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Good design goes mostly unnoticed. If a user interface works well, you simply complete a task and move on to the next. That time when something doesn't work as expected, or you think why do I have to do it this way, is when the design becomes much more noticeable.

The following is a look back over recent months at some notable UI/UX improvements making their way to Apache NiFi. They vary a lot in size and complexity, but overall they contribute equally to make NiFi better by design.

Provenance Storage Information

NiFi conveniently provides storage information about flowfile and content repositories that it uses when processing. Now you can get those same storage metrics for provenance data within a cluster as well an instance's system diagnostics view.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-4341

Managing Variables

The first step in configuring and managing reusable name/value pairs in NiFi was committed recently. As with access policies in NiFi, variables are created at a process group level–described as scope in the UI–and made available to supporting components contained within.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-4280

Provenance Migration Guidance

With a refactored provenance repository introduced in NiFi 1.2, documentation is now available to assist users wanting to better understand the new properties and migrate from a persistent configuration to the newer write-ahead configuration.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-4276

User Interaction Shortcuts

Just a couple quick mentions that can help increase workflow efficiency: (1) You can double-click a processor on the canvas to quickly open the configuration dialog and (2) also double-click an event node on the provenance lineage graph to get event details.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-4266 | https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-1580

Analyzing Startup Times

Now startup times printed when deploying NiFi will provide a nice summary in seconds after the very precise–but somewhat difficult to mentally convert–nanosecond count.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-4221

OpenID Connect Support

Support for authenticating users using the OpenID Connect specification was added.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-4210

Expanding Context Menus

NiFi UI menu options are growing, making the size of some quite large. Multi-level, or cascading menus have been introduced that will help improve the understanding of available actions by grouping related options together.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-4044

Consistent Sorting of Attributes

Flowfile attributes from a queue are now listed alphabetically (by attribute name) just as they always have when viewing them in provenance data.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-3707

Root Process Group Context Menu

When right-clicking the canvas the context menu is now more consistent with others by providing actions such as Configure, Start, Stop, etc. Previously these were only available via the Operate palette.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-3181

Link Directly to a Process Group

With this improvement it is now possible to copy the URL from your browser's address bar and use it as a direct link to that specific part of the data flow.

https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/NIFI-3035

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