Report and Dashboard Server - Modern UI, Localization, White-Label (v18.2)

Back in May 2018 I posted an update on our efforts to modernize the UI of the Report and Dashboard Server. Now I can announce that these changes are finalized in v18.2 and the functionality is not in CTP state anymore.

The updated UI is now active by default, including those parts that still used the old UI in the past ( Schedule Documents, User Accounts, etc). Our Administrative Panel documentation has been updated to reflect the changes. The General Settings page includes an option to show a link which allows users to switch back to the old-style “classic” interface.

We also finalized the Localization and White Label features. Here are some details.

Localization

We made many changes since the CTP release, so now the Report and Dashboard Server can be localized fully using the .NET standard satellite assembly technology. This includes all the embedded controls, for instance Charts, Grid and Map Control used in the Dashboard Designer.

The DevExpress Localization Service helps you translate missing items into any language, and you can also use it to adjust translations to your own preferences. The system offers to share translations once they have been accepted by multiple users, to make everybody’s life a bit easier.

DevExpress Localization Service

All server and client messages for the Report and Dashboard Server are stored in an assembly called DevExpress.ReportServer.v18.2.Localization.dll. As a result of any translation work, from the localization service or any other source, you will receive satellite assembly files. These satellite assemblies need to go into the path C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress\Report Server\Web\Bin\{subfolder} (assuming an installation using default paths), where {subfolder} is the language specific folder that needs to be created if it doesn’t exist yet. Please see the topic Language Identifier Constants and Strings in MSDN for more information about language identifiers.

Eventually you can select the culture in the General Settings page of the Report and Dashboard Server Administrative Panel.

Choose a Culture

Be sure to restart IIS if you have replaced or added any satellite assemblies. Then you should see the results in the UI:

German Culture

White-Labeling

The term white-labeling describes the process of customizing the appearance of an application or a website to adhere to corporate identity standards, including colors, logos, titles and other elements. We received numerous requests for this functionality in the Report and Dashboard Server and we are now introducing support for it!

Our new UI was originally developed with support for custom theming. However, until recently there wasn’t an easy way of adapting themes at runtime to incorporate specific individual changes – our Theme Builder is a design-time solution only.

Fortunately the DevExtreme team created the npm package devextreme-themebuilder. This enables us to create custom CSS directly in the browser and apply it to existing pages. For instance, if an admin changes a color in the Administrative Panel, new CSS rules are generated from the source less file and stored in browser local storage. The same thing happens when a new browser first opens the Administrative Panel. When colors are changed, the Report and Dashboard Server remembers them in the database and propagates the settings to all clients.

To change the theme, bring up the Theme Settings dialog via the toolbar:

Theme Settings

When you click the Preview Changes button, the new colors are temporarily applied so you can test the result:

Preview Theme Setting Changes

In addition to color customizations, admins can also upload a logo and change site title and URL using the Custom Branding option.

Custom Branding

Please Let Us Know Your Thoughts

As ever, we are interested in your feedback. Much of the functionality described in this post is based on customer ideas and requirements! Please feel free to leave a comment below or open a Support Center ticket for detailed discussion. How do you like the new UI? Will you use localization or white-labeling?

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