Friday, September 25, 2009

Designing Simple Dashboards with SRS reports and web parts

At the very basic level, you can design an HTML page with multiple IFRAMES added. Each IFRAME includes the path to the SRS report or one of the CRM views or another html page, probably the URL of a another website… You can place the IFRAME in an HTML table and design the layout of your Dashboard.

<body bgcolor="#E3EFFF" leftmargin="0" topmargin="0">
<table border ="1">
<tr height="100%">
<iframe height="550" width="500" src="
http://ad01/ReportServer?%2fINOGIC_MSCRM%2f4.0%2f%7bec3b0bf7-0ab5-dc11-94ac-000c29b366df%7d&rs:Command=Render" />
<iframe height="550" width="300" src="
http://ad01:5555/Inogic/_root/homepage.aspx?etc=4&viewid=00000000-0000-0000-00aa-000010001006" />


The issue with this one could be that it is a static dashboard and the users do not have much control over the presentation.

This can be taken a step forward by giving more control to the user by using the concept of Web Parts.

Briefly the steps would be

1. Design a web form and add the Web Part Zone control. The Web Part Zone allows you to design the layout of your page i.e whether the reports added appear Horizontally aligned or Vertically aligned or a combination of both.

2. Once the layout is defined. You add the Web Part control. This control will hold your reports.

3. You can add an IFRAME within the Web Part and set the URL to the report/page that needs to be displayed.

The benefit of using Web Parts is that it stores the personalization information of each individual user automatically. So if the user had changed the position of one of the reports in the layout from the left to the right, this change is stored and next time when the user logs on their individual preference is read and displayed accordingly.

Additionally you can provide the drag and drop capabilities

Or even minimize one of the reports to save space.

Well designing Dashboards using web parts is definitely worth exploring further.

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