DevExpress Dashboards: Visual Studio Integration, Server Side Parameters, and New API (What’s New in 13.2)

DevExpress Data Blog
28 November 2013

We have done a great deal of work on our dashboard tool for both Windows and the Web. While I can’t detail every new feature, I thought I would mention 3 new developer friendly things available starting in our 13.2 release.

Visual Studio Integration

In this release you’ll now be able to build dashboards directly in Visual Studio. The process is pretty straight forward.

Add a Dashboard via the Template Gallery

Literally right click and select Add New DevExpress Item and the wizard appears.

Dashboard Template Gallery Item

Add Data Source

Once the designer loads up you can use the new Dashboard Visual Studio menu item to add/edit the available Data Sources.

Edit Dashboard Data Sources

Data Source Types

As you know, our dashboards bind directly to your database or to an internal project data source.

Two Dashboard Data Source Types

As you can see we have added UI in an effort to simplify both of these cases.

Build Your Dashboard

Full Visual Studio Dashboard Integration

Once bound you can create your dashboard layout just as you did before. In Visual Studio, however, you have more fine-grained control through the use of the standard property editor available in the IDE.

Creating a Dashboard Preview

Just like a DevExpress Report, a dashboard is just a set of files that can be edited directly in Visual Studio:

Dashboard Files

Just like reports, you can also set the dashboard source at design time (once you compile).

Setting Dashboard Viewer Source

Overall the Visual Studio experience is intended to be both simple and familiar so you can be effective the moment you install the product.

Server Side Filtering with Parameters

This was a highly requested feature! Even though previous versions could handle server side filtering, it was cumbersome and required a bit of code. Starting in 13.2 you can customize a Dashboard Data Source to do server side filtering  using the new parameters feature.

Dashboard Query Designer

When using the Dashboard Data Source Wizard, there are now two additional buttons: one for parameters and one for filtering. The notion of parameters in dashboards is virtually identical to parameters in reports. In this case they can be used to directly filter data on the server side with the aid of the Filter Editor:

Server Side Parameters and Filters

In essence you create the parameters you want and then add the filters using the filter editor. Then at design time (and runtime) you can populate the parameters to push the filtering to the server.

Setting Dashboard Filter at Design Time

This can be achieved by clicking in the dashboard title area (the question mark to the right of “Dashboard”) and typing in the desired parameter value.

Better API

Here’s another thing a lot of developers were itching to get their hands on!

Dashboard Viewer Events

We have added a number of events to the dashboard viewers that should allow programmatic control over the most important aspects of your visualization. Here are a couple:

  1. DashboardViewer.MasterFilterSet – control what happens when a master filter is set
  2. DashboardViewer.MasterFilterCleared – control what happens when a master filter is cleared
  3. DashboardViewer.DrillDownPerformed – control what happens when a drill down is performed
  4. DashboardViewer.DrillUpPerformed – control what happens when a drill up is performed

For each event, there event parameter (e.DashboardItemName) that will identify exactly which dashboard item raised the event as well as other important ancillary information such as selected values, ranges, drill-X path’s, level’s, etc. In short, complete control.


This is not everything of course. We have also added new map dashboard items (I will go in depth on these later), multi-selection in master filters, and much more. This is shaping up to be an exciting release!

As always, if there are any comments and/or questions, feel free to get a hold of me!

Seth Juarez
Twitter: @SethJuarez

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