One of the great benefits of Acumatica Cloud ERP is the ease with which users can create dashboards and the flexibility the application provides in displaying that information to end-users throughout the system.
Dashboard owners have the capability of providing access to the dashboard as a whole to all or certain users, and they even can limit access to certain widgets on that dashboard while allowing visibility to others. To take it a step further, there is the ability to provide users with a level of access to a dashboard that enables them to manipulate the widgets on a personal level without making any system-wide changes.
In this blog post, I would like to discuss the setup that goes into dashboards and how administrators/ dashboard Owners can make decisions to limit the amount of overall maintenance needed.
Create a Dashboard in Acumatica
The first step in creating a Dashboard (assuming the user creating the Dashboard has full access rights to the Dashboard profile) is to navigate to Customization > Profile > Dashboard:
It is on this screen that the name of the dashboard, the owner role (the role that has the ability to make system-wide changes to the dashboard), site map location, and access rights are set. I also want to point out the functionality behind the ‘Allow Users to Personalize’ checkbox. For all roles that are granted access to this dashboard, they will be able to make their own copy of the dashboard and edit the widgets as they see fit without impacting the version created by the dashboard owner. This is particularly beneficial for situations in which the dashboard owner creates the dashboard on a company-wide level but want to allow users to filter the widget outputs only by the location or branch they are directly involved in, for example.
Customizing Dashboards With Ease
After the dashboard profile is created, the next step is to add widgets and actually customize the look and feel of the dashboard.
To offer a brief explanation on how the widgets work, they are essentially just another way of displaying data of an existing Generic Inquiry in the company’s Acumatica instance. The first step in creating a widget, whether it be a Scorecard KPI, Chart, Data Table, etc. is to select a GI that will be the data source for that widget. As I stated in the introduction of this post, even if a user is given access to the dashboard, they may not be given access to certain widgets within it. This is because the user must have access to a widget’s source GI in order to view the output. If they do not have access, they will see a placeholder ‘lock’ icon in lieu of the actual widget. This can be beneficial to companies that want to create standardized dashboards to be used throughout their company without necessarily giving all users access to every widget.
I would now like to stress the importance of determining how granular the GI that will feed the widget should be. I say this because Acumatica enables users to apply filtering conditions directly to the widget. If too many conditions are set on the source GI, dashboard owners will find themselves creating various versions of the same GI to be applied in various versions of the same dashboards to fulfill the needs of employees who may be in different locations, departments, etc. I would recommend keeping GI’s relatively general and allowing the users to filter the results of any given widget to their own desire. This is a much more scalable approach and requires less maintenance. Also, as mentioned above, if the ‘Allow Users to Personalize’ checkbox is selected, the users can create their own versions without impacting the system-wide version or requesting the dashboard owner to make changes.
With drag-and-drop functionality and a wide range of other aesthetic options, dashboards can be created in Acumatica on a per user or system-wide level with relative ease.
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