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Three Ways To Create a Digital Dashboard and Add a Web Part

 

Frank C. Rice
Paul Cornell
Microsoft Corporation

November 2001

Applies to:
     Microsoft® Office XP Developer

Summary: This article introduces you to digital dashboards and Web Parts. It presents the steps necessary to create a digital dashboard by using the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit, Microsoft Office XP Developer, and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server. This article also demonstrates how to add existing Web Parts to a digital dashboard and create a custom Web Part. (16 printed pages)

Contents

Introduction
Using the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit
Using Microsoft Office XP Developer
Using a SharePoint Portal Server
What Are Web Parts
Creating Custom Web Parts
Conclusion

Introduction

In this age of information overload, one of the biggest hurdles that knowledge workers and organizations face is finding, consolidating, and sharing mission-critical information in a single, easy-to-access location. Digital dashboards and the applications that host them, such as Microsoft® SharePoint™ Portal Server and Microsoft SQL Server, are helping to make these tasks easier. By using an ever-expanding list of existing Web Parts, or by creating your own with such tools as the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit (DDRK) 3.0 and Microsoft Office XP Developer, you can customize digital dashboards to meet your unique requirements and needs.

Digital dashboards are customized portals that consolidate personal and business information into one location. Digital dashboards benefit businesses by reducing the time and effort needed to locate and manage information from multiple sources. Information in digital dashboards can come from internal or external sources, and can be accessed online or offline. Best of all, digital dashboards can be highly interactive, allowing for dynamic information management and analysis. Knowledge workers can view and interact with digital dashboards by using applications such as Microsoft Outlook® 2002 or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Web Parts are the core building blocks of digital dashboard solutions. Web Parts use technologies such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and scripts on Active Server Pages (ASPs) to render componentized information in digital dashboards. You can customize and extend Web Parts by using tools such as Office XP Developer. However, you don't need to be familiar with any of these tools or technologies to create your own digital dashboards or Web Parts. In fact, you can create digital dashboards and Web Parts without writing a single line of code.

The DDRK 3.0 includes various resources to help administrators deploy SharePoint Portal Server or SQL Server digital dashboards to an individual, a business unit, or an enterprise. The DDRK 3.0 includes SQL Server Digital Dashboard 3.0, which provides developers the tools and documentation needed to build custom SQL dashboards. Additional information about obtaining the DDRK 3.0 can be found at the Microsoft Digital Dashboard Web site.

Note   The SQL Server Digital Dashboard included in the DDRK 3.0 is not an officially supported Microsoft product. The code is provided on an "as-is" basis and support is provided through a peer-to-peer newsgroup.

Office XP Developer is an essential package for professional developers who build solutions with Office XP. Designed to speed development and simplify deployment, Office XP Developer includes the entire Office XP Professional suite and provides all the tools and resources you'll need to create powerful business applications, including digital dashboards and Web Parts, quickly and efficiently.

SharePoint Portal Server provides a rich, customizable out-of-the-box Web portal solution for larger businesses, with enterprise-level search and mainstream document management capabilities. Based on digital dashboard technology, the dashboard site that is created with SharePoint Portal Server offers a single customizable source for accessing information drawn from a wide variety of content sources while maintaining the security of the documents. Because the digital dashboard site is comprised entirely of Web Parts, you can easily customize it for your business needs.

This article describes how to create and customize a simple digital dashboard in each of the tools described earlier: the DDRK and the SQL Server Digital Dashboard, Office XP Developer, and SharePoint Portal Server. Additionally, this article demonstrates how to add existing Web Parts to a digital dashboard and create a custom Web Part. How to create a digital dashboard in each of the tools is described in a separate section so, depending on your specific environment, you may want to skip right to the section that describes the hosting application that applies to you.

Using the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit

The DDRK provides the design-time framework and run-time components you need to develop and deploy digital dashboards and Web Parts. The DDRK version 3.0 includes the SQL Server Digital Dashboard 3.0. Development resources include sample digital dashboards, a gallery of ready-to-use Web Parts, online documentation, and setup programs that install processing engines and configure dashboard stores. Digital dashboard and Web Part definitions are stored in a database dedicated for that purpose. In the DDRK 3.0, supported dashboard stores include SQL Server 2000 and SharePoint Portal Server 2001. Deployment resources include all the binary components that render or otherwise support the running of a dashboard. The dashboard factory and the Digital Dashboard Service Component (DDSC) are installed when you run setup for SQL Server Digital Dashboard.

The SQL Server Digital Dashboard provides developers with the tools, documentation and code needed to create and deploy custom portals based on the digital dashboard framework and SQL Server 2000. Using the SQL Server Digital Dashboard, developers can customize and deploy personalized digital dashboards to an individual, business unit, or corporation. Version 3.0 of the SQL Server Digital Dashboard features improved scalability, security and ease of setup.

System Requirements and Installation of the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit

The system requirements for installing the DDRK on the server are Microsoft Windows® 2000, Microsoft Internet Information Services, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5, and Microsoft SQL Server 2000. The client requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0.

Getting Help for the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit

Following the installation of the DDRK and the SQL Server Digital Dashboard, the SQL Server Digital Dashboard information Web page will appear. From here you can learn more about the DDRK and digital dashboard development by referencing the DDRK 3.0 Documentation. To access the DDRK 3.0 Documentation, click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server Digital Dashboard, and then click DDRK 3.0 Documentation.

Administering Existing Digital Dashboards

To access and administer digital dashboards from Internet Explorer 5.0 or later on the hosting computer, click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server Digital Dashboard, and then click Welcome Dashboard.

To access and administer digital dashboards from client computers running Outlook 2002, do the following:

  1. From the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder.
  2. In the Name box, type DDRK Welcome Dashboard.
  3. In the Select where to place the folder box, select a location that is easy for you to access, and then click OK.
  4. If the Folder List is not visible, from the View menu, click Folder List.
  5. Right-click the DDRK Welcome Dashboard folder you added in step 2, and then click Properties.
  6. On the Home Page tab, in the Address box, type http://localhost/Dashboard/dashboard.asp?DashboardID=http://localhost/DAVCatalog/Dashboards/Welcome (assuming a default installation of the SQL Server Digital Dashboard), where localhost and DAVCatalog are the names of the hosting computer and database on which the SQL Server Digital Dashboard is installed, respectively.
    Note   For the remainder of the steps in this section, I will use the words localhost and DAVCatalog to represent the names of the hosting computer and database on which the SQL Server Digital Dashboard is installed, respectively.
  7. Select the Show home page by default for this folder check box, and then click OK. Now, whenever you click the DDRK Welcome Dashboard folder, the Welcome digital dashboard will appear which contains a link to the Administration digital dashboard. The Administration digital dashboard allows you to create additional digital dashboards and Web Parts without needing to write a single line of code.

Create A Simple Digital Dashboard by Using the Digital Dashboard Resource Kit

Once you have installed the DDRK and the SQL Server Digital Dashboard, you are ready to create your first custom digital dashboard. To create your own custom digital dashboard and Web Part, do the following:

  1. From the Windows 2000 hosting computer that has the DDRK and the SQL Server Digital Dashboard installed, or a client Windows 2000-based computer that has connectivity to the Windows 2000 hosting computer, start Internet Explorer 5.0 or later and browse to the URL http://localhost/Dashboard/dashboard.asp?DashboardID=http://localhost/DAVCatalog/Dashboards/Welcome.
  2. When the Welcome page appears, click Administration.
    Note   Security may be configured on the Web server that prevents you from accessing the Administration digital dashboard. Check with your Web server administrator if you have problems accessing the Administration digital dashboard.
  3. In the Dashboard View pane, click DAVCatalog, and then click New.
  4. In the Name and Display Name boxes in the Dashboard Properties pane, replace the text NewDashboard1 and NewDashboard with the name and title of your digital dashboard, such as MyFirstDashboard and My First Dashboard, respectively. Leave the rest of the options in the Dashboard Properties pane unchanged. Then click Save.
  5. In the Web Part List pane, click New.
  6. In the Name and Display Name boxes in the Web Part Properties pane on the General tab, replace the text NewPart1 and NewPart1 with the name and title of your Web Part, such as MyFirstWebPart and My First Web Part, respectively. Leave the rest of the options in the Web Part Properties pane unchanged. Then click Save.
  7. To customize the Web Part, in the Dashboard View pane, expand DAVCatalog, click the entry corresponding to the name of your digital dashboard, such as MyFirstDashboard, click Go, and then click Content.
  8. In the Web Parts area, click My First Web Part in the Name column, and then click Show Advanced Settings.
  9. In the Content Type list, select a content type, such as HTML. Check the Get content from the following link box, and type http://www.microsoft.com in the box immediately underneath. Leave the rest of the options in the Web Part Properties pane unchanged. Then click Save, and click Save again.

Although you can use the digital dashboard to create and modify Web Parts directly, for more advanced Web Part development you can use tools such as Office XP Developer.

Using Microsoft Office XP Developer

Out of the box, Office XP Developer allows you to perform advanced Web Part development for the SharePoint Portal Server Digital Dashboard; however, support for the SQL Server Digital Dashboard is not included in Office XP Developer out of the box. The DDRK 3.0 includes support for making Office XP Developer to be SQL Server Digital Dashboard Web Part aware; to do so, open the Microsoft Office XP Developer Support for DDRK 3.0.msi file in the \office developer sql update folder in the DDRK.

When you have installed the DDRK successfully and configured Office XP Developer for SQL Server Digital Dashboard Web Part development, you are ready to create a new digital dashboard.

Create a Digital Dashboard By Using the Microsoft Office XP Developer

Caution   Office XP Developer does not support SQL Server Digital Dashboard Web Part development out of the box. To enable SQL Server Digital Dashboard Web Part development in Office XP Developer, you must open the Microsoft Office XP Developer Support for DDRK 3.0.msi file in the \office developer sql update folder in the DDRK.

To create a new digital dashboard and a new Web Part by using Office XP Developer, start the Microsoft Development Environment in Office XP Developer and then:

  1. If the New Project dialog box is not visible, from the File menu, point to New, and then click Project.
  2. In the New Project dialog box, on the Project Types pane, expand the Office Developer Projects folder. On the Templates pane, click the Dashboard Project icon. In the Name box, type a name for the digital dashboard, such as MyFirstOfficeXPDashboard. In the Location box, type http://localhost/DAVCatalog, and then click OK.
  3. In the Project Explorer window, expand the Solution 'MyFirstOfficeXPDashboard' (1 project) folder, expand the MyFirstOfficeXPDashboard folder, and double-click Part.HTM.
  4. Below the text <HTML><BODY> <!—Do not edit anything above this comment -->, type in some HTML text, such as <a href="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft's Home Page</a>.
  5. On the File menu, click Save All.
    Note   If you want to view your new digital dashboard from Office XP Developer, in the Solution Explorer window, right-click the MyFirstOfficeXPDashboard folder, and then click View in Browser.

Using SharePoint Portal Server

SharePoint Portal Server is the flexible portal solution that enables you to find, share, and publish information easily. With SharePoint Portal Server, you can utilize existing information effectively and capture information in new ways that make sense for your business. In addition, you can rapidly deploy an out-of-the-box portal site and easily use Web Parts technology to customize a Web-based view of your organization.

SharePoint Portal Server requires an installation of Windows 2000 Server plus Service Pack (SP) 1 or Windows 2000 Advanced Server plus SP1 or later, Internet Information Services 5.0, and Internet Explorer 4.01 or later or Netscape Communicator 4.75 or later.

Once SharePoint Portal Server is installed and properly set up according to the documentation included with the product, you are ready to create your custom digital dashboard.

Creating a Digital Dashboard by Using SharePoint Portal Server

To get started with creating a simple digital dashboard:

  1. Open the Management digital dashboard site for SharePoint Portal Server in a Web browser, click Management, and then click Create a new personal dashboard. The Dashboard—Settings page is displayed.
  2. Provide a name for your digital dashboard.
  3. Provide a name, caption, and description of your personal digital dashboard in the text boxes provided. Specify whether the digital dashboard should refresh automatically.
  4. If you choose Yes, specify the number of seconds before refreshing the digital dashboard under the heading Refresh this dashboard automatically?
  5. If desired, select a style sheet from the menu under Use this Style Sheet or select Standard.
  6. Click Save.

To verify your new personal dashboard, return to the Management digital dashboard, click Document Library, click Dashboards, and then click the link to your new dashboard. You can reconfigure your personal dashboard settings by using use the Content, Layout (assuming Web Parts already exist on the digital dashboard), and Settings links at the top of the page. To update a Web page and see your digital dashboard, click Refresh.

Click picture to see larger image

Figure 1. A sample digital dashboard without Web Parts (click picture to enlarge image)

Figure 1 shows a sample digital dashboard that we created to give you an idea of how some of these option selections are displayed on the dashboard. As can be seen, we haven't added any Web Parts to the dashboard so there is no content. I did include an image to the header as well as a custom style. Now we'll discuss Web Parts and add some content to the dashboard you just created.

What Are Web Parts?

Web Parts are reusable components that allow you to wrap HTML, XML, and scripts inside of the Web Part schema. You can create your own Web Part or use any of the many existing Web Parts. First, we'll add choose from existing Web Parts and add them to our digital dashboard, then we'll demonstrate how to change the layout of Web Parts on your digital dashboard. Next, we'll create a custom Web Part and add some code to it to customize it.

Adding Existing Web Parts to a Digital Dashboard

To quickly add content to your digital dashboard, just insert one or more of the many existing Web Parts.

  1. From your digital dashboard, select Content in the upper-right portion of the header.
  2. From the Contents page, select Microsoft Web Part Gallery.
  3. This brings you into the Web Part Catalog page where you can select from a number of different Web Parts in order to add content to your digital dashboard. Scroll through the list and select one or more of the following Web Parts (or others of your choice):
    • The Content Viewer Web Part is used to view files, folders, or Web pages inside of your digital dashboard.
    • The Date Header Web Part displays the current date on your digital dashboard.
    • The Microsoft Outlook Calendar Web Part displays your calendar.
    • The Microsoft Outlook Contacts Web Part displays the contacts from your Outlook contacts list.
    • The MSN Encarta® Reference Web Part allows you to look up information or keywords from the Encarta encyclopedia or World English Dictionary.
    • The MSN MoneyCentral Stock Ticker Web Part displays your favorite stock quotes.
    • The MSNBC Weather Web Part displays the weather for selected ZIP codes.
  4. Click Import. The list of Web Parts you selected is displayed which you can include or remove from your digital dashboard. Click the Save button.
  5. This displays your digital dashboard with the Web Parts you just imported. Figure 2 displays a sample digital dashboard with a number of Web Parts included.

Click picture to see larger image

Figure 2. A sample digital dashboard with various Web Parts (click picture to enlarge image)

Changing the Layout of Your Digital Dashboard

You can easily change the layout of your digital dashboard by moving the Web Parts to different locations in the Layout screen.

  1. From your digital dashboard, select Contents in the upper-right portion of the header.
  2. In the Layout screen, you can modify the layout of your digital dashboard. To illustrate this, drag and drop the MSNBC Weather Web Part from the left column to the center column. Save the changes.
  3. Your digital dashboard now reflects the change that we made. Figure 3 displays the sample we saw earlier with the MSNBC Weather Web Part now in the center column.

As you can see, setting up a digital dashboard, adding content, and adjusting the layout is extremely easy. Best of all, none of these steps require any code. New Web Parts are being added every day, allowing you to include just the information you need to your digital dashboard and modify what information is displayed as your needs change. In the next section, we'll look at creating a custom Web Parts and adding code to them.

Creating Custom Web Parts

The Web Part schema controls how Web Parts are displayed inside of digital dashboards. Web Parts can contain embedded content or linked content from any type of Web-based content in any location. When you build a Web Part, you use only the properties in the schema that are appropriate for that Web Part. Properties that you do not define use default settings.

To create a Web Part with embedded content, you use the Content property as defined in the Web Part schema. All content that the Web Part displays is contained within this property. The Content property can contain HTML, XML, and scripts. If the Content property contains scripts, you must include a function in the script called getContent. The getContent function allows the scripts to generate content back to the Digital Dashboard Services Component (DDSC), which is a hidden, scriptable component included in every digital dashboard

To create a Web Part with linked content, you use the ContentType and ContentLink properties as defined in the Web Part schema. Setting the RequiresIsolation property to 1 (True) places the Web Part inside of an IFRAME element. To create a Web Part with linked XML content, you use the Content, ContentLink, XSL, and XSLLink properties.

Although there are several ways to create Web Parts, the preferred way is to use the digital dashboard user interface or Office XP Developer. When you create a Web Part using the digital dashboard user interface, the Web Part is bound to a digital dashboard. However, you can export these Web Parts to a central location (such as the Parts folder on the Web server, by convention) by clicking Content in the digital dashboard containing the Web Part, clicking the Web Part in the Web Parts area, and then clicking Export. Similarly, you can import an existing Web Part by clicking Content in the digital dashboard you want to import the Web Part, and then clicking Import a Web Part File.

There are four types of Web Parts: HTML Parts, XML Parts, VBScript Parts, and JScript Parts. As their names imply, each part can host a different type of content. HTML Parts are ideal for pure HTML-based content. VBScript and JScript parts are ideal for passing information among individual Web Parts in a digital dashboard. XML Parts are the most versatile of Web Parts, because you can not only embed raw HTML- and script-based content and in an XML Web Part, but you can further customize the Web Part by wrapping the raw content within XML elements specifying the Web Part's behavior, along with other metadata.

While you could create or customize a somewhat sophisticated Web Part by using just the digital dashboard user interface, Office XP Developer provides you with more screen space and developer features (such as IntelliSense®) that make Web Part development more manageable.

To add a new Web Part to a Dashboard Project in Office XP Developer, open an existing Dashboard Project, right-click the Dashboard Project in the Solution Explorer window, point to Add, and then click New Item. There are four selections in the Add New Item dialog box:

If you click HTML Part, the following starter code is automatically generated for your Web Part:

<HTML><BODY>
<!-- Do not edit anything above this comment -->
<!-- Place your custom code here -->
<!-- Do not edit anything below this comment -->
</BODY></HTML>

If you click VBScript Part, the following starter code is automatically generated for your Web Part:

Function getContent(xmlndPart)
    Dim sContent
    ' Place your custom code here.
    getContent = sContent
End Function

If you click JScript Part, the following starter code is automatically generated for your Web Part:

function getContent(xmlndPart)
{
    var sContent = new String();
    // Place your custom code here.
    return sContent;
}

And finally, if you click XML Part, the following starter code is automatically generated for your Web Part:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!-- Place your custom code here. -->

To further develop these Web Parts, place your customization code in the Place your custom code here area that I provided in the above examples.

Adding Code to the Web Part

Let's add some code to the starter code provided to us by Office XP Developer and add some code to the HTML Part. We'll begin with the starter code generated by Office XP Developer (this starter code is stripped out when Office XP Developer integrates the Web Part into the digital dashboard).

<HTML><BODY>
<!-- Do not edit anything above this comment -->
<!-- Place your custom code here -->
<!-- Do not edit anything below this comment -->
</BODY></HTML>

Next, let's put a list of links into the Web Part's BODY element:

<p>Click one of the MSDN links below:<br>
<a href="http://msdn.microsoft.com">MSDN Home Page</a><br>
<a href="http://msdn.microsoft.com/office">MSDN Online Office Developer Center</a><br>
<a href="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp">MSDN Online Library</a></p>

And that's all there is to it! Here's what this Web Part looks like:

Figure 3. A custom Web Part

The following two tables list the properties that you can set in the Properties window in Office XP Developer as they apply to digital dashboards in general, as well as to individual Web Parts.

Digital Dashboard property Description
AutoUpdate A Long value representing the frequency in which Web Parts in a digital dashboard are updated with master versions of those Web Parts (the default value is 1 (or "Always" in the Properties window)).
Caption A String value representing a supplemental caption for the digital dashboard's caption as displayed in its title bar.
DashboardImageLarge A String value that takes the form of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) representing a larger image (recommended size is 32 x 32 pixels) that is used to graphically represent the digital dashboard.
DashboardImageSmall A String value that takes the form of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) representing a smaller image (recommended size is 16 x 16 pixels) that is used to graphically represent the digital dashboard.
DashboardOrder A Long value that represents the order of this digital dashboard in relation to its other related child and parent digital dashboards (the default value is zero (0)).
DashboardStorage A String value representing global data available to all of the Web Parts on a dashboard. The maximum length of the string is 64 KB.
DashboardURL A String value that takes the form of a URL representing the digital dashboard's location.
Description A String value that represents a longer description of the digital dashboard. The maximum length of the string is 2 KB.
DisplayTitle A Boolean value that indicates whether the digital dashboard's title is displayed.
HelpLink A String value that takes the form of a URL representing an HTML document that contains online Help for the digital dashboard.
LastModified A Date value that represents the date and time that the digital dashboard was last modified.
MergeSubDashboards A Boolean value that indicates whether the digital dashboard factory merges its subordinate digital dashboards together into a single navigational structure (the default value is True).
Name A String value representing the virtual root folder name of the digital dashboard.
RefreshInterval A Long value, expressed in seconds, that represents the amount of time that the digital dashboard factory retains and reuses cached HTML content before discarding it for new content in all of the Web Parts on a digital dashboard.
StyleSheet A String value that represents embedded style information.
StyleSheetLink A String value that takes the form of a URL representing a stylesheet that the digital dashboard factory uses to format a dashboard.
Title A String value that represents the digital dashboard's title.
Web Part property Description
AllowMinimize A Boolean property that indicates whether the Web Part can be minimized (the default value is True).
AllowRemove A Boolean property that indicates whether the Web Part can be removed (the default value is True).
CacheBehavior A Long value that indicates how the HTML in the Web Part is cached (the default value is zero (0) (or "None" in the Properties Window)).
CacheTimeout A Long value that indicates how many seconds the dashboard factory retains and reuses HTML in a Web Part before discarding it for new content (the default value is zero (0)).
Caption (not visible in Properties window) A String value representing a supplementary caption for the Web Part.
Content (not visible in Properties window) Embedded HTML, XML, or script that provides content for a Web Part.
ContentLink A String value representing a URL that provides content for a Web Part.
ContentType A Long value representing the type of Web Part content (the value is zero (0) (or "HTML" in the Properties Window) one (1) ("VBScript"), two (2) ("JavaScript"), or three (3) ("XML") (the value is not changeable in the Properties window)).
CustomizationLink A String value representing a URL that customizes Web Part content.
Description A String value representing the description of the Web Part.
DetailLink A String value representing a URL that points to an HTML document containing supplemental information about the Web Part.
FrameState A Long value representing the current frame state of the Web Part (the default value is zero (0) (or "Normal" in the Properties window)).
HasFrame A Boolean value that indicates whether the Web Part is displayed in a visible frame (the default value is True).
Height A String value representing a fixed height for the Web Part. The width can be expressed in centimeters, millimeters, pica, pixels, points, or inches.
HelpLink A String value representing a URL that points to an HTML document containing online documentation about the Web Part.
IsIncluded A Boolean value that indicates whether the Web Part is currently included in the Digital Dashboard view (the default value is True).
IsVisible A Boolean value that indicates whether the Web Part is visible (the default value is True).
LastModified A Date value that indicates the date and time that the Web Part was last modified (the value is not changeable).
MasterPartLink A String value that represents a URL that points to a base version of the Web Part.
Name A String value representing the name of the Web Part, including the Web Part's file extension.
Namespace A String value that represents the namespace for the Web Part.
PartImageLarge A String value that represents a URL that points to a larger image that represents a graphical representation of the Web Part.
PartImageSmall A String value that represents a URL that points to a larger image that represents a graphical representation of the Web Part.
PartOrder A Long value that represents the relative order for the Web Part with respect to other parts in the same zone (the default value is zero (0)).
PartStorage A String value that stores Web Part-specific data.
RequiresIsolation A Boolean value that indicates whether the Web Part needs to be isolated from the rest of the parts in the digital dashboard (the default value is False).
Resource (not visible in Properties window) A String value representing a URL to a resource file that can be imported or exported with a Web Part.
Title A String value representing the caption that appears in the Web Part's title bar.
Width A String value that represents a fixed width for the Web Part. The width can be expressed in centimeters, millimeters, pica, pixels, points, or inches.
XSL A String value, expressed as embedded XSL, which transforms XML content for a Web Part.
XSLLink A String value representing a URL that gives the location of an XSL file used to transform Web Part content.
Zone A Long value that represents the zone containing the Web Part (the default value is zero (0) ("Body")).

Conclusion

In this article we demonstrated how to create a simple digital dashboard in each of the following tools: the DDRK and the SQL Server Digital Dashboard, Office XP Developer, and SharePoint Portal Server. We also reviewed how to add existing Web Parts to and then change the layout of your digital dashboard. We also demonstrated creating a Web Part and adding code to it in order to provide additional customization. Creating a well-structured corporate portal by using digital dashboards and Web Parts can help a company's employees find, create, and share mission-critical data—enabling them to make better decisions faster.

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