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Creating Dundas Dashboard Add-ons

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Modified on Thu, 15 May 2014 11:40 AM Categorized as Add-ons, Level-Advanced, Open APIs, Overview
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Overview

At Dundas, we use the terms add-on and plugin interchangeably. An add-on is a software component that plugs into an existing Dundas Dashboard installation in order to enhance or extend its functionality. Dundas Dashboard's modular design makes it easy to create and add new components such as data providers, data visualization controls, and authentication providers.

  • You can develop new add-ons by using the Dundas Dashboard API within Visual Studio.
  • Or, deploy our ready-made add-ons as listed in the Dundas Dashboard Add-ons page.

Dundas Dashboard API

Our API has two parts: a Client API and a Server API.

You use the Server API to write server-side plugins, such as a new data provider component that can connect to a specific kind of database and execute queries.

You use the Client API to write client-side plugins, such as a user interface component that lets you enter the server name and credentials required to connect to your database. Often, a client plugin will go hand-in-hand with a corresponding server plugin because server-side functionality by itself may not be useful without a UI that lets users configure options and more.

Functional areas

Our API covers the following functional areas:

  • Administration - Use the Administration API to manage accounts, security groups, privileges and dashboard objects.
  • Authentication/Security - Use the Authentication/Security API to write an add-on that interfaces with your existing authentication (login/accounts) system. Also referred to as the Account and Group Services API.
  • Dashboard Controls - Write custom dashboard controls which appear in the designer Toolbox, using Silverlight and the Dashboard Control API.
  • HTML Add-On Controls - Write HTML add-on controls for the HTML Viewer.
  • Data Providers - Develop your own custom data provider for any SQL-compliant, tabular, or web-service data source.
  • Delivery Providers - Support new delivery mechanisms for notifications by using the Delivery Provider API.
  • Export - Use the Export API to incorporate new data or image export formats into Dundas Dashboard.
  • Formula API - Use the Formula API to create custom formulas that integrate seamlessly into the application.
  • Navigation - Create a custom user control that lets users navigate through available dashboards in a different way, using the Navigation API.

Dashboard Samples

The easiest way to get started with writing add-ons is to check out our Dashboard Samples page (Open APIs section). Each sample has detailed documentation and code listings or downloadable Visual Studio solution zip files.

Creating an add-on

Below are the general steps involved in developing an add-on for Dundas Dashboard.

Step 1 - Check system requirements

Typical requirements on your development machine:


Note:
  • You can also use Silverlight 5 Tools, but you need to get a copy of the Silverlight 5 DLLs by sending an email to support@dundas.com.
  • If you upgrade to a newer version of Dundas Dashboard, you need to update the Silverlight DLLs as well.


Step 2 - Write the plugin

Use the samples to help you get started with writing the actual plugin (in the form of a Visual Studio project).

Step 3 - Package the plugin

Use the Plugin Packager utility to package your DLL and other files into a single .plugin file.

Step 4 - Install the plugin

Use the Plugin Manager utility to install your .plugin file into Dundas Dashboard.

Notes

  • Make sure the version of the .NET framework that your add-on is targeting matches what is expected by Dundas Dashboard. Specifically, for each assembly included as part of an add-on, Dundas Dashboard checks the major version of that assembly's ImageRuntimeVersion property. If that number is higher than the major version of Environment.Version, then the assembly is effectively not loaded and an error message explaining this is logged.
  • If there are any errors loading assemblies from any add-on/plugin, that plugin will not be registered, and will not be available to the application. A corresponding entry will be written to the log file (in the App_Data\Logs folder by default).

Related topics


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