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DashBlocks and Mashups

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Modified on Tue, 15 Oct 2013 12:09 PM Categorized as DashBlocks, Design, Level-Intermediate, Mashup
Click to return to: Documentation | Designing Dashboards


Overview

DashBlocks are dashboard fragments that can be combined to form personalized dashboard views called mashups. You design dashblocks in much the same way as you design dashboards, except that dashblocks are usually smaller in size than a typical dashboard, and often contain just a single data visualization.

Once dashblocks have been created, dashboard viewers can create mashups simply by dragging available dashblocks to the viewing area. See Mashups for more details.

Dashboard designers can also choose to host a dashblock within a DashBlock Viewer control, which allows for the creation of dashboards that mix performance and analytical data visualizations together.

A mashup composed of 4 dashblocks is displayed in the Dashboard Viewer.

A mashup composed of 4 dashblocks is displayed in the Dashboard Viewer.


Tip: watch the how to video: Dashblock

Tip: watch the how to video: Mashup

Creating a new dashblock

To create a new dashblock from the Design Explorer:

  1. Click Design Explorer in the Sidebar.
    Accessing the Design Explorer from the Sidebar.
  2. Select the Dashboards folder, then click its menu button.
    The Dashboards menu.
  3. From the menu, choose New DashBlock.
  4. In the text box below the Dashboards folder, type a name for the dashblock, then press ENTER.
    DashBlock name.
  5. The Dashboard Designer screen appears, showing a small design canvas.
    Dashboard Designer for a dashblock.
  6. Design the dashblock by adding elements and data.
  7. Save, preview, then check in your dashblock.
    Preview of a DashBlock.
  8. If you go back to the Design Explorer, you will see the new item for your dashblock under the Dashboards folder.
    New DashBlock item.

You have created a new dashblock, which can now be combined into a mashup by dashboard viewers.

Removing the dashblock frame

At viewing-time, each dashblock is displayed by default within a frame that shows the name of the dashblock. As a dashboard designer, you can choose to remove this frame from your dashblock by setting its Hide DashBlock Frame property to True. In this case, the frame will not appear when viewing the dashblock by itself or as part of a mashup. However, note that when the frame is hidden, the user will not be able to reposition or close the dashblock manually.

Converting a dashboard to a dashblock

If you have an existing dashboard, you can convert it into a dashblock as follows:

  1. Go to the Home screen in Dundas Dashboard.
  2. Go to the Design Explorer.
  3. Select the dashboard you want to convert and do a right-click. From the menu, select Check Out to check out the dashboard for editing.
  4. Do a right-click again and from the menu, select Convert to DashBlock. Note that this option will be disabled if you have the dashboard opened in the Designer for editing.

The dashboard is converted into a dashblock with its previous contents intact.

Note: The dashboard cannot be converted if it contains a dashblock viewer.

Convert to a dashblock.

Convert to a dashblock.


Tip: In a similar way, you can convert a dashblock into a dashboard. If the dashblock was part of an existing mashup, you will see a warning the next time you view the mashup after the conversion. If the dashblock was displayed in a dashblock viewer, it will be blank the next time it is viewed after the conversion.

Analytical dashblocks

To create a new analytical dashblock from the Design Explorer:

  1. Click Design Explorer in the Sidebar.
  2. Select the Analytical Dashboards folder, then click its menu button.
    The Analytical Dashboards menu.
  3. From the menu, choose New Analytical DashBlock.
  4. In the text box below the Analytical Dashboards folder, type a name for the analytical dashblock, then press ENTER. The Analytical Dashboard Designer screen appears.
  5. Design the analytical dashblock as shown in the article, Designing Analytical Dashboards.
  6. Save, preview, then check in your analytical dashblock.
  7. If you go back to the Design Explorer, you will see the new item for your analytical dashblock under the Analytical Dashboards folder.
    New Analytical DashBlock item.

You have created a new analytical dashblock, which can now be combined into a mashup by dashboard viewers.

Converting an analytical dashboard to a dashblock

If you have an existing analytical dashboard, you can convert it into a corresponding analytical dashblock as follows:

  1. Go to the Home screen in Dundas Dashboard.
  2. Go to the Design Explorer.
  3. Select the analytical dashboard you want to convert and do a right-click. From the menu, select Check Out to check out the analytical dashboard for editing.
  4. Do a right-click again and from the menu, select Convert to DashBlock. Note that this option will be disabled if you have the analytical dashboard opened in the Designer for editing.

The analytical dashboard is converted into an analytical dashblock with its previous contents intact.

Note: The analytical dashboard cannot be converted if it contains a dashblock viewer.

Tip: In a similar way, you can convert an analytical dashblock into an analytical dashboard. If the dashblock was part of an existing mashup, you will see a warning the next time you view the mashup after the conversion. If the dashblock was displayed in a dashblock viewer, it will be blank the next time it is viewed after the conversion.

Mashups

A mashup is a personalized dashboard view that you assemble using dashblocks at viewing-time. For example, you can create a mashup that mixes a performance data visualization with an analytical (OLAP) visualization in the same view.

You can also share your mashup with other dashboard viewers by sending them a URL link to the mashup.

See Mashups for more details.

A mashup that combines a performance dashblock with an analytical dashblock.

A mashup that combines a performance dashblock with an analytical dashblock.


Related topics


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