08 August 2017 Releases

Kibana 6.0.0-beta1 is released

By Jim Goodwin

This is the first beta release of Kibana 6.0.0. This release has a lot of new features including: Upgrade Assistant and Rolling Upgrade Support, Watcher UI for Threshold Based Alerts, an Experimental Kibana Query Language, Refactor of the Visualization Code, X-Pack Monitoring Email Notifications for Cluster Alert, Cluster Alert for X-Pack License Expiration, New Colors to Improve Accessibility, and Full Screen Mode for Dashboard. As well as over 111 enhancements and 64 bug fixes across Kibana and X-Pack, see the release notes for all of the details.

Remember, these beta releases cannot be used in production they are for evaluation purposes only, they contain known bugs and are not feature complete.

Kibana 6.0.0-beta1 is available on our downloads page and please take a look at the complete release notes.

Please join our Pioneer Program and help us improve the Elastic Stack and earn recognition for your efforts along with a cool gift package.

Upgrade Assistant and Rolling Upgrade Support

To aid in migrating to version 6 of the Elastic stack, we are providing an upgrade assistant as part of X-Pack Basic (free) in 5.6.0. The upgrade assistant identifies breaking changes to index and cluster settings and allows you to enable deprecation logging. Internal indices used by the stack will need to be reindexed, in addition to any indices created in 2.x. The assistant provides a one-click solution to these migrations. issue_1619_2.png

After resolving deprecation issues and migrating indices, you are ready to upgrade your stack. Elasticsearch 5.6 supports rolling upgrades to 6.x, and Kibana 5.6 can run in tandem with an Elasticsearch cluster undergoing a rolling upgrade. Once the full Elasticsearch cluster has been upgraded, you can upgrade Kibana to 6.x.


Watcher UI for Threshold Based Alerts


We've introduced a new UI for creating and editing alerts based on thresholds. It includes a builder experience with type-ahead suggestions and graphical feedback based on previewing the alert constraints. It supports sending alert messages with template values to the log, email, or slack. See the demonstration animation below for a quick look at the new functionality:

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Experimental Kibana Query Language


In #12282 we introduce an Experimental Kibana Query Language it is disabled by default and can be enabled through the Kibana configuration. 

Kibana currently provides four different search mechanisms with overlapping responsibilities:

  1. Lucene query syntax in the query bar
  2. Query DSL in the query bar
  3. Filters created via the UI (which could include custom query DSL if edited)
  4. Console

Exposing the Lucene query syntax and the query DSL to users creates a few problems. Since we don't control the query syntax we can't implement features that would require introspection into a user's query. This includes things like:

  1. Safe and seamless migrations of saved searches when ES search APIs change
  2. Typeahead/autocomplete in the query bar
  3. Dynamic help text

We could solve these problems by building a model in Kibana to represent raw Elasticsearch queries, but there are other advantages to building our own query language:

  1. We can support query types that are available in the ES query DSL that are not supported by the Lucene query syntax
  2. We can implement functionality that is beyond the scope of the Lucene query syntax, e.g. support for aggregations and visualizations in the query language
  3. We can provide finer grain controls for admins to restrict access to expensive queries, e.g. leading wildcards or regexes
  4. We can add support for scripted fields to the language
  5. We can unify the query bar and the filter bar, eliminating confusion about when to use one or the other

So, we hope you'll turn on the Kibana Query Language and give it a spin and send us feedback!

Refactoring of the Visualizations Code

When creating new visualizations, developers are no longer restricted to using just Angular as a rendering technology. The code now also enables developers to create custom editors that do not conform to the current sidebar-layout. Commonly used functionality - such as access to the query bar or time filter - is now also exposed on the visualization object. This avoids the need to import individual modules from inside Kibana. These changes are a first step in a longer term effort to provide a robust long-lived programming interface for building visualizations in Kibana.

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X-Pack Monitoring Email Notifications for Cluster Alerts

Cluster Alerts in Monitoring was added in the 5.4 release, but until now the alerts only appeared on the Overview page of the Monitoring app. This new feature allows you to receive email notifications when the alerts are triggered. To use it, go to the Advanced Settings page in Kibana Management, enter an email address for `xpack:defaultAdminEmail`, and click Save:

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The built-in alerts will send an email to that address when they initially trigger, and when they're resolved. 

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Using this feature does require that your Elasticsearch nodes are configured for the ability to send emails from watches. If you haven't set that up yet, take a look at the X-Pack documentation for "Configuring Email Accounts": https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/x-pack/current/act... 

Cluster Alert for X-Pack License Expiration

When we released the first phase of Cluster Alerts, we promised there will be more alert types to come, and we're delivering on that promise with the new X-Pack License Expiration alert. This alert will tell you when your X-Pack license is close to expiration. It starts as a low-priority alert when expiration is 30 days away, becomes a medium-priority alert when expiration is 15 days away, then becomes a high-priority alert when the expiration is 7 days away.

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New Colors to Improve Accessibility

In 6.0 we're working across Kibana to improve Accessibility, one of those efforts is to make the colors in the UI have appropriate contrast for folks who have different forms of color blindness. We've redone the styling for most of Kibana in this beta to address these issues. Here are some sample screens:

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We're also working on screen reading and keyboard navigation throughout Kibana:

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More improvements on the way as we head for 6.0 GA!

Full Screen Mode for Dashboard

You can now enter full screen mode when viewing a dashboard. This hides the browser chrome and the top nav bar. If you have any filters applied, you'll see the filter bar, otherwise that will be hidden as well. To exit full screen mode, hover over and click the Kibana button on the lower left side of the page, or simply press the ESC key. This mode complements the Dashboard Only Mode introduced in alpha2, and together they make a great solution for monitors in NOC's, SOC's and other KIosks around the office!

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