Documentation forSolarWinds Platform

Building a report

In Orion Platform 2020.2.6, the Report Writer tool is removed from the SolarWinds Platform. Migrate the reports to the web and use the web-based reports.

One of the best ways to learn how anything works is to take it apart and build it back up from its parts. We can do this with Orion Report Writer and gain an insight to its inner workings. It should be noted that there is more than one path to take when creating new reports:

  • The pre-built reports can be opened and edited as shown in the previous section

  • A completely new report can be created using the Report Writer GUI

  • A new report can be created by entering SQL queries into an Advanced SQL report

The first two are very similar; while the Advanced SQL report requires a deep level of SQL knowledge and experience.

Clicking on New, or the Create a new report button to go to the first New Report screen.

At first glance, it might seem strange that we are creating a new report yet we are asked to choose a report type. This is done to assist you in locating the report variables for the type of report you are creating. For example, if we choose the Event Logs type, the Event related fields are made available.

Likewise, if we choose Historical CPU Load and Memory, we are given the appropriate fields to select.

This simplifies the report creation process for existing report types by not requiring you to search through every possible element.

What if you need to create a report that does not fall into any of these categories? Selecting the Advanced SQL report type provides a completely blank slate from which you can create any type of report you need, assuming you have access to sufficient SQL skills and are selecting data contained in the SolarWinds Platform database. The Advanced SQL report type does not include Time Frame, Top XX, and other tabs. All the information that these tabs create must be contained in the SQL query.

The example above selects the existing nodes and lists them by node name. The same report can be created using the New Report GUI option.

When using the New Report GUI, the tabs, such as Top XX and Filter Results, are available. These will build the SQL query in the background as you specify options in each tab. For historical reports, the Time Frame tab will also be available. Also note that the SQL tab in the GUI is read only – you cannot enter SQL directly into the SQL tab unless you are using an Advanced SQL report.

Filters operate like the conditions in Orion Advanced Alerts and include All, Any, Not All, and None options. Using the Any option I will see nodes that are either up or down. If I had used the All option the report would be for nodes that are up and down at the same time, an impossibility. For details on the All, Any None and Not All options see the Understanding Orion Advanced Alerts paper located on the SolarWinds Support page ( Here is an example of a filter:

And here is the resulting report.

After you have created or modified a report. That report will be available in the NPM Web console in the Reports view.