DevExpress Dashboard - Early Access Preview (v19.2)

v19.2 - our next major update - is a couple of months away. As such, we wanted to share the features we expect to ship in October and invite all active DevExpress Universal users to download our early access preview. Your feedback will help us refine these new features and allow us to ship the best possible royalty-free Dashboard platform in the marketplace.

WinForms Dashboard - Asynchronous Data Processing and Rendering

Our next major release will include the first version of DevExpress Dashboard's Asynchronous Data Processing and Rendering Engine for the WinForms platform. As its name implies, this engine was designed to decouple data processing from UI-related threads. Yes, with v19.2, your users will be able to continue using your app while time-consuming operations are performed on the server side.

To switch the Dashboard Viewer/Designer to Async mode, you will simply set its AsyncMode property to true.

The Advantages of Asynchronous Data Processing

  • Responsiveness: We render dashboard widgets more quickly. Your application will be more responsive and feel "lighter."

  • Immediate Rendering: Asynchronous data processing helps accelerate dashboard data calculations and rendering – Items appear sequentially as they are ready (data that is processed first appears without waiting for more time-consuming calculations).

WinForms Dashboard - Asynchronous Data Processing and Rendering

Note: If you currently handle control events, please be aware of API changes designed to support the modified lifecycle of the Async data processing. We've created a migration guide to simplify the transition process ( KB article ). Full product documentation will be published prior to official release.

As you can imagine, this early access preview ships with a number of limitations. We are actively working on our Async API, and testing our UX. This reality notwithstanding, we encourage you to evaluate our implementation and experience the performance advantages first-hand. We need your help so please do share your thoughts and your technical issues with us.

Web Dashboard Themes

Our next major release will include an extended web theme set and allow you to create custom themes as needed.

Predefined Themes – Powered by DevExtreme

Since our Dashboard is tightly integrated with our DevExtreme component library, many of you have asked us to fully support DevExteme's set of Predefined Themes. In this early access preview, you can use any Generic DevExtreme theme within your project.

Web Dashboard Themes

To explore this new option, simply open an existing v19.2 Web Dashboard Demo and switch between themes using the dropdown button within the Dashboard Title.

Note: Material themes are not available in this early access preview. Material design support involves numerous moving parts and though we hope to include support once v19.2 ships, we may have to defer this feature.

Custom Themes and Command-Line Interface

For those who wish to create a custom Dashboard theme and those who have already created a custom theme using the DevExtreme ThemeBuilder, v19.2 includes our new Dashboard Theme Builder CLI (command line interface).

Our Dashboard Theme Builder CLI is a command line tool based on Node.js and was designed to work together with DevExtreme ThemeBuilder. It allows you to create a custom Web Dashboard theme with ease.

The following KB article details usage of our new Theme Builder CLI.

Note: In this early access preview, we do not apply palettes to data-specific colors (present in our Chart, Range Filter, TreeMap and other visualization widgets). Palettes used in these Items are tightly bound with data, and we don't expect to make modifications to our existing implementation. You can customize specific colors by handling the CustomPalette event. If this does not address your requirements, please comment below. We'll be happy to review your use-case in greater detail and reconsider our implementation if necessary.

Data Inspector

We've created a basic UI to allow end-users to inspect data (underlined or aggregated, at your discretion) used to populate our visualization widgets.

Data Inspector - DevExpress Dashboard

To invoke this dialog, use one of the following methods:

  • click "Data Inspector" in the Dashboard Item Caption. The item is visible if the AllowInspectAggregatedData or AllowInspectRawData property is true;
  • call the ShowDataInspector method within your own UI.

The new UI is available for all platforms (WinForms Dashboard, WPF Dashboard, Web Dashboard). We activated this feature for all DevExpress Dashboard Demos in this early access preview.

JSON DataSource

You can now use JSON Data Source to feed JSON data to Dashboards - across every platform.

End-users can create a JSON data source with the Data Source Wizard available in our WinForms Designer and Web Dashboard.

JSON DataSource - DevExpress Dashboard

You can use the new DashboardJSONDataSource class to create the JSON data source in code.

XPO DataSource

DevExpress Dashboard now supports our XPO Data Source. You can bind your XPOBusiness Model to DevExpress Dashboard (feel free to use our WinForms Dashboard Wizard for this task).

You can also instantiate the DashboardXpoDataSource in code and add it to your dashboard / data source storage as follows:

DashboardXpoDataSource dataSource = new DashboardXpoDataSource() {
    ConnectionStringName = "nwind"
};

dataSource.SetEntityType(typeof(Products));

Data Federation – Union

Our Data Federation Data Source now supports Union operations.

When creating a new federated query in our WinForms Wizard, you can select the appropriate operation type – Join, Union or Union All

Data Federation Data Source - Union - DevExpress Dashboard

In addition, our API allows you to create complex queries when a Federation Data Source performs a Join with one data source and a Union operation with another data source. The query is generated as illustrated in the following code snippet:

DashboardFederationDataSource federationDataSource = new DashboardFederationDataSource();
var msSource = new Source("MSSQL Source", msSqlDataSource, "query");
var mySqlSource = new Source("MySQL Source", mySqlDataSource, "query");
var excelSource = new Source("Excel Source", excelDataSource, "");

var query =
    msSource.From().Select("ProductName", "CategoryID").Build("MSSQL select")
    .UnionAll(mySqlSource.From().Select("ProductName", "CategoryID").Build("MySQL select"))
        .Build("Products union")
    .From().Select("ProductName")
        .Join(excelSource, "[Products union].[CategoryID] = [Excel Source].[CategoryID]").Select("CategoryName")
    .Build("query");
federationDataSource.Queries.Add(query);

Extract Data Source API

We extended our Extract Data Source API and made it easier to manage millions of data rows. (if you've not evaluated Extract Data Source, we recommend that you consider it for future projects as it is blazing fast.

Some of you reported issues when updating your Extract Data Source in the concurrent multi-user request world of the web. Our current workaround required that you write code to address this issue. With v19.2, you can use the following straightforward API:

DashboardExtractDataSource.UpdateFile(extractDS,
    (_, result) => logger.Log("onDataUpdated", result),
    (_, result) => logger.Log("onFileUpdated", result));
extractDS.Dispose();

Behind the scenes, we redirect data requests to a new file and delete the old file when it is no longer necessary. This operation is seamless. No additional thread synchronization tasks are required on your end.

Data Federation + Extract

We improved how our Data Federation and Extract Data Sources work together.

With v19.2, you can create an extract from your Federation Data Source. You can also include Extract Data Source in the Federation Data Source and join/union with other data sources.

Window Function for Calc Fields

Back in v16.1, we enhanced our DevExpress Dashboard with Window Calculations , available at Dashboard Item's level. Since then we collected a (very little) number of your request to perform similar calculations on the previous data processing step, before the data was aggregated to be displayed.

You can now do it in your Calculated Field with our new w function.

To better illustrate its concept, we have created this article which gives examples of various aggregation types so you can compare and analyze.

Before We Let You Go

To better address your business needs, we ask that you complete the following DevExpress Dashboard product survey. We'd love to know how you're using DevExpress Dashboard and how we can better address your needs in 2020. The survey should only take 4 ½ minutes to complete (yes, we’ve made certain to keep it short and to the point). 

NOTE: Early Access and CTP builds are provided solely for early testing purposes and are not ready for production use. This build can be installed side by side with other major versions of DevExpress products. Please backup your project and other important data before installing Early Access and CTP builds.

Free DevExpress Products - Get Your Copy Today

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