This page was last modified 05:26, 22 August 2007.

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portal3G is the web-based front-end to sentinel3G. In it's current incarnation, portal3G is a report/view only tool. It lacks any sentinel3G configuration options, although it does allow you to tailor reports and graphs for viewing. It can be installed on any machine in your network that is running a web server. Functional Software recommends that the portal3G software be running on a machine that is also a sentinel3G host, and preferably a sentinel3G Event Host, as that limits data traffic while generating reports.


Portal3G is installed in a similar manner to COSmanager. Download the Portal3G installation file from our online downloads repository to a temporary directory on the target host.


code cpio -ic P3Ginstall < <distribution_file>

Once the file has been extracted, run:

code ./P3Ginstall <distribution_file> [path_to_install]

and follow the prompts to install Portal3G. The optional path_to_install must be relative to your Apache Document Root, or an error will be generated.

If you are installing Portal3G under Linux, omit the image:openquote.jpg -c image:closequote.jpg flag from the above cpio command

The installation will do checks for various minimum requirements, including Apache and PHP. It has been verified as working under Linux, Solaris and Windows versions of Apache. It has not been tested against, or designed for use on, any other web server at this time.


The default initial screen displays 3 panels:

Portal3G Menu

The menu is the main means for navigating the portal. It usually contains 3 panels, the Host View, the Reporting and the External Links panel. This is customizable, and the Menu can contain as few as one, or as many as your end users could reasonably be expected to use. As a suggestion, more than five or six would become too confusing and cluttered, and the ease of use of the menu system would be lessened.

The menu tabs can be shown in any order you choose, and any particular item can be the default item to open. It does not have to be merely the top menu that is shown open at the start.

Each menu tab consists of three things:

The actual menu panel itself is normally a tree-style directory navigation structure. This makes the information presented in the menu easy to get to, and it lessens the amount of clutter presented to the user. As with most other parts of portal3G, this can be made into anything you like, simply by changing the *.php file associated with a menu panel.

Host View

As a general rule, the Host View is the default starting view. This is a top down look at the system(s) being monitored by sentinel3G. The highest severity level is propagated from the affected sentry to the top level, so you can see at a glance if there is a problem anywhere on a given system.

This view works the same as the normal console view under sentinel3G, with the single difference that no configuration is possible from portal3G.

You can move down the system by clicking on the relevant icons. To move back up the system, there is a button on the window toolbar for "Go Up one Folder". For more information on portal3G Navigation buttons please see Window Toolbar Icons

Recent Events Banner

This is a small banner that sits up above the menu and console view. It reports that last five most recent events that took place across the entire system. The small arrow icon takes you to a complete Event History summary, which can also be found in the Reporting Panel on the portal3G menu.

This is a non-movable, non-closable window. It can be disabled in the configuration.

Interface Notes

Portal3G currently runs under a series of re-usable windows, that are defined at initial load time. These windows remain undisplayed, and unused until a link calls them into view. There are several types of window available, with varying default properties. Some are moveable, some start maximised, some do not have full controls, and so forth. If a link attempts to use a target that has not been used before, the content will appear in a new portal3G Window. If the window has been displayed before, the existing content will be overwritten with the new content.

Closing a portal3G window will lose any state that the window may have had, as the content is removed from the Document tree. It is, in effect, destroyed.

The view in each window will refresh itself every two minutes by default. This is configurable on a per-customer, per-window basis. The refreshed view will be the view that has most recently changed the content in the page. That is, if a report is generated, and then you use the configuration menu to change the details of the report, this will regenerate the window, with the new graph content. This new graph is the view that will be refreshed every two minutes. The two minute timer resets every time a link is opened in a given window, so various open windows will refresh out of sync with each other.

As a general rule, all portal3G windows can be moved around the screen. The main notable exception to this is the Event History Banner that sits above the menu. This banner, when active, is fixed in position, and can be neither moved, nor closed. It is possible to open a new window that is immovable, but this is not advised, as it runs counter to the idea of the portal3G interface as a whole.

All ‘windows’ with the exceptions of the Menu and Event History banner can be closed by clicking the ‘X’ icon in the top right. Any ‘windows’ that may be needed again will be re-opened automatically.


The main panels are all configurable on a per-user basis. For example, not all users would require the Event History panel, or the user may only have access to view certain reports.


The monitoring Menu Tab displays a list of hosts that are currently being monitored. You can use the tree-menu to navigate directly to a problem in this panel, or use any point of the menu to jump to in the main console window. It shows the highest alert state for that host. This state is propagated all the way to the top, so a simple glance at the very top level will alert you to the presence of any problems, across your entire system.

Also displays a list of known hosts that are not currently being monitored, either through intent or accident.


By default, this shows links to a Host Summary, an Exception Summary, a Summary of Recent Events, and if your installation is configured for webscout3G, it will show a webscout3G Summary.

All of these summaries allow a quick overview of the current status of your organization. The Exception Summary is the same as the host Summary, but it only shows those sentries that are in a state of "Alarm" or higher. This is configurable through the interface, to show any severity level you choose. It is, in fact, possible to get the Exception Summary view from the standard Host Summary by configuring warning levels.

While in the Summary screen, you can click on sections to hide/view a more detailed analysis of the problem.

The Web Monitoring Summary is similar in concept to the Host Summary, but provides an overview of internet based services, rather than machine based problems. This includes availability, response times, security, synthetic transactions, and email round trip times. The Web monitoring summary is presented as a series of ‘lights’ that correspond to the colour of the current alert state. Clicking on any of these ‘lights’ will take you to a more detailed view of the problem.

External Links

This banner is typically used to store commonly used URLs, informational pages, or anything else that is not generated by a Functional Software product.

It can also be used a security ‘wrapper’ to allow access to internal websites based on the roles system used in COSmanager products. For example, many companies use a web-based mechanism to co-ordinate and apply for leave. By giving certain users different access roles, or user levels, it's possible to restrict the "back end" processes of this system to those with the correct authorization, while still enabling the portal3G installation to be used as a gateway to your corporate intranet.

Portal3G can also be used to link in to 3rd party applications, making for a common interface for all your web-based tools. A company may be using software such as Crystal Reports to collate data that comes in from sentinel3G and another monitoring tool. By opening the Crystal Reports generated Report in a portal3G window, you could also look at the raw data from sentinel3G and the other monitoring tool, without the need to constantly switch web environments.

Window Toolbar Icons

Image:close.jpg - Closes the Window

Image:info.jpg - Located at bottom of Menu. Shows general information about portal3G, as well as your current configuration

Image:logout.jpg - Located at bottom of Menu. Logs the current user out of portal3G, and returns to the login screen

Image:folder.jpg - Navigates one folder up in the system

Image:home.jpg - Returns to the Top Level view in the console

Image:max.jpg - Maximises the window to take up as much real estate as is available.

Image:restore.jpg - Restores the window to the dimensions it held prior to being maximised.

Image:print.jpg - Prints the content of the current window

Image:refresh.jpg - Refreshes the current content of the window. This also resets the refresh timer.

Image:scrollup.jpg - Scrolls the content window up into the titlebar. Hides the content, while still displaying the window decorations

Image:scrolldown.jpg - Shows the content again, after having it hidden.


portal3G can be used along side the Customer KB to give individual users their own dedicated view of their monitoring environment. Just about every facet of the portal can be customized on a per-user basis. By default, each sentinel3G user defined in the COSmanager user table already has access to the portal. These users are given access based on their role. By using the Customer KB, a site can give customized access to just about anyone, without needing to give them the ability to configure or change anything about sentinel. Please see the Customer KB entry for information on setting up a new customer.

For portal to detect customers that are described in the customer KB, these settings need to be configured on what portal considers its "local" machine. This is the host that portal has been told is the Event Host. More often than not, this is the system Event Host (i.e. the machine from which the normal console is viewed).

If the Customer KB is installed on a different machine, the settings for each remote machine running the Customer KB must be duplicated into the Customer KB on the portal Event Host.

Each user can be given a configuration directory underneath the main portal3G installation. If a user does not have a directory (named the same as their username), the default configuration will be used.

Files used in Customization

Please note, that you do not need to copy every file listed below. Most of them are fine for defaults, and should be left in a single locale. You should only move any file that you wish to modify to the corresponding users directory.

To preserve space, and sanity of the table of contents. The list of files used in configuration and their descriptions has been moved to its own page: portal3G_Customization_Files