Ad Hoc Design of Dashboards

This is the continuation of the transcipt of a webinar hosted by InetSoft. The speakers are Ben Williams, Marketing Manager, and Katie Roussey, Systems Engineer.

Now, there are some minor features that we haven't necessarily made note of yet. The scheduler it -- when you're doing the ability to save to server in terms of an action with a scheduled task. The new scheduler options will include ability to restrict the server locations available for that action and the ability to automatically append a parameterized suffix to the file names for such actions.

That's a really great enhancement for those that are looking to leverage that feature. That is a great feature to have in mind and keep available. When you are doing dashboard design, or even ad hoc design of dashboards, normally for the charts you can do a right click, right? Right click condition, right click properties, etc. We've now introduced a dot, dot, dot menu where you can also have those same right click options, so then you get a single left click to be able to enter into that. As I mentioned before, it's something that you can also see in the user portal.

If I jump back to just looking at my dashboard here, I can do a dot, dot, dot to do any of the ad hoc options that I would normally see such as annotate component, where I would do a right click on this chart. It's going to be just a little bit easier for some that don't think like the right click is very obvious, having this simple menu will give an easy way for doing that. I believe that we already mentioned that this is something that a lot of people found useful particularly when you were dealing with something like advanced options for writing scripts or doing filter conditions on components.

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Creating New Data Sources in the Web Portal

It was always like, oh, I'm not having scrolling in this dialogue. Well, now you can also resize the dialogue to maybe give yourself a little bit more workspace. That was a nice little feature enhancement that we didn't mention during the slideshow, but it is really a great thing to have in mind. I think that on a whole, for some of you, in particular, the Style Scope users, maybe not the Style Report users, you will take advantage of the advanced enhancement for creating new data sources just in the web portal.

It will allow you to do more rapid connection and design, whether it's in your local development environment or direct on production for any new data sources you're looking to onboard. It will give you a great way to be able to do those creations of lightweight query blocks just direct in the worksheet builder. You're already familiar with the query builder for doing it against relational data source types. But now you're going to have that endpoint option. But it will need to do the live connect to pull the metadata to establish the data block.

As I mentioned before I wasn't going to have us wait for it to do the re-authentication to my SurveyMonkey to do that live on the webinar. But some of these are some really great enhancements that we think are going to make your designing a lot easier. Some of the features that you might have noticed with the whole new Enterprise Manager for those that maybe aren't as familiar, maybe you only saw the 2018 release webinar.

We did not do a release webinar for 2019, but the new look and feel for the Enterprise Manager continues to roll in, so that was from 2019 now into 2020. Just little things that you'll see variations or little enhancements on throughout both interfaces will be in place. You might notice like little enhancements here and there.

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Dashboard Design Wizard

But overall, we think dashboard design has really been given a great enhancement with this wizard and recommender. I think that that's really all we wanted to show for you. I mean I could do as many different visualization recommendations and play with the data for as long as we could possibly think of. I could spend an hour showing you different combinations, but I don't think that would really be practical, so I think what I'll do is I will turn it back over to Ben for questions. We'll see about addressing anyone's questions and wrap up the webinar from there.

Ben: Thank you, Katie. We do have a number of questions here, but if anyone else has them now would be the time to enter them. First question, someone is asking is Style Studio still needed for reporting?

Katie: Yes, so we have not relocated full report design at all, it is still fully within Style Studio. You can still also perform data source management, query management, data model management that is all still within Style Studio. But with being able to establish new connections within the web portal, if you happen to be establishing a new data source connection or just maybe even to update a password, right, so many times you'll have a password expiration on, say, like a relational database that you have to do once a month as an administrator.

Always you would have to do it in your development environment in the studio, and then push it out to production. Even just having the lightweight data source management that we introduced in version 2019, now having it more enhanced in version 2020, that interface continues to get easier to use. It's really great to be able to just lightweight, make a change, like update the password right on production if you need to so that way you don't have any sort of downtime with your data source connection if there ends up being a hiccup with that.

Yes Style Studio is definitely still the designer tool of choice for advanced reporting. It is still the tool of choice for data models and existing queries. However, for establishing new data sources or just querying any of your existing data sources in the worksheet layer, you can just establish those query data blocks real quick. Let them do the quick query execution to pull the metadata and save that worksheet and design a dashboard off of it right away.

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Ben: Okay, next question is what are the implications of migrating from 2019 to 2020?

Katie: With all upgrades, it is always recommended that you do backwards compatibility testing of your asset to make sure, because we do have a transformation process for each version of the assets into the new version. There might be some minor enhancements and changes. We never wanted to affect the visual outcome of dashboards or reports. But it's always good to do a walkthrough, do like a walkthrough in a development environment of those assets ahead of time. With custom integration points, obviously, there may be that you need to recompile custom security classes, little things like that that will need to be done as you do with any version upgrades.

As mentioned, the big thing from 2019 to 2020 is that now the web app is running as root. You're no longer at /SREE. This means that if you have integration points where you've integrated our application to say your website, or just because your users might have web URLs bookmarked, they would need to update those links because the actual structure of the URL would be different, so that is a bit of a change to make. But on a whole, we find that this will be a better enhancement for moving into the future, so that's why we made that change.

Ben: Okay, next question is can I still use the old Style Editor for charts?

Katie: Yes, yes. If I didn't quite make that clear, for existing charts that you already have, they would not pop into the visualization recommender. They would be in the standard edit binding for a chart or the edit binding for crosstab those components will still have that traditional full editor. Now, it might have been a little bit interesting because I had done full editor specifically from what are the newer chart types with like a Treemap or Marimekko because they actually, instead of having an XY they have like a T section for specific binding , it's kind of like our map to have a geographic section for binding.

But, yes, you would just be able to use the traditional XY color shape size, set a specific chart type, and then do all the various controls such as top 10, or sort orders or, adjustments of calculations, etc. so you would be able to still do that explicit controls. As I mentioned, that might have gotten missed. You can always make these changes, but at a certain point, you might not be able to roll back into the recommender without losing those customizations. You might be, staying in full editor for that particular component moving forward for the rest of its existence within your dashboard.

Next: Demo of Creating a Dashboard with SurveyMonkey