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What is binjr?

binjr is a time series browser; it renders time series data produced by other applications as dynamically editable charts and provides advanced features to navigate the data smoothly and efficiently (drag & drop, zoom, history, detachable tabs, advanced time-range picker).

It is a standalone client application, that runs independently of the applications that produce the data; there are no application server or server side components dedicated to binjr that needs to be installed on the source.
Like a generic SQL browser only requires a driver to connect and retrieve data from a given DBMS, binjr only needs one specifically written piece of code - here called a data adapter - to enable the dialog with a specific source of time series data.

binjr was originally designed - and it still mostly used - to browse performance metrics collected from computers and software components, but it was built as a forensic analysis tool, to investigate performance issues or applications crashes, rather than as a typical monitoring application.

Because of that, the user experience is more reminiscent of using a profiling application than a dashboard-oriented monitoring platform; it revolves around enabling the user to compose a custom view by using any of the time-series exposed by the source, simply by dragging and dropping them on the view.
That view then constantly evolves, as the user adds or removes series, from different sources, while navigating through it by changing the time range, the type of chart visualization and smaller aspects such as the colour or transparency for each individual series.
The user can then save the current state of the session at any time to a file, in order to reopen it later or to share it with someone else.

…and what it isn’t

  • binjr┬áis not a system performance collector, nor a collector of anything else for that matter. What it provides is efficient navigation and pretty presentation for time series collected elsewhere.
  • binjr is not a cloud solution. It’s not even a server based solution; it’s entirely a client application, albeit one that can get its data from remote servers. Think of it as a browser, only just for time series.
  • binjr is not a live system monitoring dashboard. While you can use it to connect to live sources, its feature set is not geared toward that particular task, and there are better tools for that out there. Instead, it aims to be an investigation tool, for when you don’t necessarily know what you’re looking for beforehand and you’ll want to build and change the view of the data as you navigate through it rather than be constrained by pre-determined dashboards.