Introduction to the Dashboard Component
Starting with Version 8.7, GoodData.UI includes the
@gooddata/sdk-ui-dashboard package that contains the Dashboard component.
Using this component, we aim to address creation and consumption of rich, interactive, and responsive dashboards. We understand that the requirements for dashboards can vary greatly. Therefore, we created the Dashboard component with an API-first mindset: it is extendable and customizable so that developers can tweak and modify the default experience using plugins.
Status and disclaimer
Dashboard component should be used with caution as it is still in an early stage of its lifecycle and some parts are still in beta.
Dashboard component provide end-to-end solution for creation and consumption of dashboards with full drag-and-drop editing experience. It provide APIs to allow customization to expand the eventing and interactivity.
Dashboard component can render a dashboard created in the KPI Dashboards component of the GoodData platform and allows the developer to customize rendering of insights or add custom content.
In addition, developers can modify the default consumer experience, and create dashboard plugins to enhance or further customize the dashboard.
We have many milestones on our roadmap to improve Dashboard component.
Dashboards on the GoodData platform vs. Dashboard component
Let's take a look at GoodData's solution for dashboards and explain how the Dashboard component and the infrastructure around it fit into this picture.
The GoodData platform, GoodData Cloud and GoodData.CN all provide the KPI Dashboards component that can be used by both dashboard creators and consumers.
NOTE: The Dashboard component and the dashboards that it renders can be embedded and integrated into third-party applications.
The creators build dashboards using an intuitive and friendly drag-and-drop experience. They place insights onto a dashboard, define dashboard filters that can be used to filter data rendered by the insights, and customize what happens when the consumer interacts with the different insights on the dashboard. The interactions supported out of the box are various types of drilling: drilling down, drilling in, drilling to other dashboards, or drilling to custom locations.
In the end, the creators save the dashboard, and it becomes part of the workspace. Once the dashboard is part of the workspace, it can be discovered by consumers.
The consumers use the KPI Dashboards component to view dashboards that are available to them. In view mode, the consumers can change values of the filters and interact with the insights placed on the dashboard. By triggering the interactions (drills), the consumers can see more detailed data, navigate to other dashboards or even to other websites.
The consumers can also export the dashboard into a PDF file or schedule recurrent export and delivery of the dashboard via email.
The developers can step in to further enhance the dashboard with custom code that may deliver custom visualizations or enrich the dashboard with custom content such as text, images, videos, or custom interactive components (for example, forms, links, and buttons).
The developers modify the hosted KPI Dashboards component using plugins. They use GoodData's Plugin Development Toolkit to bootstrap, build, test, and package the plugin. In the plugin code itself, the developers can use different customization APIs to integrate custom code into the dashboard.
Finally, the developers link the plugin to one or more dashboards - from then on the KPI Dashboards component will use the plugin and execute the code packaged within.
Dashboard component architecture
Now that you have a better idea about GoodData's solution for dashboards, we can go more in depth into interesting technicalities behind it.
While the KPI Dashboards component is a proprietary application hosted by GoodData, it uses the Dashboard
component implemented in
@gooddata/sdk-ui-dashboards to render the entire dashboard. The Dashboard component
is the foundation on top of which all the GoodData dashboards stand.
The Dashboard component is a React component with a rich (and fairly large) API through which you can both access the core dashboard functionality and extend the component with custom functionality.
The Dashboard component is the largest and most complex component in GoodData.UI with a lot of domain logic contained in it. Internally, the Dashboard component is built using an architecture resembling the Model-View-Controller pattern:
The Model part is implemented with Redux and Redux-Saga. The Model part exposes rich APIs: selectors to get data from the component's state, events to describe changes, interactions with the dashboard, and commands to trigger changes.
The View and Controller parts are implemented using React components and hooks. The top-level Dashboard component also has rich APIs: props to specify a dashboard to render, configuration for rendering, customization of almost all view components used on a dashboard, and integration with the eventing. It also supports a full drag-and-drop experience for creating and editing existing dashboards.
For more information about the Dashboard component, see this article.
Dashboard component limitations
Dashboard component does not provide creation and edit of insights. (The proprietary KPI Dashboards component that is hosted on the GoodData platform and GoodData Cloud and GoodData.CN provide this out of box)
Dashboard component does not provide handling of some drill types;for example, Drill to URL or Drill to Dashboard. Here is an example how to handle these drill types. (The proprietary KPI Dashboards component that is hosted on the GoodData platform and GoodData Cloud and GoodData.CN provide this out of box)
Dashboard engine and plugins
The complex Dashboard component is wrapped in an envelope that provides a convenient and controlled way to integrate custom code with the Dashboard component. This wrapper is called the dashboard engine.
To put it simple, the primary responsibility of the engine is to create props for the top-level Dashboard component so that these props reflect contributions from one or more dashboard plugins.
The engine exposes several curated customization APIs through which the plugins can register their contributions and customizations. When initializing the engine with one or more plugins, the engine calls out to the plugin code (your code) to register the customizations and passes the customization APIs. Once it has done this for all plugins, it can create the extension and customization props for the Dashboard component.
For more information about the plugins, see this article.
On top of the dashboard engine and the plugins sits the dashboard loader. The responsibility of this component is to handle the lifecycle of a dashboard that is possibly enhanced by one or more plugins.
The loader does the following:
- Gets the dashboard from a workspace
- Loads any plugins that are linked with the dashboard
- Loads the appropriate version of the dashboard engine needed by the plugins
- Initializes the engine with the plugins (registering all the customizations)
- Returns the load result that consists of the Dashboard component and the correct props to pass to it
Once the code using the loader has the Dashboard component and props for it, it can mount the dashboard as it sees fit.
The entire loader is also available as a React hook that you can use in your own application to dynamically load a dashboard.
For more information about the loader and embedding dashboards into your React application, see this article.
The proprietary KPI Dashboards component that is hosted on the GoodData platform and GoodData Cloud and that is also part of GoodData.CN uses the dashboard loader to load a dashboard that is possibly enhanced with plugins and then mounts the loaded Dashboard component.
The KPI Dashboards component additionally injects several proprietary plugins during the load (for instance, a plugin that adds a postMessage API for a dashboard).
We hope that this article explained the stack behind GoodData's dashboard solution. You should now be able to understand at which point you as a developer can step in. To sum up the most important parts:
You can use the Dashboard component in your own application to render a dashboard from a workspace and use a full set of APIs to integrate with and customize the dashboard.
You can use the dashboard plugins to build extensions that can be integrated into the KPI Dashboards component.
You can use the dashboard loader in your own application to dynamically load and render a dashboard enriched with plugins.
The entire stack described in this article can work on top of both the GoodData platform and GoodData.CN.
Some functionality is not yet available in GoodData Cloud and GoodData.CN because of inherent limitations on the backend, specifically:
- Scheduling of exports
- KPI widgets and alerting