Home > English > Creating a Dashboard in Silverlight

Creating a Dashboard in Silverlight

Dashboard Display

Part of creating an enterprise solution for line of business applications, is the need to provide flexible, easy to use, dashboarding.  Delivering business intelligence (BI) to your clients is the next step in the evolution of providing a mature enterprise application.  Providing a means for the end user to create and modify existing dashboard items is invaluable.  I will be presenting one way this can be solved and show you how to go about designing a solution for dashboarding.  We will cover the following items:

  • Dashboard layout manager
  • Dashboard element
  • Dashboard element selector

Dashboard Layout Manager

The dashboard layout manager will be the area of the screen that is dedicated to showing and displaying individual dashboard elements.  It will allow for reordering items on the screen.  We will be using the RadTileView as the underlying control for this piece.  There is also the BlackLight control if you are interested in an alternative solution.

Dashboard Element

The dashboard element is responsible for showing an individual dashboard item.  You can choose from the following types of elements:

  • Table
  • Area
  • Bar
  • Line

Each of these provides a different perspective or view on the underlying data.  A user will be able to select an element from the dashboard element selector.

Dashboard Element Selector

The dashboard element selector presents the user with a list of authorized dashboard elements that he/she has access to.  Elements will be added to the layout manager once a user selects an element to be included.

Dashboard Authoring

The user will be presented a list of existing elements that he has rights to author and modify.  A wizard will be presented for creating a new element.  The wizard will walk the user through building a connection string (this may come from a list of authorized locations a user can author dashboard items from as well), the create a query or select a table and columns.  Next the user will be presented with what type of dashboard element to present:  Table, Area chart, Bar chart, Line chart.  After this has been completed and the user has provided any additional meta data, the user will preview what the newly created element will look like and then select publish to save the definition to the database.

In the next post, we will begin the journey of building a generic solution to be used in any Silverlight application.  Stay tuned.

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