to all users.

Below is a bulleted list of some of the bigger items that you may care about (if you are a current 8.6 user):

1.1.1 New mobile app

It’s finally here: our first mobile app. This app will let you do some basic operations and can be downloaded from the Google Play or Apple stores and will work with most Android and Apple devices. To download the app, you can search for ‘_netterrain’ or ‘netTerrain Graphical Networks’ and download the app to your phone.

This app is available for any user of netTerrain, whether you are just documenting or mapping the network, managing racks and cables in your DCIM environment, or performing fiber plant and OSP duties. This first release lets you do the following:

  • Connect the app to any netTerrain server
  • Search any object in your netTerrain environment, including nodes, links, devices, cards, ports and more
  • Inspect an object by viewing its properties
  • Edit objects properties
  • Access Zendesk support to open a ticket straight from your phone
  • Download one of our guides for your reading pleasure

Finding objects in the mobile app

1.1.2 New drawing tool

After many requests we finally have an option for adding lines, multi-lines and polygons without having to use actual nodes or links.

On any diagram you can now draw a line or a path, without having to connect it to end nodes, change its properties and create your own free-form polygon.

New drawing feature

This is useful in many scenarios: decorating a network topology view with polygons to mark different zones in your network diagram, or perhaps to add a shape to a GIS-based diagram highlighting the boundaries of a specific fiber network coverage area.

1.1.3 Composite view for racks

Another feature requested many times that made its way to version 9 is the ability to create a composite view of racks. For DCIM users this is a neat feature when you want to view several rack elevations side-by-side on one diagram. This feature even lets you create cables between devices on different racks, all from one diagram.

Rack composite view

1.1.4 Global override for devices

As netTerrain, along with the Collector, is turning into a full-fledged IT monitoring solution and not just a network documentation tool, we keep adding features to make real-time alarming and notifications easier. One such feature is the new global visual override for devices.

Now, if you want to display any device in, say, red — if it is alarmed, you don’t have to create a visual override for each device. Instead, you can create a global visual override that applies to all devices and you can do so for multiple criteria. This global override only applies to the status field (which is the field that will be mapped automatically with the collector for real-time status updates in case you are using our SNMP network discovery to report on device status).

1.1.5 Other features

There are numerous other features in this version, including the following (partial) list:

  • New API event-handler that uses the so-called on property change event, which you can leverage to program your own triggers when a property changes values
  • New object triggers function to launch custom dlls using the new API event handler
  • Work order improvements for DCIM: deletes now create tasks for link dependencies, you can easily copy/paste link tasks and more
  • New type table selection options limited to visible objects only
  • New button to get Excel import spreadsheet directly from menu
  • Security improvements: updated FIPS compliance, MFA improvements and more
  • Annotator can now manage attached documents
  • Dragonfly wizard redesign (nice way to get started quickly for your new users)
  • Ability to open task list for a node upon double-clicking (great for quicker DCIM work order management)
  • Hide all layer option for nodes type
  • Duplicate bend points for all feature now supports multiple containers (great for fiber plant paths)
  • Ability to get to the strand connections in swimlane CLR view (OSP users have been requesting this shortcut for a while)
  • And much more!

For a full list of improvements, please refer to the 9.0 release notes: they are available for any current customers under maintenance. For a list of feature improvements related to version 8.6 or older, you may have to dig up the corresponding newsletters and release notes provided on our website or just ask us.

1.1.6 How to upgrade?

The way you upgrade has also changed! It is now easier than ever: instead of manually submitting a request, opening a ticket, etc, you can upgrade straight from the software itself.

When you are logged in as an administrator, head over to the admin console and all the way at the bottom you’ll see a “request software upgrade” button.

As usual, we communicate upgrades through our portal and also via email; we make them available (at no charge, of course) for any customers under maintenance that respond to our announcements. Should you have any questions around this, or need support for the upgrade, just email our support channel or enter a ticket in the portal.

Happy documenting!

About Jan Durnhofer

As CEO / Product and Engineering Manager, Jan joined Graphical Networks with the purpose of creating the most advanced DCIM and IT visualization company in the market.