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Migrating the Projects and the Dundas Dashboard application

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Modified on Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:48 PM

Overview

The goal of this article is to help you to manage multiple instances of Dundas Dashboard running on the same or a different server as well as to provide guidelines and best practices to migrate your projects within the same instance or across different instances of Dundas Dashboard.

Introduction

Within this article we will address different scenarios for migrating:

  1. Parts of projects (individual dashboards or KPIs) within the same instance of Dundas Dashboard.
  2. Projects between two instances of Dundas Dashboard running on the same or different server.
  3. Adding one more instance of Dundas Dashboard on the same or different server.
  4. Migrating the Dundas Dashboard application itself including all of the projects.

Here is more information about the Dundas Dashboard architecture:

Dundas Dashboard is an enterprise level dashboard solution running as a .NET web application in a client-server infrastructure. On the server side are two core server technologies; Microsoft IIS and Microsoft SQL Server. The main application exists as a .NET web application running on the IIS server while communicating with the SQL database server that is used for storing and retrieving user data. The application is accessed on the client side through a web browser running Microsoft Silverlight runtime technology.

You can find more about the Dundas Dashboard architecture in this article:

DD Client-Server Application Model

The most common scenario within companies is to have more than one instance of Dundas Dashboard. There may be a Development, Production and Quality Assurance environment. As you can see within the above mentioned article there can be two common scenarios:

  1. Installing Dundas Dashboard multiple times on the same machine, each with a different installation location and accompanying application/sync databases.
  2. Installing Dundas Dashboard through the use of multiple web and database servers, each running their own instance(s) of Dundas Dashboard.

Copying objects within the same instance of Dundas Dashboard

Sometimes when you work on one project you will need to move parts of the projects or to create a copy of the entire project within the same instance of Dundas Dashboard. Starting in Dundas Dashboard v2.5, users are able to perform the following tasks quickly and easily:


These options allow users to quickly re-use and re-locate existing business objects with little effort. Please follow the above links for more information.

Migrating projects between two instances of Dundas Dashboard

Dundas Dashboard version 2.5 introduces the Dundas Dashboard project manager 2.5, which has capabilities to export and import projects. The Dundas Dashboard Project Manager is a utility program that is included with the Dundas Dashboard installation. Use the Project Manager on the Dundas Dashboard server to:

  • Export application elements, such as project items and shared resources, from a selected Dundas Dashboard instance to an export file.
  • Import selected application elements from an export file to a Dundas Dashboard instance.

The Project Manager is ideal for:

  • Making backups of your dashboard projects and other application elements.
  • Migrating dashboard projects and other elements from a development instance of Dundas Dashboard to a production instance/server.
  • Letting remote sites collaborate on dashboard projects.
  • Importing style resources that are published by Dundas or others.

The Project Manager is a standalone Windows application that is installed to the following folder by default:

Program Files\Dundas Data Visualization Inc\Dundas Dashboard\2.5.0\Tools\ProjectManager

The actual path on your system will vary depending on the exact version and location of your Dundas Dashboard installation. The Project Manager is not intended to be used to upgrade projects or application elements from one version of Dundas Dashboard to another. It is only to be used to transfer items between compatible instances of Dundas Dashboard (using the export file as the transfer medium). This compatibility is determined by the Data store version of the Project Manager, the application databases of the Dundas Dashboard instances, and export files.

The best practices for migrating projects

The best way to maintain Dundas Dashboard within multiple environments is to install the same version of Dundas Dashboard within each environment and use the project manager to move a project between environments.

If you have an add-on, image creation service or SharePoint web part installed and you want to install one more version of Dundas dashboard on another server (or the same server), first install or upgrade Dundas Dashboard and then install an add-on, image creation service or SharePoint web part that will have the same version as the Dundas Dashboard application.

A common scenario is to have other dependencies for the Dundas Dashboard application too, such as the MySQL data connector .NET driver, or the Access database engine redistributable. You will need to install these components on the new server that you will install (or have already installed) Dundas Dashboard. The order of the installation is not important. You can install those components or the Dundas Dashboard application first.

If you want to avoid making any changes within the production server instance

You may have a requirement to avoid making any changes within the Dundas Dashboard instance that is running on the production server.

In this case you may need to change the connection strings within your data connectors to point to another data source so you can just import the project to the production server instance.

Changing properties

For certain types of project items, such as data connectors, you can review their properties via the Properties pane and change them if necessary. For example, a data connector from an export file may be pointing at remote business databases which you will not have access to from the active Dundas Dashboard instance. In this case, you need to change the connection string accordingly before starting to import.

Change the connection string for a data connector.

Change the connection string for a data connector.


You can change the connection string by typing the new value manually in the Properties pane. Alternatively, for certain data connector types, you can click the ellipsis button to access a specific screen for modifying the connection string.

Changing connection properties for a SQL Server data connector.

Changing connection properties for a SQL Server
data connector.


You can also change the Connect As properties for your data connector (⪚ if the connection is for SSAS - SQL Server Analysis Services):

Connect As settings.

Connect As settings.


Data connector properties

PropertyDescription 
Import data from Sync database Indicates whether to import flat file data, and the data from cached virtual tables that are based upon this data connector. In the latter case, this property only applies if the virtual table(s) are also selected for import. Default value is False.
Connect asLets you modify the Connect as settings for any type of data connector.
Connection stringLets you modify the connection string for data connectors based on relational data providers.
Data SourcesLets you modify the data source connection string for flat file data connectors.

Resolving name conflicts

When an element to be imported has the same name and location as an existing object from the active Dundas Dashboard instance (but with a different object identifier), the Project Manager offers a default renaming for the element. For example, if the active instance has a dashboard named Sales, and you import another similarly named dashboard (with a different object identifier), the Import screen will show the imported dashboard as Sales (2). Such modified names are marked with a red color and are editable, which lets users choose different custom names as desired.

Migrating Dundas Dashboard to another server permanently

Here are several possible scenarios that you may have within your environment:

If you have one instance of Dundas Dashboard running on the first server, and you need to install Dundas Dashboard on the second server and to uninstall it from the first one, you have the following options.

The dashboard databases are on the shared SQL Server

In case you have the Dundas Dashboard datastore and sync databases running on the shared SQL Server instance, you need to point the Dundas Dashboard instance to use those databases. In case you choose to use the existing databases and the version of the the Dundas Dashboard instance that you are installing is greater than the current instance, the databases will be upgraded and you will not be able to use the previous version of Dundas Dashboard any more. There is an option to clone the existing dashboard databases during the installation. In this case you will keep the previous version and have the new version as well.

You want to move the dashboard databases to another instance of SQL Server

If the SQL Server where the Dundas Dashboard databases are installed is not available to host new databases, the best option is for you to:

  1. Create backup files for the Dundas Dashboard datastore and sync databases.
  2. Restore the database to another instance of SQL Server that you will use.
  3. Set up Dundas Dashboard to use the restored databases during the installation, or if you have an existing instance and you want to connect to the restored databases, refer to the article on How To Change the Dundas Dashboard Application and Sync Database Connection.

You can find more information about the Dundas Dashboard installation from this article:


If you are using a remote SQL Server to host the Dundas Dashboard databases you need to use SQL Server authentication and you also need to create a SQL Server user that will have permissions to access the Dundas Dashboard databases and specify this user during the Dundas Dashboard installation. For more information, refer to this article:


Moving the Dundas Dashboard Website to a Virtual Directory

If you want to move the Dundas Dashboard application from a standalone website to a Virtual Directory on another website, check the article on Moving the Dundas Dashboard Website to a Virtual Directory.

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