Dashboards Guidelines Print this Page

A dashboard is a collection of information summaries (high-level data views) that enable users to monitor different objects and data within a subdomain or functional area of interest. Dashboards support lightweight transactions and offer users quick navigation to a work area or transaction page when appropriate. You design dashboards to fit the needs of one or more related user roles.

Dashboard Types

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Dashboards provide an aggregation of relevant information to a particular role or domain and act as launch points to the Oracle Fusion applications that the suite. To users, a dashboard region appears as a group of boxes that they can use to help them perform their tasks.

You can categorize dashboards in different ways:

  • From a navigation perspective:
    • Home dashboards appear as tabs on the Oracle Fusion home page.
    • Standalone dashboards appear in the Navigator menu, and not on the Oracle Fusion home page as tabs.
  • From a technical perspective:
    • Transaction dashboards are core to the application.
      You build them by using the Oracle Fusion UI shell and Application Development Framework (ADF) portlet components.
    • You build Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards by using the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) Answers tool.
  • From a content perspective:
    • Dashboards are operational, meaning that they provide an overview to support users' day-to-day activities
    • Dashboards are strategic, meaning that they provide trends and aggregation of information to support users' longer-term activities.

End users do not classify their dashboards. They just observe the information that the dashboard contains and act on that information. However, to discuss dashboard function, dashboards need to be classified internally. These guidelines are based on the combination of technical and navigational perspectives presented in the following table.


Home Transaction Dashboards

Transaction dashboards are core to a domain or function and thus appear as tabs on the Oracle Fusion home page. You design transaction dashboards to satisfy the needs of a particular role or a set of related roles.

Navigation: Each home transaction dashboard appears as a tab on the Oracle Fusion home page. The Navigator menu also lists these dashboards. Users always navigate from dashboard regions to work areas, or to a secondary browser window. The secondary browser window use cases that are currently allowed provide navigation to the OBIEE application, the Business Process Model (BPM) Worklist application, and individual workflow tasks and notifications.

UI: (Optional) UI dashboards can have a regional area, but they do not have a contextual area.

Technical: You implement each dashboard as a single Java Server Pages that uses the UI shell page template with the isHomePage attribute set to True. Development teams code all of the content below the tab.

Standalone Transaction Dashboards (Secondary)

Users do not need to access standalone transaction dashboards on a daily basis. Therefore, you do not need to use a tab on the Oracle Fusion home page. You build these dashboards with a particular role or roles in mind.

Navigation: Users access navigation dashboards only from the Navigator menu. They do not appear on the Oracle Fusion home page.

UI: UI dashboards may or may not have a regional area, but they do not have a contextual area.

Technical: You implement these pages using the UI shell page template in No Tabs mode with the isHomePage attribute set to False.

Home BI Dashboards

Dashboards that you build with the OBIEE application can appear as a tab on the Oracle Fusion home page. OBIEE dashboards contain multiple pages that appear as subtabs.

Functionally, BI dashboards are complimentary to the business process. They answer fundamental strategic or operational questions about the health of the business. Although transaction dashboards can also contain analytics, BI dashboards contain more robust business intelligence.

Navigation: Home BI dashboards appear as a tabs on the Oracle Fusion home page.

Technical: You implement technical BI dashboards with the OBIEE tool, and they are embedded by development on an Oracle Fusion home tab using the UI shell template with the isHomePage attribute set to True.

Standalone Business Intelligence Dashboards
(Reporting Work Areas and OBIEE Tool)

You build standalone BI dashboards with the OBIEE tool if they do not appear on the Oracle Fusion home page, but are accessible only through the Reporting pane and the OBIEE tool in a separate browser window. These dashboards do not appear as tabs on the Oracle Fusion home page.

Technical Note: You implement home-based and standalone transaction dashboards differently. You use the UI shell for both types, but in different modes.

The Oracle Fusion Home Page
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The Oracle Fusion Applications suite uses a default starting page called the Oracle Fusion home page that is composed of a collection of tabs that appear based on the roles assigned to users. These tabs include the Welcome dashboard, a set of transaction dashboards, BI dashboards built with the OBIEE application, and the Spaces tab (WebCenter).

The Welcome dashboard is the first and default tab on the Oracle Fusion home page. The Welcome dashboard includes these dashboard regions: Watchlist, Worklist, People Connection, and Activity Stream. Users can further customize the Welcome dashboard to include the Person Gallery, content such as graphs and tables from the BI Catalog, and external HTML content such as Google Gadgets or an inline frame with an external URL.

Transaction dashboards and BI dashboards appear after the Welcome tab based on users' roles. These dashboards enable users to monitor the status of underlying applications and act as launch points into relevant work areas. BI dashboards are also role based and can appear under an Oracle Fusion home tab. You create this type of dashboard by using the OBIEE tool, and development embeds them in an Oracle Fusion home tab.

The Spaces tab appears last if the users' implementation enables WebCenter services. The Spaces tab displays the list of available spaces. When users open a space its contents appear on the Spaces tab.

For example, a general accounting manager may see the following tabs:

  • Welcome
  • General Accounting (a transaction dashboard for the accounting manager role)
  • Manager Resources (a transaction dashboard for the group manager role)
  • Employee Resources (a transaction dashboard for the employee role)
  • Profitability (a BI dashboard for the accounting manger role)
  • Spaces (if WebCenter services is enabled)

Not all roles have a dashboard assigned to them. Therefore, some users see only the Welcome tab. If users have access to a large number of dashboards, some of them may appear in an overflow menu.

Fusion Home - Welcome tab
Figure 1. The Oracle Fusion home page Welcome dashboard
Dashboards Versus Work Areas
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Consider dashboards and work areas as separate concepts even though some of their purposes overlap. For roles with multiple domain responsibilities with many tasks to monitor and complete, you should use an extensible model to enable intuitive navigation and quick access to users' tasks. The following descriptions attempt to clarify the differences between dashboards and work areas:

  • Dashboards enable users to monitor information in order to prioritize which transactions to complete first.
  • Work areas enable users to complete transactions.
  • Dashboards are for user roles with special needs.
    Either these roles require different views (such as additional analytic information) into a work area than other roles, or users require a consolidated view and access across multiple work areas. Both of these criteria frequently apply to managers.

You may find the distinction between dashboards and work areas confusing because some dashboards offer a few in-place lightweight transactions, and some work areas offer a small degree of monitoring on their Overview pages. The main difference between a dashboard and a work area is that dashboards provide alternative views and enable users to monitor summary information coming from work areas. If only one work area needs to be accessed and secondary users do not need different information, you need to include only the work area Overview page, and a full dashboard is not required. The difference between work areas and dashboards is not so much in their content (though dashboards tend to be more analytic and pull information from different work areas) but in their purpose.

Contextual Transactions
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A contextual transaction is a lightweight action that can be performed in a dialog box without leaving the dashboard. The action performed in the dialog box may require users to refresh the calling region when they save their changes. Users may perform the action by clicking a button or icon or by selecting a menu option. If the action requires a full page instead of a dialog box, users are navigated away from the current dashboard to complete the transaction on the relevant work area page.

For more information on lightweight transactions, see the Dashboard Regions Design Pattern.

End-User Personalization
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Supported personalization features enable users to:

  • Collapse dashboard regions by using the Disclose icon in the header.
  • Reorganize the content on the page by using the header section of a dashboard region.
    Valid targets are highlighted as users move the region around the page.
  • Remove a dashboard region from the page by clicking the Remove icon in the header toolbar.
  • Add dashboard regions to the page by using the Page Composer available through the Edit Current Page option in the global Personalization menu.
    Every dashboard has a corresponding catalog populated with both task flows (for content from the same pillar) and portlets (for content from across pillars).
  • Change the layout of the page by selecting a different template in Page Composer.

Personalization changes persist across sessions. For more information on personalizing the contents of a dashboard region, see the Dashboard Regions Design Pattern.

Administrative Customizations
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Users with administrative privileges can make UI changes that affect a targeted group of users. This functionality is available through the global Administration menu using the Customize Pages option. This action opens the dashboard in Page Composer with administration privileges. For more details on administrative customizations, see the Extensibility Guidelines.
Related Documentation
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Dashboard Regions Design Pattern Details on dashboard regions
Extensibility Guidelines Guidelines on end-user preferences, end-user personalization, and administrator customization

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