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Configuring the Image Creation Service

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Modified on Mon, 12 May 2014 02:39 PM Categorized as Configuration, Installation, Troubleshooting
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Installing the Image Creation ServicePrevious


Dundas Dashboard lets you share a completed dashboard as a dashboard image, or attach an image of a dashboard to an email message as part of the notifications feature.

To enable the above features on your Dundas Dashboard server, you must install the Dundas Dashboard Image Creation Service, either on the same Dundas Dashboard server, or a separate server computer.

This article shows how to perform manual configuration of both the Image Creation Service and Dundas Dashboard after completing the installation of the service. The basic idea here is that the Image Creation Service must be able to reference the Dundas Dashboard instance, and vice-versa.

Tip: You can skip this step if you installed the Image Creation Service on the same computer where Dundas Dashboard is installed, and you did not choose the manual option for specifying the Dundas Dashboard instance. The ImageCreationWin.exe.config file needs to be updated only when the manual selection of the instance is done. On automatic selection of the instance, the ICS gets installed and after the website restart, it gets reflected in the application, but this file is not updated with the details. However, the ICS can still be used even without seeing any changes in this file.

Configuring the Image Creation Service

Configuration of the Image Creation Service is controlled via an XML file located on the image creation server (which may be the same computer where Dundas Dashboard is installed). The default path of this configuration file is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Dundas Data Visualization Inc\Dundas Dashboard\Image Creation Service\{InstanceName}\ImageCreationWin\Dundas.Dashboard.ImageCreationWin.exe.config

An example configuration file is listed below. In this particular case, the Image Creation Service is installed on the Dundas Dashboard server computer.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <!-- The file system path to the windows app. -->
    <add key="imageCreationWinPath" value="C:\Program Files (x86)\Dundas Data Visualization Inc\Dundas Dashboard\Image Creation Service\Instance1\ImageCreationWin\Dundas.Dashboard.ImageCreationWin.exe" />

<!-- The URL path to dundas dashboard. --> <add key="dundasDashboardUrl" value="http://DASHSVR/" /> <!-- The timeout for the winforms app (in seconds). This is the amount of time the winforms app will wait before it closes itself. Normally the windows app will close itself automatically before this timeout is reached if Silverlight renders properly. This timeout is only for the case when it fails. This should be shorter than the application's imageCreationClientTimeout, as the WCF call will timeout after that time, and longer than the application's imageCreationExternalDataTimeout, as rendering depends on the external data calls returning. --> <add key="windowsImageTimeout" value="90" />

<!-- The URL the WCF service in this Windows Service should host itself as. This is the URL that Dundas Dashboard will contact to create an image. --> <add key="imageCreationHostUrl" value="http://DASHSVR:8888/ImageCreationWebService/service" />

<!-- The number of winforms app that should be kept open in the pool. The pool will auto increase in size if multiple request come in at the exact same time.--> <add key="imageCreationWindowsFormPoolSize" value="5" /> </appSettings> <runtime> <generatePublisherEvidence enabled="false" /> </runtime> <startup> <supportedRuntime version="v4.0" sku=".NETFramework,Version=v4.0" /> </startup> </configuration>

The relevant keys in this configuration file are described as follows:

  • dundasDashboardUrl - The URL of the Dundas Dashboard instance that will be linked to this image creation service.
  • imageCreationHostUrl - The URL of the Image Creation web service (on the image creation server).

If you modify any of the key values in the configuration file, you must restart the Dundas Dashboard Image Creation service for the changes to take effect.

Configuring Dundas Dashboard

The Dundas Dashboard Configuration File (located on the Dundas Dashboard server) has a block of settings dedicated to the configuration of the image creation functionality. The default path of this configuration file is:

C:\Program Files\Dundas Data Visualization Inc\Dundas Dashboard\{InstanceName}\www\Dundas.Dashboard.config

The relevant portion of an example configuration file is listed below.

  <!-- ==== ImageCreationServiceUrl ====
       The end-point address for the image creataion service.
       If this is not specified, or empty, then the image creation service is assumed to not be enabled.
       An example of a value is: http://localhost:8057/ImageCreationWebService/service -->
  <key name="ImageCreationServiceUrl" value="http://DASHSVR:8888/ImageCreationWebService/service" />

<!-- ==== ImageCreationImageFolderPath ==== The path (relative, absolute or UNC) to the folder where the generated dashboard images will be stored. This folder should not be browsable by IIS, since that would be a serious security compromise. The folder will, however, require write-access by ASP.NET, as that will be the account producing the images. --> <!-- <key name="ImageCreationImageFolderPath" value="App_Data\DashboardImages" /> -->

<!-- ==== ImageCreationOutputCacheDuration ==== The duration (in seconds) that an image created via the image creation service should cache itself for. Any requests made via the .aspx page for this image during the duration will simply recieved a cached copy. This key does not affect any API calls for an image. --> <!-- <key name="ImageCreationOutputCacheDuration" value="60" /> -->

<!-- ==== ImageCreationExternalDataTimeout ==== The amount of time (in seconds) that the Silverlight image rendering app should wait for all external data sources (such as analytical controls, parameter controls, image control, rss viewer, etc) to complete their data call. This should be shorter than 'windowsImageTimeout' defined for the Windows Service. --> <!-- <key name="ImageCreationExternalDataTimeout" value="10" /> -->

<!-- ==== ImageCreationClientTimeout ==== The maximum amount of time (in seconds) a client of the image creation web service should wait for for the call to complete. --> <!-- <key name="ImageCreationClientTimeout" value="600" /> --> ... </DundasDashboardConfiguration>

The relevant keys in this configuration file are described as follows:

  • imageCreationServiceUrl - The URL of the Image Creation web service (on the image creation server).

If you modify any of the key values in the configuration file, you must restart the Dundas Dashboard website for the changes to take effect.

FAQs and troubleshooting


Q: Where can I find the Image Creation Service Log?

A: The Dundas Dashboard Image Creation Service logs directly to the Event Viewer.

To go to the Event Viewer, click Start, point to Control Panel, open Administrative Tools, then open Event Viewer.

Option to share as dashboard image is not present

Q: Why can't I see the “Share this dashboard or a single dashblock as a dashboard image” option in the Share dialog?

A: You must restart the Dundas Dashboard website after installing the image creation service.

Run the image creation service as a different user

Q: Can I run this service as a different user?

A: You can, but in order for it to work correctly we recommend the following settings:

  • User should be a member of the administrators group.
  • User should be granted the “Log on as a service right”
  • User needs to have isolated storage to the service address.

To grant this storage, do either of the following:

  • Run the following application as the user that will run the service: Dundas.Dashboard.ImageCreationWin.exe /RequestIncreaseQuota
  • Log into your server using the user which is configured to run the Image Creation Services, view a dashboard, and this will prompt you to increase storage space.

Q: Why am I receiving a blank image when sharing an image of the dashboard?

A: Silverlight is running out of storage to display the image (error code is -10 in Windows Application Event Log). You will need to increase the storage space.


Q: Why are the timestamps on my shared images displayed in a different format than other dates and times shown on my dashboard?

A: The timestamps are displayed using the region and language settings as specified by the ddimage user account that runs the image creation service. These settings may be different than those on your Dundas Dashboard server.

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