Getting Started with Alpana Designer

This is a simple walkthrough to get you started with Alpana Designer. Throughout this walkthrough, the Northwind database is used to demonstrate each of the features in Dashboard Designer.

Running Alpana Designer

Launch the Alpana Designer by double-clicking the shortcut icon on the desktop.

You can also launch the Alpana Designer application from the Apps list.

Now the Alpana Designer application opens with the following view:

Connecting to Data

Add a new data source through establishing a data connection with any of the supported data connection types like mentioned below:

Setting up Connection

Click Add button in Connections panel window to launch a New Connection configuration dialog.

Configuring Tables & Views

In the New Connection configuration dialog, fill the connection type and related details.

Test the connection for its validity through clicking Test Connection button. Following confirmation message will confirm its validity.

Click OK button to close the confirmation message and then click OK button in New Connection dialog.

Now the following view is displayed.

Setting up Data Source

Click Add button in data source panel to add a New Data source from one or severals existing connections.

now the following view appears

The left pane holds a list of existing Connections, clicking on a Connection reveals the list of tables and views associated with the connected database.

Please refer to the Connecting to data overview for more information here

Drag your preferred table or view from the left pane and drop into the center pane labeled Drag & drop tables to create a virtual table like below.

The data type of the each column will be represented nearby like below:

Add more than one table, if you prefer, through following same drag n drop operation. This is subjected to joining of tables.

Transforming Data

Rename the column as required, either through the option exposed in Settings drop down menu or double-clicking the column to enable the edit mode.

Remove the column that you don’t require, through clicking the icon at left of the respective column.

The removed column will be represented with the red colored icon like above. Clicking the same, will re-include that column for consideration.

Handle column type conversion, if required, through clicking the Settings icon at the respective column and navigate to Change Column Type option and select the preferred type to convert to like below:

For supported column types and their equivalent convertible types, you can refer Formatting Columns.

Add expression columns that you desire, through creating it using built-in functions and existing columns.

Filter out the data that don’t require to be considered into dashboard through the data filters option in the tools pane in data design view highlighted below.

Creating Dashboard

Navigate to the dashboard design view through clicking the tab with your daashboard name like below.

Now, the dashboard designer tab will open like below.

Adding a Widget to Design View

The toolbox pane at left consist of data visualization, filter and miscellaneous widgets which you can utilize to design an interactive dashboard.

Click and drag your preferable widget from toolbox through pressing the mouse left button and drop into the available space in the design area like below:

The widget drop will happen only when you drop it in the appropriate region. In the above image, you can observe blue border for the cell when you drag over the respective region, which remarks, the targeted region is valid to drop.

The invalid region will be represented by a red border which will not apply the drop action. This case will happen when you drop over a region where widget or its part exists already like below where pivot grid widget was dragged and dropped over the chart widget.

Once you dropped the widget, you can resize if required like below by placing the focus over the widget and dragging its corner.

Doing so, will render the widget to the size you dragged. Here, the blue border indicates the cell range which the widget will occupy after resize.

Assigning Data to Widget


This step is applicable only for the widgets other than Other category.

To bind data to a widget placed in design area, place focus to that widget.

Click on its Widget Setting button (highlighted below).

Now, the widget view opens in a new tab like below.

Here, the left pane holds the widget preview. This preview will reflect the configuration changes made to that widget for your reference.

Right pane holds properties related to this widget, to switch to data binding panel click the Data tab shown below.

Now, the right pane holds data configuration view. The numeric columns will get listed under the Measures section; other type columns get listed under the Dimensions section; the expression columns created dynamically, get listed under Expression Columns section if created before.

Select and drag the numeric column (measure element) from the Measures section or the expression column (from Expression Columns section) that you prefer to be measured and drop into the Value(s) section.

Now the widget preview will look like below.

Click the Settings icon (highlighted) to open the aggregation type dropdown list.

Set the aggregation type you prefer by which the measure column that you dropped, should get computed.

Select and drag the non-numeric column (dimension element) from the Dimensions section against which you need to measure the numeric column(s) dropped, and drop into the Column(s) section.

Now the widget preview will look like below.

To group the added column element by a column, add the respective non-numeric column (dimension element) into Row(s) section.

Now the widget preview will look like below.

To format the measure column values, if required, click on the Properties tab

The properties panel appears, then scroll down until the bottom and click on the desired property gear icon like below.

Now the Measure Formatting dialog will open like below.

Make necessary changes and click OK to save changes you made since opening this dialog; Click Cancel to cancel your unsaved changes and close the dialog.

Apply filtering to the dropped measure type or dimension type column(s), if required through Measure Filter and Filters dialogs respectively, to filter out the data from getting bounded to widget that doesn’t meet filter criteria, which you define.

Configuring Properties to Widget


This step is applicable only for the widgets other than Other category.

Navigate to the Properties pane in the data design view tab.

This pane holds some general settings and some specific to the widget. Configure your desired settings. Refer Properties Configuration widget-wise for more details.

Add more widgets that you require following the same procedure.

Once you are done with the dashboard, save the dashboard in local as SYDX formatted file.

Click Preview at tools pane at top right to see the dashboard preview launched in web browser page.

Now, the dashboard preview can be visualized through the built-in dashboard viewer in web browser page something like below:

Sharing Dashboard

Publish the created dashboard to dashboard server through authorized publish access from Dashboard Designer.