Xcelsius, one of our favorite tools, is changing names; it is now becoming Dashboard Design. Although few visible changes have been made, some of them sound quite interesting.
It is now possible, as with Web Intelligence or Crystal Report, to add a query on a universe.
With the View menu, it is now possible to display the Query Browser application, which allows you to add, to modify or to delete a query (see image on the left).
The next step is to select a universe from the list (see image below).
Once the selection of the universe is completed, it is easy to proceed with the creation of a query since it is created using a query editor similar to what we already use in Web Intelligence.
When creating a query on a universe, contrary to what we have learned so far, the data is not inserted automatically in the Excel spreadsheet. In fact, it is possible to avoid the use of a spreadsheet as long as we only use data providers based on queries from the universes.
If needed, it is still possible to insert data from the query into the spreadsheet if needed.
From the query browser application (see image), it is easy to access Result Objects, Filters and Prompts.
You can also insert the data returned by the query in an Excel spreadsheet (see Insert in Spreadsheet).
For example, when adding a graphic, the final step is to select the data source of the current chart by selecting the icon below.
Using Dashboard Design, it is still possible to select the data in the spreadsheet or the data from a query on a universe (see image).
New components were also added to allow better handling of data from the universes.
For example, it is now possible to add a selector and to connect it directly to the result of an invite.
When adding a new selector to prompt a request, you must first select the prompt that will serve as the source, then you need to choose the prompt that we want to update and lastly, you must determine the Query to refresh after the selection changes.
You must specify whether changing the selection will refresh the data or whether a button is provided for this purpose.
Furthermore, it is possible to have a comprehensive dashboard without having to use the Excel spreadsheet. In the example below, you can see the result of the operations from the actions shown in the previous images.
Nevertheless, for certain requirements, it will probably be useful to link the data from these new queries with those of the data providers that we already use. Moreover, as we do not currently know the actual performance of this new feature, it is important to do some testing before making any changes.
Is it the beginning of a new era? An era where developing a dashboard with Dashboard Design will be simple and intuitive? Only time will tell...