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Dashboard v5.0

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Using the Design Explorer

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Modified on Wed, 15 May 2013 05:16 PM Categorized as Design, User Interface
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Overview

All of your design work in Dundas Dashboard, whether you are creating dimensions, configuring KPIs, or designing dashboards, is done within the context of a project. You can create multiple Dundas Dashboard projects and also give other users access to the projects so that you can collaborate on dashboarding efforts.

The Design Explorer in the Sidebar lets you navigate the current Dundas Dashboard project, which appears as a set of top-level folders for storing project items such as:

  • Data connectors
  • Virtual tables
  • Virtual cubes
  • Dimensions
  • Datasets
  • KPIs
  • Dashboards
  • Analytical dashboards
  • Mashups
  • Project resources (⪚ dashboard templates, images, maps, style resources)
  • Shared resources (these are shared across the application)

The Design Explorer is available only to users with privileges to design project items such as virtual tables, KPIs, and dashboards. You can think of the Design Explorer as the primary launching point for all tasks related to the design of these project items.

The Design Explorer.

The Design Explorer.


Note: The sample Sonatica project is included to help you get started with using Dundas Dashboard right away. This is a complete sample set, with pre-built virtual tables, dimensions, KPIs, and dashboards.

Tip: New installations of Dundas Dashboard also provide an initial, empty project (Project1) that you can use right away.

Managing projects in the Design Explorer

The current project

The name of the current Dundas Dashboard project is displayed in a dropdown list at the top of the Design Explorer.

The name of the current project.

The name of the current project.


Note: If there are no available projects, certain functionality in the Home Screen will be disabled (⪚ the quick-start buttons for creating a performance dashboard). In this case, you must first add a new project as shown below.

Opening a different project

To open a different project in the Design Explorer:

  1. Click the dropdown list at the top of the Design Explorer and choose the project you want to open.
    Choosing a different project.
  2. The contents of the folders in the Design Explorer will be automatically updated to reflect your choice.

Note: When you change the current project, what's displayed in the content area of the application remains unchanged. For example, if you were previously editing a dashboard from Project1 and then opened Project2 in the Design Explorer, the Dashboard Designer screen in the content area will still be showing the dashboard from Project1.

Adding a new project

If you are a Dundas Dashboard administrator, you can create a new project as follows:

  1. Click the dropdown list at the top of the Design Explorer and choose <New Project>.
    Adding a new project.
  2. The Create Project dialog box is displayed.
    The Create Project dialog box.
  3. Type a name for your project in the Name box, then click OK. A new project is created, which becomes the current project in the Design Explorer.
    A newly created project.

Refreshing a project

To refresh the list of projects, and the contents of the current project in the Design Explorer:

  1. Click the Refresh (&ie; last) button in the small toolbar at the top of the Design Explorer.
    Refreshing a project.
  2. The folders in the Design Explorer will reflect the latest changes and they will be shown in their default, collapsed state. This operation will also:
    • Refresh the list of available projects in the dropdown list at the top of the Design Explorer.
    • Ensure that the next time you view a dashboard, you will be seeing the latest version from the Dundas Dashboard server (instead of a client-cached version).

Project properties

From the Design Explorer, you can view and optionally modify properties of the current Dundas Dashboard project by clicking the Project Properties (&ie; second) button in the small toolbar at the top of the Design Explorer.

The Project Properties dialog.

The Project Properties dialog.


The Project Properties dialog lets you view general information, such as the time the project was last modified. You can also view and modify security-related settings for your project, which includes the list of users and object security groups that have access to your project. For more details, see Project Item Properties.

Folders and project items

The folder menu

The Design Explorer has a set of top-level folders for managing project items such as dimensions and dashboards. If you hover over any of these folders with your mouse, you will see a menu button to the right of the folder. Click the button to see a menu which is specific to the folder type.

The menu for the Dashboards folder.

The menu for the Dashboards folder.


From the menu, you can accomplish tasks such as:

  • Creating a new project item (⪚ dimension, KPI, dashboard).
  • Creating a new folder (&ie; sub-folder).
  • Refreshing the folder's contents.
  • Viewing the folder's general and security-related properties.

As an example, to create a new folder for dashboards:

  1. Select the top-level Dashboards folder, then click its menu button. The Dashboards menu is displayed.
  2. From the Dashboards menu, click New Folder.
  3. In the text box, type a name for your new folder, then press ENTER to create the new folder.
    Creating a new folder for dashboards.

Tip: If you clicked New Folder from the Dashboards menu by mistake, press ESC to cancel the operation.

You can create any number of folders within a top-level folder, or within another folder, to better organize your project items.

A folder for Marketing dashboards.

A folder for Marketing dashboards.


Using drag and drop

The Design Explorer supports drag and drop, which lets you easily arrange project items and folders. For example, if you created a dashboard in a Marketing Dashboards folder, you can drag that dashboard and move it to another folder called Sales Dashboards. During a drag operation, the mouse cursor will change its appearance to indicate whether the drop operation is permitted or not.

To copy a project item to a new location (instead of moving the item), press CTRL during the drag and drop operation.

Using cut, copy, and paste

The Design Explorer lets you cut or copy a selected project item and store it in the application's clipboard. Clipboard contents can then be pasted (&ie; copied) to a compatible location within the same project.

Note: Folders and resource items cannot be copied to the application's clipboard.

To cut a project item from the Design Explorer:

  1. Select the project item that you want to cut.
  2. Click its menu button to access the menu for the project item.
  3. From the project item's menu, choose Cut. The project item is removed from the Design Explorer and is stored in the application's clipboard.
    Choosing the Cut operation.

To copy a project item to the clipboard:

  1. Select the project item that you want to copy.
  2. Click its menu button to access the menu for the project item.
  3. From the project item's menu, choose Copy. A copy of the project item is stored in the application's clipboard.

To paste clipboard contents to the Design Explorer:

  1. Select the location in the Design Explorer where you want to paste the clipboard contents (⪚ a folder item).
  2. Click the menu button of the selected item.
  3. If the paste operation is valid for this location, choose Paste from the menu. The contents of the clipboard are copied to your selected location.

Renaming a project item

From the Design Explorer, you can rename any project item except for top-level folders and top-level Resources folders.

See Renaming a Project Item for more details.

Deleting a project item

You can delete a project item, such as a virtual table or KPI, from the Design Explorer as long as it is not being referenced by other project items. Your user account must also have sufficient permissions to perform the deletion.

See Deleting a Project Item for more details.

Viewing properties of a project item

You can view the properties of any project item, including dashboards and folders, from the Design Explorer. Depending on the type of project item, you can view general properties, modify security settings, view the history of changes, or see the dependencies between an item and other project items.

See Project Item Properties for more details.

Viewing additional information

From the Design Explorer, you can view additional information for a project item, such as its name, description, and URL.

See Viewing Additional Information for more details.

Check in / check out

To allow users to collaborate on dashboarding efforts, Dundas Dashboard uses a check in / check out model with respect to project items such as virtual tables, dimensions, KPIs, and dashboards. A project item must be checked out before it can be modified. Correspondingly, a modified project item must be checked in before other Dundas Dashboard users can see the changes.

When a new project item is created, it appears in the Design Explorer with a plus sign icon, indicating that it is a new item which has not been checked in for the first time.

A new virtual table which has not been checked in yet.

A new virtual table which has
not been checked in yet.


When a project item has been checked out for modification, it appears in the Design Explorer with a checkmark icon.

A dashboard checked out for modification.

A dashboard checked out for
modification.


If the project item was checked out by yourself, the checkmark icon appears in green. Hover over the icon with your mouse to see a tooltip indicating that the item is checked out to yourself.

If the project item was checked out by another user, the checkmark icon appears in red. Hover over the icon with your mouse to see a tooltip indicating who checked out the item and the date and time it was checked out.

Note: If you are editing a project item that is in an invalid state, you will not be able to check in that item. The check in option will be disabled in the Design Explorer menu for the project item and also in the Toolbar.

An example of an invalid project item is a virtual table in which all of its columns are hidden. This virtual table can be saved but it cannot be previewed or checked in.

Pending changes

If you have design privileges and want to view your list of project items that are pending for check in, click the My Pending Changes (&ie; third) button in the small toolbar at the top of the Design Explorer. The My Pending Changes dialog is displayed. From this dialog, you can also check in all or a selection of the project items that you have checked out.

The My Pending Changes dialog.

The My Pending Changes dialog.


Checking in multiple items from the My Pending Changes dialog

To check in one or more project items from the My Pending Changes dialog:

  1. (Optional) Enter a comment describing your changes in the Comment box.
  2. Review the list of project items that you have checked out and select the ones you want to check in. Any checked out project items that the selected items depend upon are listed in the bottom table. These dependent items will be automatically checked in as well.
  3. Click Check In.

Tip:
  • To refresh the list of pending changes with the latest information, click the Refresh button at the top of the dialog.
  • To sort the list of items that are pending for check in, click the Name or Folder column headers.
  • To select all project items in the list for check in, click the check box in the Name header cell.


Checking in multiple items directly from the Design Explorer

To check in multiple project items directly from the Design Explorer:

  1. Select the folder containing the project items that you want to check in.
  2. Click the folder's menu button.
  3. From the resulting menu, choose Check In.
    The Folder menu.
  4. The Check in file(s) dialog is displayed, which is similar in operation to the My Pending Changes dialog.
  5. Review the list of project items and select the ones you want to check in. Any checked out project items that the selected items depend upon are listed in the bottom table. These dependent items will be automatically checked in as well.
  6. Click Check In.

Checking in a single item directly from the Design Explorer

You can check in a project item from the Design Explorer, or from the Toolbar if you are currently editing the item.

To check in a single project item directly from the Design Explorer:

  1. Select the project item that you want to check in.
  2. Click the item's menu button.
  3. From the resulting menu, choose Check In. The Check In dialog is displayed and shows the list of checked out items that your selected project item depends upon. These dependent items will be automatically checked in as well.
    The Check In dialog.
  4. (Optional) Enter a comment describing your changes in the Comments box.
  5. Click Check in.

Tip: The Check In menu item will be disabled if you are currently editing the project item (⪚ dashboard) in the content area. To check in the item, click the Check In button in the Toolbar instead.

Undoing a check out

You can undo a check out of a project item from the Design Explorer, or from the Toolbar if you are currently editing the item.

Warning: If you undo a check out of a project item, all changes made to the item since its last check in, including saved changes, will be lost.

To undo a check out of a project item from the Design Explorer:

  1. Select the project item in the Design Explorer.
  2. Click the item's menu button.
  3. From the resulting menu, choose Undo Checkout. A confirmation dialog is displayed.
    The Undo Check Out dialog.
  4. Click Discard changes.

The check out is undone, and all changes made to the project item since the last check in are discarded.

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