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Working with Legacy Dashboards

Last updated: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:06:55 GMT
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Working with Legacy Dashboards

Please Note: This page is currently under development. We apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. 

 

A dashboard displays several reports in a single, integrated view. A dashboard can include other dashboards, input controls for choosing the data displayed in one or more frames, and custom frames that point to URLs for other content. By combining different types of related content, you can create appealing, data-rich dashboards that quickly convey trends. 

 

Note: Any dashboard created prior to JasperSoft 6.0 is considered a legacy dashboard. If you want to create a new dashboard using the current method, click here

 

Legacy Dashboard Overview

A dashboard can include the following content:

  • Reports

  • Special content:

  1. Customer URL: Any URL-addressable web content. The dashboard can point to web content and include it in a frame in a webpage. For example, you might include a frame that points to the logo on your corporate website; when that logo changes, the dashboard automatically updates to reflect the branding name. 

  2. Free Text: A free-form text entry field. Resizing this type of item changes the size of the font in the label. Use free text items to add titles and instructional text to the dashboard.

  3. Single Controls and Multiple Controls: If a report you include on the dashboard is designed to use input controls or filters, you can add that capability to the dashboard. The server maps input controls to one or more frames. For example, if multiple reports include the same parameter, the server automatically maps the corresponding control to each of those reports when you add the input control to the dashboard. Controls may also be manually mapped to custom URL frames.

 

Dashboard Controls:

  • Submit: Applies the values in the dashboard input controls to the reports that refer to each input control. The server refreshes these reports to display the new set of data. If the dashboard does not include a Submit button, changes to input control values are reflected immediately. 

  • Reset: Resets the values of the input controls to the last value selected when the dashboard was saved. 

  • Print View: Displays the dashboard without buttons or the server's header and footer, and (depending on the browser) opens the browser's Print window.

  • Text Label: Identifies an input control. When you add an input control to the dashboard, the server automatically adds a text label for it. Resizing this type of item only changes the size of the label itself; the font size in the label is fixed. 

 

This section contains the following processes:

  • Viewing a Legacy Dashboard

  • Creating a Legacy Dashboard

  • Editing a Dashboard

  • Tips for Designing Dashboards

Viewing a Legacy Dashboard

If you would like to open a legacy dashboard, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Reports > Dashboards

  2. Click your selected legacy dashboard. 

  3. When you hover your cursor over each report, controls appear for that individual report. Click Refresh to refresh the report content, and click Open in a new window to open the report in a new window. Any reports in the dashboard display updated data.

  4. Click Reset to set the input controls to the last values saved and return the dashboard to its initial view.

 

Keep these points in mind when viewing a dashboard that has input controls:

  • An input control may appear as a text field, a drop-down, a check box, a multi-select list box, or a calendar icon.

  • If one of the frames in a dashboard does not refer to an input control, that frame does not update when you change that input control's value. Only reports that refer to the input control reflect the change. 

 

Note: If a dashboard includes a Print View button, click it to display the dashboard without any header or footers; depending on your web browser, this also opens your browser's Print window. 

Creating a Legacy Dashboard

If you would like to view a legacy dashboard, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Create > Dashboard. The Dashboard Designer appears, displaying the list of available content and the canvas. 

  2. In the Available Content panel, right-click on the report you want to add and select Add to Dashboard. The report appears in a fame in the upper-left corner of the canvas.

  3. Right-click the report and click Size to Content. The resized report not exceeds the canvas area.

Editing a Dashboard

If you would like to edit a legacy dashboard, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the dashboard you want to edit. The selected dashboard opens.

  2. Edit the dashboard by adding, removing, resizing, or dragging content. Drag an item from the Available Content list and drop it on an existing frame to replace the existing content. 

  3. Once you are satisfied with the dashboard, click Save

  4. To create a new version of the dashboard, select Save As and specify a new name. 

Tips for Designing Dashboards

Charts and small crosstabs are best suited to dashboards. However, you can design table reports that work well in the dashboard. Such reports tend to be very narrow and are typically used with input controls to limit the number of rows they return.

Keep reports small because dashboards typically contain more than one. In particular, reports shouldn't be too wide, as horizontal room is always at a premium in a dashboard. The server strips margins from an Ad Hoc report when displaying the report on a dashboard.

 

Input Control Tips

When designing input controls for a dashboard, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • If you want a single input control on the dashboard to control the data displayed in multiple reports, the reports themselves need parameters with the same name as the input control. For example, you might have a query-based list of employee names that can be used in both sales reports and human resources reports. 

  • When defining a parameter in a report, give it a meaningful name that can be reused in other reports. Then, when two reports that include this parameter are added to the dashboard, their input controls appear as Special Content in the Available Content list. Storing such input controls in the repository encourages reuse in other reports as they are designed and added to the repository.

  • Consider the ramifications of designing input controls to use radio buttons. A report's input control that displays as a radio button set appears as a drop-down on a dashboard. 

  • To pass a value to an external URL, the URL Parameter Name you give to the input control must match the name of a parameter that the URL can accept. The target URL is likely to have additional requirements and imitations. For example, the name of the parameter may be case-sensitive; in this case, the value you enter in the URL Parameter Name field is also case sensitive. 

 

The input control must pass data that the URL can accept. Otherwise, the server may be unable to retrieve the correct data from the external URL.

Miscellaneous Tips

When you create or edit a dashboard, keep these tips in mind. 

Alignment of items

  • You can use the computer’s arrow keys to move selected content one grid space at a time.

 

Selection of Items

  • The items on the context menu change depending on your selection. For example, the context menu might include the Delete Item or Delete Frame option, depending on whether you selected a button or a frame.

  • If you select multiple items or frames, the context menu includes only options that apply to all selected items. For example, if you select a frame and a button, the context menu includes only the Delete Items option.

  • When you select multiple frames, the context menu includes several options that can apply to the frames as a group, such as Hide All Scroll Bars and Delete Items.

  • Select multiple frames to change their sizes all at once. When you drag the edge of one frame, the other frames resize as well.

 

Relocated or deleted reports in dashboards

  • When you delete a report with input controls from the dashboard, the controls are also deleted, but their labels remain. Delete labels manually.

  • If a custom URL frame is mapped to a deleted input control, the server shows the default URL but does not pass the parameter.

  • Keep track of reports used in dashboards to prevent inadvertent deletion. The server deletes a report form a dashboard when you delete it from the repository or move it to a new location.

 

Embedded Dashboards

  • A dashboard can include other dashboards, unless this creates a circular dependency. Do not attempt to add a dashboard to itself.

  • A dashboard that contains multiple reports refer to the same input control and are controlled by that single input control. If you want users to set the input controls separately for each report, you should create two dashboards, both of which refer to the input control; then, create a third dashboard that includes the other two.

  • Adding the same dashboard twice to a parent dashboard can create a compelling comparison.

 

A dashboard can include the following content:

  1. Reports in the repository.

  2. Special content: When creating a new dashboard, you have a variety of special fields under the Available Content section that you can add to your dashboard.

 

  • Customer URL: Any URL-addressable web content. The dashboard can point to web content and include it in a frame in a webpage. For example, you might include a frame that points to the logo on your corporate website; when that logo changes, the dashboard automatically updates to reflect the branding change.

  • Free Text: A free-form text entry field. Resizing this type of item changes the size of the font in the label. Use free-text items to add titles and instructional text to the dashboard.

  • Single Controls and Multiple Controls: If a report you include on the dashboard is designed to use input controls or filters, you can add that capability to the dashboard. The server maps input controls to one or more frames. For example, if multiple reports include the same parameter, the server automatically maps the corresponding control to each of those reports when you add the input control to the dashboard. Controls can also be manually mapped to custom URL frames. 

 

 

Related Topics

Dashboards Home

Dashboard Processes

Filter Manager

Tips for Creating Dashboards

Reports Module Home