FAQs

Background

How do I contact support?

Before contacting Support be sure it is an Active Dashboards product issue. 

There are lots of product documents installed covering all aspects of the products use to help you which is accessible from the Designer 'Help' Menu. Additionally, Sign up or Login to our Portal at https://support.dynistics.com/support/login for more documents and diagnostics information.

Any support queries should be submitted by email containing full details of the problem, the server details and any other information you think useful together with a contact name and telephone number to support@dynistics.com or call Support on 0121 506 9076

When submitting a support request, what information would assist you to diagnose the issue?

Providing us with the following information when logging a support request enables us to provide a faster and more effective response:

  • The Active Dashboards product version number (e.g. 6.1);
  • A complete description of the problem experienced including does it affect one or multiple users;
  • Include detailed steps on how to reproduce it;
  • Include screenshot(s), if appropriate;
  • Technical details of the host server/machine, including;
  • Windows operating system (version number and details of patches/service packs applied);
  • 32bit or 64bit environment;
  • A copy of the relevant log files (We will request these).
How do I upgrade to the latest version of Active Dashboards?

There are two types of Active Dashboards software releases: a Major Release (i.e. denoted by version reference n.n) and a Minor Release (denoted by version reference n.n.n).

A Major Release introduces significant new features and may incorporate many enhancement compared to an earlier Major Release. A Minor Release primarily includes software updates or cosmetic fixes to address known issues.

We actively encourage use of the current release of Active Dashboards whenever possible and remain within the version supported by the EULA. To upgrade to the newest release you must have a valid annual support and maintenance subscription agreement.

To download the latest release please contact our Product Support Team on support@dynistics.com. If you are a Partner/Reseller you can access the latest release of the Active Dashboards product using the Active Dashboards Portal at https://www.activedashboardsportal.com (requires a valid login and userid).

We strongly recommend reading the Release Notes and manuals that accompany the release documentation before installing the latest release. We suggest always following industry best practices when upgrading any software, which includes ensuring that you have a backup of your existing installation prior to applying an upgrade.

Note: An upgrade consists of running the 4 Active Dashboard installation programs:

  • Dashboard Web Application - on all servers
  • Dashboard Designer - on all computers with an existing Designer install
  • Dashboard Alerting Service - on the existing server
  • Data Loading Engine (new in v6.2) - on the existing server

Importantly, ensure that all programs are the same version. Mixing versions is not supported.

Additionally, any add-ons and customisation will need to be reapplied to ensure they are version compatible.

Which web browsers are currently supported by Active Dashboards?

Active Dashboards supports the following web browsers:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 or 11
  • Mozilla Firefox 53.0 or above
  • Google Chrome 58.0 or above
  • Safari Mobile (iPad, iPhone)
What database platforms are supported by Active Dashboards?

Active Dashboards can retrieve and present data from the following data sources:

  • Microsoft SQL Server databases and OLAP cubes
  • Oracle databases
  • Google Analytics
  • Salesforce
  • ODBC compliant sources (Sybase, Progress, Access and more)
  • OLE DB compliant sources
  • Microsoft Access databases & Excel spreadsheets
  • Text files / CSV / XML
  • Web Services
  • RSS and Atom data feeds
How is Active Dashboards deployed?

Active Dashboards is a web server based product which we recommend installing centrally on a server within your organisation.

In order to run, Active Dashboards requires that the web server has a supported version of Microsoft IIS and the .NET Framework installed.

Active Dashboards requires access to which ever server/computer(s) contains your data sources to report upon. Internet access is required for querying external data sources such as Google Analytics or Salesforce.

Users access Active Dashboards software via their web browser so you do not have to install software on any of the client machines.

What is the Active Dashboards End User Licence Agreement (EULA)?

Please contact Dynistics for the Active Dashboards EULA. Installation and Upgrades include acceptance of the EULA.

Be aware that requests for Dynistics Consultants to upgrade installations will also include acceptance of the included EULA.

General Technical Queries

Who do I contact for support if I need help when building a dashboard item?

You can contact the dynistics support team on support@dynistics.com if you need any help building dashboards. However, below are a few suggestions that could help.

In the first instance carefully check the settings and attributes that you have assigned to the chart to check for simple errors. In particular check that all fields listed in the Required Values section have been entered.

If the item does not generate the chart, its definition may be invalid and this results in the display of an error message in the chart preview area in the Administration tool.

Check that connections to the data source are available to the server and Active Dashboards application.

If this is not sufficient to allow you to fix the problem then in the Administration Tool select from the View menu the option ‘Application Trace’. This option causes a browser window to open which provides access to highly detailed information regarding any errors encountered in generating the dashboard content. An error in this trace will be displayed in red. The last item refreshed will be displayed as the last item in the list on this page.

If still in doubt, the matter should be raised via email to support@dynistics.com including a copy of the relevant Application Trace detail.

What operating systems are supported by Active Dashboards?

Active Dashboards has been thoroughly tested and is supported by the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
What web servers does Active Dashboards run on?

Currently Active Dashboards is supported on compatible versions of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).

Active Dashboards is an ASP.NET application and requires a compatible .NET Framework to be installed on the web server which must run within a matched .NET Framework Application Pool.

Can Active Dashboards integrate into my existing products?

Active Dashboards provide several ways to seamlessly integrate into your existing system:

It is possible to change the logos and title text used within the product so that the dashboards can be re-branded to match any existing scheme.

It is possible to create custom pages for Active Dashboards. This allows you to show the dashboard items within any web page that you like. For example if you have an existing website or intranet, you can embed the charts into the pages for an enhanced user experience.

If you want to use Active Dashboards with existing software, it is also possible to pass parameter values from the software to Active Dashboards. This could be in the form of user information, client ids etc. There are several methods available.

Where can I obtain copies of the Active Dashboards Release Notes for the last three releases of the product?

Copies of the Release Notes are available upon request from support@dynistics.com

General Technical Queries

Is it possible to use Excel as a data source?

Yes, although it is not an ideal data source over a network and you may receive errors if it is opened by a user whilst the Active Dashboards is trying to read from it.

Excel is accessed through ODBC and queries can be created in the usual way via the Active Dashboard Visual Query builder provided that the data you want to query comprises of an Excel ‘Named Range’. The named range is treated as a table within the Visual Query builder and it is helpful if the first row contains column headings as this is then treated by the Visual Query builder as if they were the field names in a table.

Can I use Active Directory to control what dashboards and items a user can see?

Yes. There are three ‘Access modes’ within Active Dashboards, ‘Levels’, ‘Groups’ and ‘Active Directory Groups’.

If ‘Active Directory Groups’ is selected then Active Dashboards will read the current Active Directory to obtain a list of all available groups and then allow individual dashboards, groups of dashboards, items and the ability to drill down on items to be aggregated into the relevant Active Directory Groups.

When a user then opens Active Dashboards the ‘Active Directory Groups’ of which the user is a member determines what dashboard(s), item(s) and drill down(s) are displayed and available to him/her.

What Security settings/Access restrictions are available in Active Dashboards?

Access to the application and in fact to individual dashboards and items (including the ability to drill down) within the installation can be controlled in 4 ways:

Anonymous Access: This allows anyone to access all dashboards and items within the installation.

User Access Levels: There are 11 User Levels ranging from 0 (the lowest) to 10 (the highest). Each level allows users to access Dashboards and Items with an access level at or below the level allocated to the user.

User Access Groups: This allows the aggregation of individual dashboards, groups of dashboards, items and the ability to drill down on items within user defined groups. Users are then allocated to one or more groups which are then used to determine what dashboard(s), item(s) and drill down(s) are displayed and available to him/her.

Active Directory Groups: If Active Directory is being used then Active Dashboards can use the groups set up on the network within Active Directory in the same manner as the User Access Groups above.