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Focal Point    Focal Point Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Performance Management Framework (PMF)    Have any Gadget Ideas?

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Master
posted
Have a burning need to tell us about an idea you have for a new PMF gadget?

Even better, have a burning need to make a new Gadget yourself and share it with others?

We're open to your ideas and input. And we're open to your development too.
To make this work, we want to be there to guide you through making Gadgets - so you can make a really fantastic Gadget of which you can be proud.

Note that Gadget development:

  • Follows the general path of WebFOCUS development - it's based on WebFOCUS code
  • Is built on the PMF development substrate - which means a lot of work is done for you (a lot of really hard stuff - indicator drawing, aggregation to Dimensional, Objective, Perspective and Scorecard levels, weighting, and tolerances - are all handled by PMF's core logic)


We know people want doc. So over the next few weeks and months, we're putting together great developer doc that will step you through Gadget creation. Keep your eyes to this space.


Bob Jude Ferrante
Director of Business and Development
WebFOCUS Performance Management
Bob_Ferrante@ibi.com
917-339-5105

I'll take any questions about PMF - business or technical - anytime!

 
Posts: 919 | Registered: March 26, 2003Report This Post
Platinum Member
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I know of a lot of "gadgets", but they are hardware things I buy off a retail store's 'gadget wall'. Is there a new one I can buy that slices 'n' dices, whips 'n' purees FOCUS? Do I need different one for PMF (whatever that is) or will the FOCUS one work for PMF also?


WIN/2K running WF 7.6.4
Development via DevStudio 7.6.4, MRE, TextEditor.
Data is Oracle, MS-SQL.
 
Posts: 154 | Location: NY | Registered: October 27, 2005Report This Post
Master
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PMF 4 introduced the idea of a dashboard "gadget" which is a re-usable component that shows metric information in a particular way. It's like a lens for analyzing the things you measure.

For example, there are gadgets that specialize in presenting grids of data sorted across a dimension that the user can select. There are other gadgets that show a trending line graph that compares actuals to targets. There are others than admins can use to count the records that have been loaded into particular measures. There are others that let us create alerts, type in metrics for data we're not capturing in external systems yet, or manage our report schedules.

PMF 4.2 ships with 26 Gadgets, and the PMF team at IB is building more of them, and consultants and customers are starting to build them too.

Gadgets also provide a "support layer" that tracks individual user preferences. For example, my trending graph might show metrics for COGS across a 13 month period; yours might show trended metrics for Sales and Profit across a 3 year period broken out annually. The same gadget serves both of us, and with a few clicks we can select how we prefer to let that lens show us the data. And the lens always "remembers" what each of us wants to see. The management of these preferences and the ability to support our ability to choose them is built into the architecture; programmers at your site don't have to create parameter screens and lots of code to do that.

The user experience of a gadget is summed up as "power" "speed of delivery" and "convenience." It spares end users and those deploying dashboards the effort needed to design every single lens to view data. In the traditional world of reporting, every report is a new thing that has to be hand-built. Complex dashboards involve simultaneously presenting information in grids, graphs, charts, etc. These things can take weeks to build in the traditional method, and if you have 2500 users with 2500 different information needs, you'd never get the job done, no matter how fantastic your coding skills are.

Dimensions are defined in PMF and follow the lines of the typical questions users ask "who is affected by this?" "when did this happen?" "where is this problem located?" etc. They're then used throughout as a way to organize, aggregate, and locate information. It's like WebFOCUS OLAP but in many ways richer.


Bob Jude Ferrante
Director of Business and Development
WebFOCUS Performance Management
Bob_Ferrante@ibi.com
917-339-5105

I'll take any questions about PMF - business or technical - anytime!

 
Posts: 919 | Registered: March 26, 2003Report This Post
Platinum Member
posted Hide Post
Thanks, Bob.


WIN/2K running WF 7.6.4
Development via DevStudio 7.6.4, MRE, TextEditor.
Data is Oracle, MS-SQL.
 
Posts: 154 | Location: NY | Registered: October 27, 2005Report This Post
Platinum Member
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This isn't necessarily a new gadget, but rather a couple of ideas on how to improve them...

  • Ability for the user to revert to the default settings for a gadget. I'm thinking of my users who like to play and make a bunch of changes to their preferences. It would be nice if they had a "revert to default" or something that would let them move back to the original default settings for that gadget. This might be really helpful in those cases where you make changes to a gadget and the user doesn't see those changes because of their preferences. You could simply tell them to "revert".
  • The other thought would be to make the gadget size part of the gadget instance -- not necessarily instead of on the gadget class -- but rather in addition to it if that's possible? Since we're brand new on PMF, I don't have any concrete examples, but my thought is it would be nice to be able to reuse the gadget class by simply making it bigger or smaller depepending on the page that it resides on. If I understand the process right now, you'd have to make a duplicate class and change the size. The concept of size definitely seems more instance-related than class-related (IMO).
  • And I think I heard the rumor that it was already coming, but I'd like to enter my vote for making the page designer have some sort of GUI or at least some visual feedback of some sort.


Neither of these items are showstoppers for us, but just observations and suggestions for how they could be improved.



Production: 7.6.6 WF Server  <=>  7.6.6 WF Client  <=>  7.6.6 Dev Studio
Testing: <none>
Using MRE & BID.  Connected to MS SQL Server 2005
Output Types: HTML, Excel, PDF
 
Posts: 230 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: May 27, 2005Report This Post
Master
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Interesting suggestions. Thanks for forwarding them to us.


  • Ability to revert to default... we'll look into adding this. It makes sense; essentially this would wipe out the current personalized settings for a gadget (which currently means it deletes the user's copy of the instance and thus makes the system default instance come up).
  • Instance based sizing; we're getting away from the exposing of instances as separate objects. Thus your instances are page-specific; if you drop four copies of a class on a page in Page Designer, you've got 4 managed instances each with their own default settings. Size would most probably be one of the things now managed on the Page.
  • GUI to design Pages (Dashboards). Yes, that's planned for 2008. First it will be available to the Page Designer, eventually it will be something you can expose to end users so they can modify their own Dashboards.


Bob Jude Ferrante
Director of Business and Development
WebFOCUS Performance Management
Bob_Ferrante@ibi.com
917-339-5105

I'll take any questions about PMF - business or technical - anytime!

 
Posts: 919 | Registered: March 26, 2003Report This Post
Platinum Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bob Jude Ferrante:

  • Instance based sizing; we're getting away from the exposing of instances as separate objects. Thus your instances are page-specific; if you drop four copies of a class on a page in Page Designer, you've got 4 managed instances each with their own default settings. Size would most probably be one of the things now managed on the Page.


Even better!
Thanks!



Production: 7.6.6 WF Server  <=>  7.6.6 WF Client  <=>  7.6.6 Dev Studio
Testing: <none>
Using MRE & BID.  Connected to MS SQL Server 2005
Output Types: HTML, Excel, PDF
 
Posts: 230 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: May 27, 2005Report This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Hi Bob -
I was wondering if there has been any progress made on documentation for gadget creation? This would be very helpful.
Thank you


Webfocus version 7.6.2
OS – Windows
Output – HTML, PDF, Active HTML, Excel
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: November 09, 2007Report This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
Yes, there's a developer guide in the works.

thanks


Bob Jude Ferrante
Director of Business and Development
WebFOCUS Performance Management
Bob_Ferrante@ibi.com
917-339-5105

I'll take any questions about PMF - business or technical - anytime!

 
Posts: 919 | Registered: March 26, 2003Report This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Thanks Bob, I know there is one being worked on from your original post in Dec 07.
I was wondering what date we can expect it to be available for us developers? Will it be this fall, winter, spring? I think this would be a tremendous benefit to anyone using PMF or thinking of using PMF.
Thanks Bob!


Webfocus version 7.6.2
OS – Windows
Output – HTML, PDF, Active HTML, Excel
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: November 09, 2007Report This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
It's a 100+ page book which I'm currently writing solo.
What do you think of the idea of posting the draft in progress for comment? Web 2.0 style.
Then if we get enough comment(!), a final draft would be available sometime before the end of 2008.


Bob Jude Ferrante
Director of Business and Development
WebFOCUS Performance Management
Bob_Ferrante@ibi.com
917-339-5105

I'll take any questions about PMF - business or technical - anytime!

 
Posts: 919 | Registered: March 26, 2003Report This Post
Gold member
posted Hide Post
Bob, I think that's a good idea. Many are interested in viewing this.


WF 8.09
 
Posts: 68 | Location: United States | Registered: March 28, 2007Report This Post
Silver Member
posted Hide Post
I find myself needing to create chart titles and table descriptors and put them on dashboards. (Since titles and descriptions are missing on graphs)

So, it would be great if there is a "text box" gadget. I am certain there would be many uses for this gadget.

Seems like a pretty simple gadget to create. You input text, have a setting for font size. It inherits mainstreet.css. Setting up the size of the gadget would be easy using the class width and class size in the "new gadget class designer" screen. You could even use the description field on the same screen as the place to input text field.

The only technical hurdle is it would need to support multiple instances of the text gadget. Hence you could have two text boxes on one dashboard, and a third on a completely separate dashboard.

Thoughts?


WF 7.65. Solaris. PMF 5.11 on Oracle 10g
 
Posts: 48 | Location: New York | Registered: March 25, 2009Report This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
Sorry to answer a question with a question... When you say titles are missing, do you mean the top report titles which are typically displayed when you run similar reports and charts from drilldowns etc?

These are suppressed with a flag. It's possible to defeat that suppression with a customization.

Title suppression is enabled by the &PMF_IS_GADGET flag, passed to the procedure from the gadget controller page, which, when set to Y, activates some IF tests in Dialogue Manager that skip around the HEADING and FOOTING sections in the procedures).

The flag also forces the proc to skip over logic that print-formats the procedure output (e.g., adding margins and spacing and page orientation, etc.).

If you override &PMF_IS_GADGET to N, the headings and footings will not be suppressed, and the reports will be print formatted. However note that this takes up a huge amount of display space. Reason why these were suppressed in the first place.

If I've got it wrong, and you're talking about a different kind of titling, then let me know.


Bob Jude Ferrante
Director of Business and Development
WebFOCUS Performance Management
Bob_Ferrante@ibi.com
917-339-5105

I'll take any questions about PMF - business or technical - anytime!

 
Posts: 919 | Registered: March 26, 2003Report This Post
Silver Member
posted Hide Post
Specifically I am referring to stand alone graphs gadgets like: Metric - Dimensional Breakout Performance Bars, Metric - Performance Trend Lines & Bars, Metric - Actual v. Flattened Target Lines etc.

In addition, the axis are almost universally illegible on graphs. I know that if you customize the graph code you can adjust font size -- but that can cause other formatting issues.

As far as the text gadget, it would just be nice to be able to display end user instructions, labels etc on a dashboard.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SethW,


WF 7.65. Solaris. PMF 5.11 on Oracle 10g
 
Posts: 48 | Location: New York | Registered: March 25, 2009Report This Post
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