What's New in Tower 3: User Interface

October 3, 2016 by Jared Tabor


In July, we released Ansible Tower 3. In this blog series, we will take a deeper dive into Tower changes that were all designed to make our product simpler and easier to scale Ansible automation across your environments. In our last post, our Senior Software Engineer Chris Meyers highlights what's new in the Tower 3 installer.

If you’d like to learn more about the release, our Director of Product Bill Nottingham wrote a complete overview of the Ansible Tower 3 updates.

Simplifying the UX

The most common feedback we have received from existing Tower users concerns usability and the need to improve it. The Ansible Tower UI team was tasked to address this, along with new workflows and features, during the development of Tower 3. This was no small task as the team had to change every single page served to the user. 

Tower 2.4.5 and earlier versions offered many ways of doing the same thing, often resulting in inconsistent flows and context switching. The team wanted the new interface to reflect how simple Ansible is. So the goal became offering a common flow for interacting with objects in the app and providing more context where possible.

Wrapping up a year of planning, design, and development, our team is beyond excited to release Ansible Tower 3. Not only were we able to improve the overall aesthetics of the app, we also made it easier to use, and getting up and running takes less effort than ever before.

List Views

One example is how users interact with objects inside list and CRUD views, which is the majority of the interface. Here's the Tower dashboard before and after, displaying improved list views for recent jobs.

Tower 2.4 - Dashboard

Ansible Tower 2.4 Dashboard

Tower 3.0 - Dashboard

Ansible Tower 3.0 Dashboard

Form Views

List and form views for CRUD related tasks require fewer clicks and provide more context for each action the user is performing. And the add/edit form is kept above the list view with an indicator on the list that depicts the current resource being edited.

Tower 2.4 - Form View

 Ansible Tower 2.4 Projects

Tower 3.0 - Form View

Ansible Tower 3.0 Projects


Tower 3 also offers a completely revamped permissions model. Adding objects, editing objects, and granting access to objects is now more transparent and more intuitive than ever.

Tower 2.4 - Permissions

Ansible Tower 2.4 Permissions 

Tower 3.0 - Permissions

Ansible Tower 3 Permissions


Added Functionality

We are also happy to introduce features like notifications and job template labels. With notifications, users have the ability to incorporate their job runs into tools such as email, Slack, and IRC, among others. And with job template labels, users can easily organize their job templates to fit their IT organization.


Tower 3.0 - Notifications



Tower 3.0 - Job Templates


What’s Next?

In the upcoming releases, we’ll work on a larger overhaul of some of the workflows we gave a facelift to in 3.0. The inventory page and the job detail page are targets for major improvements. Our goal is to continue adding features that evolve Tower into a powerful and user-friendly tool for every organization using Ansible.

Try the simplified Ansible Tower UI now

The simplified UI for Tower is built with the user in mind. Ansible Tower 3 is available now for anyone to try via local install, Vagrant image, or AMI. Try the latest version today.


Ansible Tower, Tower 3


Jared Tabor

Jared is a Software Engineer, Ansible, Red Hat, specializing in front end development. He came to Ansible by way of Credit Suisse, where he developed tools for monitoring infrastructure systems. Jared joined the Ansible Tower team in June 2014 and helped with the planning, design, and implementation of Ansible Tower 3. He lives in Seattle, WA.

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