Notebook Widgets

This module contains aggregated widgets built using IPyWidgets. These are designed to speed up common operations like selecting date ranges, picking items from a list or tracking progress of a long-running event.

# Imports
import sys
if sys.version_info < MIN_REQ_PYTHON:
    print('Check the Kernel->Change Kernel menu and ensure that Python 3.6')
    print('or later is selected as the active kernel.')
    sys.exit("Python %s.%s or later is required.\n" % MIN_REQ_PYTHON)

from IPython.display import display, Markdown
import pandas as pd
# Import nbtools package
from msticpy.nbtools import *


See QueryTime

This widget is used to specify time boundaries - designed to be used with the built-in msticpy queries and custom queries. The start and end times are exposed as datetime properties.


QueryTime is a RegisteredWidget so will recall the last values entered if re-run with the same starting parameters. (see Registered Widgets)

q_times = nbwidgets.QueryTime(units='day', max_before=20, before=5, max_after=1)
Date and time selector widget showing setting required start and end times.
print(q_times.start, '....', q_times.end)
2019-08-28 23:36:59.410918 .... 2019-09-03 23:36:59.410918

Keep multiple query boundaries aligged by having QueryTime instances reference the time of the same alert or event, or to each other.

from datetime import datetime, timedelta
class MyAlert:
alert = MyAlert()
alert.TimeGenerated = datetime.utcnow() - timedelta(15)

q_times1 = nbwidgets.QueryTime(units='hour', max_before=20, before=1, max_after=1,
                             origin_time=alert.TimeGenerated, auto_display=True)

q_times2 = nbwidgets.QueryTime(units='hour', max_before=20, before=4, max_after=2,
                             origin_time=alert.TimeGenerated, auto_display=True)

# Note this is a one-time assignment, the values are not linked.
q_times2.origin_time = q_times1.origin_time

Use the QueryTime properties in a query.


You can use a QueryTime instance as a parameter to a msticpy query. The query provider will the start and end properties from the widget and supply these values as the corresponding start and end query parameters. See Data Provider Library

# Use in a query
my_kql = f'''
| where TimeGenerated >= datetime({q_times1.start})
| where TimeGenerated <= datetime({q_times1.end})'''
| where TimeGenerated >= datetime(2019-09-02 22:37:03.860216)
| where TimeGenerated <= datetime(2019-09-03 00:37:03.860216)


See Lookback

This is simpler version of QueryTime with single slider value

alert.TimeGenerated = datetime.utcnow() - timedelta(5)
lb = nbwidgets.Lookback(origin_time=alert.TimeGenerated, auto_display=True, max_value=48)
Lookback widget showing setting look-back period with slider
print(lb.start, '....', lb.end)
2019-08-28 19:37:06.883677 .... 2019-08-28 23:37:06.883677


See SelectAlert

This lets you view list of alerts and select one for investigation. You can optionally provide an action (a Python function) to call with the selected alert as a parameter to display or perform some other action on the selected item.

SelectAlert attributes

  • selected_alert: the selected alert
  • alert_id: the ID of the selected alert
  • alerts: the current alert list (DataFrame)

Supply a list of alerts with the alerts parameter. The columns parameter overrides the default column set that the widget will display from the alert set.

The action parameter is a Python callable. When an item is selected, this function will be called and passed the row (pandas series) of the selected item as a parameter.

Alert selector with action=DisplayAlert

alert_select = nbwidgets.SelectAlert(alerts=alerts, action=nbdisplay.display_alert)
display(Markdown('### Alert selector with action=DisplayAlert'))
Alert selector widget showing browsable list of alerts.


See SelectItem

Similar to AlertSelector but simpler and allows you to use any list or dictionary of items.

if security_alert is None:
    security_alert = SecurityAlert(alerts.iloc[0])
ent_dict = {ent['Type']:ent for ent in security_alert.entities}

    description='Select an item',
Using SelectAlert with an optional browser function to show the details of each alert as it is selected from the list.


See GetEnvironmentKey

Get editable string value.

This is a simple wrapper around IPyWidgets Text widget. It is also derived from RegisteredWidget so will automatically recall the last value entered (for the same starting parameters). See Registered Widgets

nbwidgets.GetText(prompt='Enter a value', auto_display=True);


See GetEnvironmentKey

Get editable value of an environment variable.

A common use would be retrieving an API key from your environment or allowing you to paste in a value if the environment key isn’t set.

This is also a RegisteredWidget so will automatically recall the last value entered (for the same starting parameters) unless the named env_var environment variable is set. When a valid environment variable is found this will always override the “remembered” value. See Registered Widgets


setting the variable only persists in the python kernel process running at the time. So you can retrieve it later in the notebook but not in other processes.

nbwidgets.GetEnvironmentKey(env_var='userprofile', auto_display=True);
Text widget showing retrieving editable value of an environment variable.


See SelectSubset

Allows you to select one or multiple items from a list to populate an output set.

The source_items parameter can be:

  • a simple list
  • a dictionary(label, value)
  • a list of (label, value) tuples

In the latter two cases, the label value is displayed but the selected_values property will return the corresponding values.

The selected_items attribute will always return the label/value pairs that have been selected.

You can also pre-populate the Selected items list by supplying values for the default_selected.

# Simple list
items = list(alerts["AlertName"].values)
sel_sub = nbwidgets.SelectSubset(source_items=items)
Select Subset widget allowing you to pick a subset of values shown in one list and add them to the list of values that you want to use.
# Label/Value pair items with a a subset of pre-selected items
items = {v: k for k, v in alerts["AlertName"].to_dict().items()}
pre_selected = {v: k for k, v in alerts["AlertName"].to_dict().items() if "commandline" in v}
sel_sub = nbwidgets.SelectSubset(source_items=items, default_selected=pre_selected)
Select subset widget populated using Python dictionary instead of a simple list.
print("Values:", sel_sub.selected_values, "\n")
print("Items:", sel_sub.selected_items)
Values: [79, 109, 83]

Items: [('Detected suspicious commandline arguments', 79), ('Detected suspicious commandline used to start all executables in a directory', 109), ('Detected suspicious credentials in commandline', 83)]

Progress Indicator

See Progress

This is thin wrapper around the IPyWidgets IntProgess control. It adds some convenience functions for updating progress and controlling visibility.

from time import sleep
progress = nbwidgets.Progress(completed_len=2000)
for i in range(0, 2100, 100):

inc_progress = nbwidgets.Progress(completed_len=2000)
for i in range(0, 2100, 100):
Progess bar indicators.

Multi-Option buttons with async wait

This widget is pretty simple on the surface but has some useful features for waiting for user input.

opt = nbwidgets.OptionButtons(
    description="Do you really want to do this?",
    buttons=["Confirm", "Skip", "Cancel"]

# Displaying the widget works as expected
# and sets `widget.value` to the last chosen button value.
Multiple option buttons showing Confirm, Skip and Cancel buttons.

Using OptionButtons to wait until an option is chosen (or timeout expires)

Option buttons uses an asynchronous event loop to track both the button state and the timeout simultaneously.

Because this requires the use of asynchronous code you must do the following - call widget.display_async() method rather than just display() or using the auto-display functionality of Jupyter - prefix this call with await - this tells IPython/Jupyter that you are executing asynchronous code and that it needs to wait until this call has completed before continuing with cell execution.

# Using display_async will run the widget with a visible
# timer. As soon as one option is chosen, that remains as the value
# of the value of the widget.value property.
opt = nbwidgets.OptionButtons(description="Continue?", timeout=10)
await opt.display_async()
Mutiple option buttons shown with timer counting down.


Awaiting the OptionButtons control does not pause the notebook execution. This is a capability that we are still working on.

Registered Widgets

Some of the widgets (QueryTimes, GetText) can register themselves and retain the setting and values previously entered. This can be useful when stepping through a notebook since it is a common mistake to enter text in a text box and then execute the same cell again by mistake. This, of course, usually results in the widget being reset to its default state and erasing the values you just entered.

If you use a registered widget and then create a new copy of the widget with identical parameters it will look in the registry for a previous copy of itself and auto-populate it’s values with the previous-entered ones.

Registered widgets can also read their default values from notebook variables - this is mainly useful with notebooks that are programmatically supplied with parameters and executed with something like Papermill.

Several of the additional parameters available in RegisteredWidgets init are for internal use by widgets but three are usable by users:

nb_params : Optional[Dict[str, str]], optional
    A dictionary of attribute names and global variables. If the variable
    exists in the global namespace it will be used to populate the
    corresponding widget attribute. This is only done if the widget
    attribute currently has no value (i.e. restoring a value from
    the registry takes priority over this),
    by default None
ns : Dict[str, Any], optional
    Namespace to look for global variables, by default None
register : bool
    Do not register the widget or retrieve values from previously-
    registered instance.

See RegisteredWidget

mem_text = nbwidgets.GetText(prompt="Enter your name")

# we insert a value here to mimic typing something in the text box
mem_text._value = "Ian"
Get Text widget showing that the value in the text box has been restored from its previously-saved value.

QueryTime also supports registration

Sequence of three notebook cells showing first a QueryTime widget and the default date and time values. Next its values are altered by some code. The third cell shows the widget being re-created and retrieving its default values from the remembered stat set in the previous cell.

Note that the new instance of the widget doesn’t use the defaults but retrieves its values from the changes we made in the second cell.

To skip registration add the parameter register=False

Notice that in the following snippet we are creating an instance of the QueryTime widget using the same parameters as earlier but this time it ignores any remembered state and reverts to its defaults.

QueryTime widget created with register=False, this time it does not populate values from saved state and reverts to its defaults.

Specifying register=False causes the widget to ignore any remembered state and use its defaults. It will also prevent this instance of the widget registering itself.

Using notebook parameters to populate RegisteredWidgets

If you use something like Papermill to automate your notebooks, you may want to populate default values from notebook parameters. The variables holding these parameters may not be set or even declared when you create the notebook so you cannot reference them directly when you write the code to use the widget.

You can supply a dictionary that specifies which widget attributes to populate from variables available in the namespace (the namespace that you usually want in notebooks is value retured by the globals() function.

The dictionary should be of the form:

params_dict = {
  "widget_attr1", "var_name1",
  "widget_attr2", "var_name2"

The widget_attr key is the attribute to set in the widget (you may need to look at the documentation or code for the widget to work out what the name of the attribute is). The “var_name” value is the name of a variable that you want to look for when setting the default values of the widget.

You must also specify the namespace for the widget to search for this variable name.

# This might be defined in a parameter cell at the beginning of the noteboook
my_name = "The other Ian"

my_text = nbwidgets.GetText(prompt="enter your real name", nb_params={"_value": "my_name"}, ns=globals())
Get Text widget showing that it can read its default values from notebook parameters.