Dashboard Designer

This article introduces dashboard designer and how to navigate and use it.

Updated over a week ago

Dashboards are a way to combine several related reports into one unified viewing space. Existing reports can be added to a Dashboard, and new Visualizations can be created directly on the Dashboard itself. Images, text, other web sites, and interactive filters can also be added. Dashboards can be exported as a Chained Report from the Dashboard Designer.

The Dashboard Designer is comprised of three sections: the Toolbar, the Canvas and the Tile Properties Pane.

Each element on a Dashboard is a contained within a rectangular tile that can be resized and dragged to the desired location. Tiles are arranged onto a grid, and can snap into place next to each other.

Click on the below links for details:


Keyboard Shortcuts

There are several useful keyboard shortcuts available in the Dashboard Designer. They are listed in the Keyboard Shortcuts article.



Toolbar

The top of the Dashboard Designer contains a Toolbar for creating and interacting with the canvas and the tiles.


New Tile: creates a new content tile on the canvas

Refresh: refreshes the data in all tiles on the canvas

Filters: allows filters to be added to the Dashboard and shows prompting filters imported from the Dashboard's component reports. Full details on how this menu works can be found in the Dashboard Designer: Filters article

Parameters: if report tiles on the Dashboard contain Parameters, this menu will be enabled and allow the parameters to be changed. More information can be found in the Dashboard Designer: Parameters article

Canvas Format: controls how the tiles fit onto the canvas and sets default styling options

Save: saves the Dashboard

Save Dropdown: changes the name and description text of the Dashboard when saving

Export: exports the contents of existing reports and visualizations on the Dashboard as a Chained Report

Run: launches the Dashboard Viewer and optionally saves the Dashboard (depending on system configuration)



Canvas

Every element on a Dashboard is a contained on the canvas within a rectangular tile that can be dragged to the desired location, resized and styled. Tiles are arranged onto a grid, and can snap into place next to each other.



Tiles

Each element on a Dashboard is a contained within a rectangular tile that can be resized and dragged to the desired location. Tiles are arranged onto a grid, and can snap into place next to each other.

Tiles contain four elements:

  1. Move handle: click and drag the move handle to move the tile around on the canvas. Hold the Shift key while dragging the move handle to stretch the tile to fit the available space

  2. Tile Menu: contains additional options for tiles. Refer to the Managing Tiles section of this article for more information.

  3. Tile Header: an optional header can be displayed in the tile

  4. Content: the content of the tile is displayed in this area

Adding Tiles

Several different types of tiles can be added to the canvas:

  • Visualizations

  • URL

  • Image

  • Text

  • Existing Reports

  • Filters

New tiles can be added to the canvas either one of two ways:

(1) Click the New Tile icon to open the new tile menu, then drag the desired type of tile onto the Dashboard canvas.


(2) Drag the New Tile icon onto the Dashboard canvas, and a new tile placeholder will be added onto the canvas.
Then choose the desired tile type by clicking on it in the placeholder.

Tiles can be dragged to an empty location to fill the space, to the side of an empty location to take up a portion of the space, or over another tile to place it adjacent and resize the other tile to fit. Tiles can then be resized by dragging the handles to alter the tile size.



Screen Fit and Scaling

Dashboards can scale to fit different screen sizes. Click the Canvas Format icon on the Toolbar to open the Canvas Format menu. The following Fit options are available:

  • Scale to Screen causes tiles to resize to fit the height and width of the displayed canvas.
    Tiles must be larger than 3-grid units tall and/or 4-grid units wide or less to automatically resize.

  • Specify Height specifies a static height for the canvas. Enter the desired Height of the Dashboard into the textbox. Tiles must be larger than 20 pixels tall or 4-grid units wide to automatically resize.

    • Check the Automatically Reposition Tiles checkbox to make the tiles reposition each time the width of the canvas is changed. Leave unchecked if the tiles should maintain position when the canvas width is changed. See the examples below, which shows the same Dashboard with a set height and differing widths with the Automatically Reposition Tiles checkbox checked and unchecked:

    Automatically Reposition Tiles Checked


    Automatically Reposition Tiles Unchecked

  • Specify Height and Width prevents tiles from automatically resizing, and the canvas will have a static height and width. Enter the desired Height and Width into the corresponding textboxes.

  • Check the Snap Tiles to Grid checkbox if tiles should snap to the grid. Leave unchecked to allow free movement of the tile borders.


Backgrounds and Borders

Default options for the canvas background color, tile and tile header background colors, and tile border colors and widths can also be customized from the Canvas Format menu under Style. These settings can be overridden for individual tiles through the respective tile's Tile Properties Pane.

  • Canvas Color sets the background color of the entire canvas

The following Tile Defaults are applied whenever a new tile is added to the canvas.

  • Check the Background checkbox to set colors for the tile and the tile header

    • Tile sets the default tile background color

    • Heading sets the default tile header background color

  • Check the Shadow checkbox to enable a subtle shadow effect to be applied to the tiles

  • Check the Border checkbox to set defaults for the tile borders. By default, the settings are applied to all four of the tile borders. To set individual color, width and roundness settings to each border check the Customize Border checkbox.

    • Click the color selector icon to choose a border color

    • Enter a width in pixels for the border

    • Choose a round value to set the roundness of the corners



Managing Tiles

Tiles have a menu with some additional options.


Tile Menu

Click a tile on the canvas to select it, then click the Tile Menu icon to access some additional options. Not all tile types have the same options available. For example, interactive filter tiles do not have expand tile or refresh report options.

  • Delete Tile will remove the tile from canvas.

  • Duplicate Tile will create a duplicate of the tile on the canvas.

  • Dock Filter to Toolbar will relocate an interactive filter from the canvas to the Filters menu. When the Dashboard is run, the filter appears in a Filters pane instead of on the canvas. Applies to interactive filter tiles only.

  • Expand Tile will fill the entire canvas with this tile. Once expanded, this option becomes Collapse Tile and will restore the tile back to its original size and location

  • Refresh Report will refresh the data in report and visualization tiles

  • Open in Designer will load an existing report tile into its respective designer for editing

  • Save as Advanced Report will save tiles containing visualizations built directly on the canvas as an Advanced Report and then launch the Advanced Report Designer

  • Edit will allow settings to be changed for visualization tiles. Different visualization types will have different options available:

    • Type: changes the visualization type displayed in the tile. Click on the different categories (pie, line, column, bar, tabular) to choose one of the available types. See the Dashboard Designer: Visualizations article for more information. Enable or disable a three-dimensional effect on the visualization with the Use 3D Style checkbox.

    • Theme: changes a visualization's visual color theme

    • Legend Location: changes the location of a visualization's legend location from none, right or bottom. Applies only to those bar, column, pie, line and scatter visualizations

    • Sort By: change how the visualization is sorted

      • Report Order presents the data in the order in which the data source sends it to the application

      • Data Labels sorts the data based on the labels in the visualization

      • Ascending sorting order is from lowest to highest or from A to Z

      • Descending sorting order is from highest to lowest or from Z to A

    • Invert Data: for multiple category visualizations (e.g. stack column and stack bar charts), swaps the order of the categories


Tile Properties Pane


The Tile Properties Pane on the right side of the Dashboard Designer is where the look, feel and behavior of individual tiles on the canvas can be changed. It contains three tabs: Content, Style and Advanced.

The very top of the Tile Properties Pane contains the Tile Header section, including a text entry field for providing a title that can optionally displayed on the canvas.

Clicking on the Show Header icon next to the text entry field will show the header in the tile on the canvas. Clicking Hide Header icon will hide it. Clicking on the Title Header Format icon will show formatting settings for the tile header allowing the font type, size, alignment and styling to be applied. Clicking the Title Header Format icon again will hide these settings.

Depending on the type of tile selected on the canvas, the availability of the tabs in the Tile Properties Pane will change. Tabs which are not available for a particular tile type will be grayed out. Each tile type has its own article with details of the respective tile properties. A list of tile types with links to more information is at the beginning of this article.



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