AppBoard v2.4 Release Notes

< appboard | 2.4

Page Contents

1. Introduction

Version 2.4 is a GA version of AppBoard released on October 31st 2013. This page summarizes the New Features, Resolved Issues, and Known Issues in the 2.4 release.

2. What is AppBoard

AppBoard is a data integration and data visualization platform that dramatically redefines the cost/benefit equation for the development and deployment of real-time business systems dashboards. AppBoard allows you to connect, integrate, visualize, and interact with your data in a simple, straight-forward builder environment. The end result is powerful, compelling dashboards that summarize data from multiple sources and can be accessed from any device.


3. New Features

This section describes the enhancements to AppBoard that are included in version 2.4.

  • Added a new Tile Map Widget, which displays tile-based maps from a server that conforms to the Open Street Maps architecture. (AB-58) (AB-221)
  • Added support for multiple overlays to the Tile Map Widget. (AB-446)
  • Consolidated the Widget list by eliminating the Advanced Table Widget and combining the Basic and Advanced functionality into a single Table Widget. When upgrading from a previous version, the administrator should review and edit all table widgets to confirm that they are displaying correctly in the new Table Widget with regard to the columns, ordering, and configured sort. (AB-20)
  • Added ability to copy a Stack. All of the Widgets on the Stack are copied as well. The administrator will be able to select the name of the new stack, and whether or not any referenced data collections should be replicated or shared amongst the child widgets. The administrator can optionally add a prefix and/or suffix to the names of all the referenced widgets and data collections of the stack. (AB-311)
  • Added ability to copy a Widget from the Widgets administration panel. All of the Widget's Actions are copied as well. The existing Data Collection can be used in the new Widget, or a new Data Collection can be auto-generated with a suffix and/or prefix. (AB-312)
  • Updated configuration editing screens to a transactional model. Changes are not saved until the administrator clicks "Save". (2144)
  • Implemented support for multiple SQL queries in each Database Query Data Source configuration. Each configured query will result in a separate Data Collection. (AB-156)
    • When loading an archive with multiple query Data Sources into AppBoard 2.4, AppBoard will review the names and databases of all existing queries and intelligently group and/or rename them, where appropriate, into AppBoard 2.4 Data Sources while retaining the original Data Source names as the new entity name. (AB-313)
  • Improved status reporting for Data Collections (in the Data Collection Administration panel) to provide information on the data: (AB-232)
    • red X (invalid): invalid Data Collection, e.g. the DS has been deleted. The presence of this X means the Data Collection is also therefore currently invalid.
    • grey check (valid but unknown): valid Data Collection, valid Data Source, but AppBoard has not done anything with it yet, no Widgets are using it currently, and no polling is occurring, so the status is really unknown.
    • green check (valid and known good data): valid Data Collection, valid Data Source, and last update means AppBoard knows the response is valid too, so everything is good.
    • yellow ! (valid but no/broken last response): valid Data Collection, valid Data Source, but there was an issue with the last response. Perhaps a database is not responding, or web service is not responding, or a file has been removed.
  • Added Column Width ratio and Bar Height ratio Sliders (.1 -.9) in Bar and Column Chart Widgets for addressing issues with font sizes being too small in axis labels. The width of the columns, and height of bars impact how big the labels can grow. For example, even when gutter values were manually increased, forcing more room for labels, the bar height itself could prevent the labels from growing larger. Labels can't be larger then their bars. So tiny bars will produce tiny labels, regardless of how much gutter space is provided. Setting the height ratio to 1 will help maximize available real estate per bar, but information density and the size of the widget will ultimately determine label size. (828)
  • Re-architected the foundation of all Chart Widgets. This is a structural enhancement to make future changes to all Chart Widgets easier to implement. (2066)
  • The legend location for individual Chart Widgets can now be specified on the Widget configuration screen, which will help designers better tailor the legends to specific layouts. (2067)
    • Vertical layout (Left): Best for large Data Sets, and interactive legends.
    • Horizontal layout (Bottom): Best for small data sets, used as reference.
  • Substantial improvements to the use of legends in Chart Widgets: (2275)
    • You can choose whether you want Right or Bottom legends (Default is Bottom)
    • You can expand or collapse the legend area. (Show Legend now toggles Collapsed/Expanded instead of Hidden/visible).
    • Legend content wraps to fill available space.
    • Legend content scrolls on overflow (does not crop anymore).
  • Added a new type of Column Renderer to the Table Widget called a Sparkline, which is a very small line chart, without axes or coordinates, that presents the general shape of variation in some measurement, such as temperature or stock market price, in a simple and highly condensed way. (AB-3)
  • Added a new option in the CSV Data Source configuration called "Header Meta Delimiter". This allows the header row of the data to specify the data types of each field, and specify which fields are primary keys. (AB-18)
  • Updated the Theme Manager display to show un-editable system Themes as gray with a lock icon, to help differentiate from custom Themes that can be edited. (AB-128)
  • Improved the "Search Text Field" (filter) presentation: (AB-178)
    • Replaced title bar search box with clickable search icon.
    • Clicking the search icon toggles visibility of the search box (on next line), which includes a small search icon in the box for greater clarity of operation to end-user.
    • Mouse-over on the search icon shows "Quick Filter" label.
  • Added support for the administrator to re-name Data Sources by selecting "Edit" and changing the name of the Data Source. (AB-24)
    • Renaming a Data Source, or SQL Data Source entity, may result in references within Data Processing Scripts to become invalid. In cases where AppBoard can detect this, an error message is presented to the administrator identifying the affected scripts. (AB-461)
  • Streamlined LDAP configuration by referencing same interface as used in enPortal. (AB-10)
  • Enhanced AppBoard to allow use of web proxies with NTLM authentication. Added as a general feature for all AbstractWebAdapters (including XMLWeb, CSVWeb, and JSON). (AB-135)
  • Re-worked buttons on many screens in the AppBoard Builder to provide more consistent and intuitive behavior and style between title window and toolbar close icons and cancel buttons. (AB-145)
  • Enhanced the layout manager to save and remember any changes made by the end-user to the layout of Widgets on a Board. The layout settings are stored in a cookie and can be different for each browser. (AB-76)
  • Enhanced the options in the Data Collection editor to support sorting on multiple columns. (AB-21)
  • Added failover support for SQL Data Sources, which is activated by the "Enable Failover" option and completing the new failover configuration UI in the Data Source editor. (AB-15)
  • Improved the layout of the configuration panels of the CSV Web, JSON Web, and XML Config Data Sources to be more intuitive. (AB-192)
  • Separated the Widget Actions configuration from the main Widget configuration wizard, and modified design of Actions editor to be non-transactional. (AB-85)
  • Upgraded the Widget Title Bar to a more concise and intuitive presentation. (AB-94)
  • Added Label Width setting to the Icon List Widget and Status List Widget, for controlling the size of the boxes to suit the length of labels or customer preference. (AB-109)
  • Enhanced the Bullet Chart Widget to support the same font size and color options as available on other lists. (AB-137)
  • Enhanced the "Fit To View" and zoom controls in the Google Map Widget to improve the default centering and display of points on the map under various scenarios. (AB-75)
  • Enhanced the Web Page Widget to include a Home button in the Widget Title Bar, which will return the user to the last configured URL in the widget that was either set by an Action or else the default widget-configured URL. (AB-25)
  • Increased the Cache Timeout ceiling for all Data Sources to be no less than 86400 seconds. (AB-319)
  • The Marquee Widget is replaced by the Scrolling Text Widget, which includes some additional features: (AB-103)
    • Configurable font, size, and color / transparency (includes non-LED font, and ability to change the color conditionally for different statuses)
    • Configurable background color / transparency
    • Smooth scrolling
    • Modes: single item at a time, or pipelined
    • Support for Actions and Data Tips
  • Improved support for changing a Widget from one type to another: (AB-23)
    • Can change Widget type at any time in the Widget configuration wizard
    • Actions, Options, Data Collections, and Filters are retained when switching the Widget type
  • To improve the responsiveness of AppBoard when working on remote systems, removed the background blurring and shading when working in modal pop-up windows. Also, added the following configuration options in the Theme Editor: (AB-342)
    • Modal PopUp Overlay Alpha - Determines the opacity of the background behind the pop-up
    • Modal PopUp Overlay Color - Determines the color of the background behind the pop-up
    • Modal PopUp Overlay Duration - Without a duration, the alpha/color is applied immediately when a dialog appears, with a duration the alpha/color is blended with the background over the duration period which by default is 100ms. To see any effect, increase the duration to 2 seconds (2000). The duration also affects the speed which the alpha/color is removed after the dialog is closed.
  • When creating Widgets, each available Widget Type will display icons indicating which mobile devices, if any, are supported by that Widget. (AB-107)
  • Consolidated user interface such that title bar buttons, toggles, mouse-overs, toggled state, and bottom toolbars (quick filters) all behave consistent across the different themes. (AB-405)
  • Enhanced all non-trivial dialogs to include Maximize buttons, providing uniform controls over the product, and allowing better use of screen real-estate. This will enable better ability to configure the system on devices with lower screen resolution. (AB-179)
  • Enhanced the Show Actions Menu Action to support deleting individual Actions from the menu without deleting the entire Actions Menu. (AB-418)
  • Renamed all usage of "Groovy Scripts" in the administrator UI and documentation to "Data Processing Scripts". (AB-335)
  • Google Map Widget now supports automatic refreshing of KML layers. (AB-124)
  • Shell Command data adapter now supports configurable environment variables. (AB-318)
  • Circular Gauge Widget now supports derived (min / max / average) thresholds based on the entire dataset. (AB-142)
  • New widget action to Clear Sort on a Table widget and revert to the original DC sorting or widget configured sorting. (AB-448)
  • New widget action to Copy to Clipboard text formatted by the administrator including information on the selected record when the action fires. (AB-469)
  • Renamed Access Control Variables to Session Variables. (AB-533)
  • Enhanced the icon selector component when configuring Icon Filter Rules. The "Keyword Search" searches across both the "Icon Name" and "Tags" properties of the available icons, and these properties are now displayed on mouse-over of the items matching the search. (AB-489)
  • Updated embedded PDF documents in /docs/ folder: (AB-585)
    • AppBoard 2.4 Getting Started.pdf
    • AppBoard 2.4 Installation Quick Start.pdf
    • AppBoard 2.4 System Requirements.pdf
  • Added support for renaming Attributes (columns). Attribute (column) names returned in a Data Source entity often end up in visualizations such as legends and labels. While it is possible to change these via Data Processing Scripts or external to AppBoard, administrators are now able to easily Alias attributes to the desired value in the Data Source wizard. (AB-181)
  • Enhanced the processing of data with Associations, such that the associated record's most recent update time will override the parent's last update time. This will allow data to be updated in a Widget when the primary data does not change, but the data changes in an associated data set. Note, this only works for the immediate child record, and not for associations that go multiple levels deep. (AB-510)
  • Added Data Tip Hover Action support to Diagrammer Widget. (AB-564)
  • Enhanced the Chart Widgets to auto-detect the data and if the data set only includes whole numbers the axis will only use whole numbers in the labels. (AB-362)
  • Updated the Colored Shape Filter, Color Filter, and Icon Filter dialogs to improve the user interface. (AB-270)
  • Updated the AppBoard Builder mode navigation and pages (e.g. Data Sources) to provide a more uniform appearance. (AB-272)
  • Set the default icon for the Google Map Widget to "Small Status Ball Blue." (AB-296)
  • Improved the handling of date/time data returned by database data sources to provide more consistent results. Additionally, updated the Database Data Adapter documentation to provide users with assistance in using date/time data types. (AB-471)
  • In the Tile Map Widget, duplicated tiles (as a result of being at a particular zoom level) now have a grey letterbox appearance to indicate that those regions should not have markers. (AB-599)
  • Improved the appearance and usability of the Entity Settings dialog in the Queries page of the Data Source Wizard. (AB-467)
  • Added MapQuest Open Street Map tiles for use in the Tile Map Widget. (AB-456)
  • Updated the IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus data adapter configuration user interface. (AB-504)
  • Documented the capability of executing Javascript in the Launch URL Action. (AB-320)
  • Enhanced list of Stacks in the Stacks & Boards page to list the Stacks alphabetically. Child Boards, if any, are not sorted by default but can be sorted by clicking on the Name column. (AB-530)
  • Added an option to enable GC logging by using the JAVA_GC_LOGGING runtime option, which will generate a gc.log log file in the AppBoard logs directory. Enabling GC logging is not resource intensive and does not create a huge log - it is safe for production use. The AppBoard server must be restarted after changing this option. (AB-561)
  • Enhanced the Shell Command Data Source to auto-add shim query variables, including in environment variables, as columns - similar to what is done in the JDBC SQL Data Source adapter. (AB-526)

4. Resolved Issues

This section describes the resolved issues that are included in version 2.4.

  • Fixed an issue causing axis labels in some cases to appear very small in mobile Bar and Column Chart Widgets. The root cause was that a very small rotation angle had been applied. Applied correction to help prevent this by limiting the increment values to 15, 30, 45, 60, and so on. Note that the width of the columns, and height of bars, can still impact how big the labels can grow. (1614)
  • Free Flow Layout of Widgets has been deprecated. To re-enable legacy support, you can change the following configuration parameter in /enportal/visualizer/assets/config.xml: (AB-7)
    • <!-- Allow boards to have widgets arranged in Free Flow layout -->
    • <attribute name="enableFreeFlowLayout"
    • type="BOOLEAN"
    • value="true" />
  • Updated the placement and ordering of "OK" and "Cancel" buttons on several screens to provide consistency across the product user interface. (AB-39)
  • Fixed an issue where deleting the last remaining Session Variable (previously called Access Control Variables) would give the error message: "Index '0' specified is out of bounds" . (AB-118)
  • Removed the "CSV File Preferences" Data Source type from the Data Source wizard, as this is a system level element not needed for customer configuration. (AB-211)
  • Added a message when the user turns off (unchecks) the “Show Advanced Filter Options” check box in the Colored Shape Rules editor, indicating that any advanced rules must be deleted before returning to the basic (non-Advanced) mode. (AB-411)
  • The following Data Adapters are deprecated and no longer options in the UI (but previously configured adapters of these types will retain their configuration): (AB-453) (AB-463)
    • Facebook
    • Twitter (previous Twitter Data Source configurations also are no longer supported, due to changes in the Twitter API)
    • OFX
    • GDBAdapter
  • Removed the Clone Widget feature to simplify the AppBoard user experience: (AB-308)
    • Eliminated the "Clone Widget" option from the Widgets configuration panel.
    • Eliminated the "Clone Widget" option when selecting a Widget Type.
    • Any Clone Widgets in AppBoard archives will continue to work
      • The Clone Widget from the archive is converted to a standard Widget of the same type as the clone's original parent Widget.
      • Any Actions configured on the Clone Widget from the archive are maintained.
  • Fixed an issue that the Help/About and Diagnostics/Client Info screens would give an error message when accessed after a User's session had expired. (AB-293)
  • Cleaned up the icon files available in [Install_Home]/server/webapps/enportal/WEB-INF/xmlroot/appboard/config/iconregistry/. It should be noted that the military icons are no longer enabled by default and the custom_military.csv.disabled file needs to be renamed to custom_military.csv, and then the server re-started, in order to enable these icons. (AB-454)
  • Corrected an issue where white text was not readable in the Circular Gauge Widget on mobile devices. (AB-373)
  • Updated behavior of AppBoard Builder editors to be more consistent and intuitive: (AB-271)
    • Non-transactional dialogs, which save changes immediately, are shown as tabs (or buttons), when possible.
      • Close or Finish button provided to exit the wizard when process is complete. (AB-145)
    • Transactional panels (such as wizards) are presented as a series of screens that are saved when the process is completed.
      • Cancel and X buttons provided which discard any changes. (AB-145)
  • Fixed an issue where trying to add a User with an invalid password would fail without any error message. (AB-149)
  • Removed the color and size controls from the Configure Alternate Widget configuration, because these settings do not apply on mobile device. This matches the functionality in AppBoard 2.3, but eliminates the implication that these items are configurable. (AB-355)
  • Deprecated Context Data Type settings for child boards. (AB-351)
    • To set Context Data Type, add a Switch To Board Action and configure the settings on that Action.
    • To re-enable the setting for legacy support, you can change the following configuration parameter in [Install_Home]/server/webapps/enportal/visualizer/assets/config.xml:
<!-- Show / hide Context Data Type options -->
<!-- auto = show if already set (i.e. existing archive), hide otherwise -->
<!-- true = show by default -->
<attribute name="enableBoardContextDataTypes"
      value="auto" />
  • The Switch to a Board action was allowing Viewers to switch to boards in stacks that were not provisioned to their role. Now the action will not switch to a board unless the board is part of a stack provisioned to their role. (AB-475)
  • Removed initial Sub-Query dialog due to some errors and it is an unnecessary step. The Create Sub-Query button now jumps straight to the Sub-Query data source wizard. (AB-523)
  • Backup page freezing in IE10, and various other admin pages within enPortal UI not working correctly in IE10. This has been fixed by upgrading a core library to the latest version. (EN-37)
  • Fixed an issue in the Table Widget where the font for the Date Rendered was slightly different from the font for the Text Renderer. (AB-529)
  • Fixed an issue to perform cleanup in the case where deleting a Stack could leave orphaned Widgets that previously resided on that Stack. (AB-546)
  • Fixed various minor issues in the Google Map Widget:
    • Some nodes were not being displayed in the preview panel during Widget configuration. (AB-417)
    • Widgets would not consistently render KML in some cases when the browser is refreshed. (AB-303)
    • Entire Widget display would disappear in some cases after invoking an Action and then clicking in another Widget on the same Board. (AB-338)
    • Upon returning to a Board with a Google Map that has "zoom to fit" enabled, the map can zoom out to the maximum level. (AB-155)
    • Fixed an issue where Google Map Widgets would show up as all white starting on October 10, 2013. Workaround in 2.3 releases is to manually change a line in [Install_Home]/server/webapps/enPortal/visualizer/assets/widgets/googlemapjs-v3.html. (AB-567)
  • Fixed an issue where the Sub Query data source can fail if multiple filters are applied and it is trying to use an input parameter. (AB-499)
  • Although the Data Collection that drives the Diagrammer Widget is picking up changes in the data, the Widget itself is not detecting any changes unless you either refresh the browser or use the Widget wizard (which forces an update of the Widget). (AB-564)
  • Fixed an issue in the Topology Widget where objects from different data sources could have the same ID and cause collisions. Added a property that concatenates the MetaClass name and the Primary Key value of the DataObject together so that the Topology Widget can use that combination as its ID. (AB-568)
  • Fixed an issue where the Database Query Data Source was getting corrupted when the SQL query statements contained an excessive number of characters. (AB-615)
  • Fixed an issue where Sub Query data sources were losing their settings upon upgrading from AppBoard 2.3 to 2.4. (AB-620)
  • Corrected an issue in the new feature that combines multiple query Data Sources into a single Data Source, so as to not combine the Data Sources if the username and password for accessing the original data source are different. (AB-622)
  • Fixed an issue where legacy Boards from archives with incomplete definitions of Child Boards would not be displayed in the Stack Workset selector. (AB-569)

5. Known Issues

This section describes the new known issues in AppBoard version 2.4.

  • Legacy Table Widget Data Tip Actions (i.e. from v2.2 and earlier archives) are no longer supported. (AB-605)
  • It may not be apparent to the administrator or user when AppBoard loses or regains access to a CSV file: (AB-473)
    1. When a CSV file is re-named, deleted, or otherwise inaccessible, AppBoard provides an error message in Appboard.log and an indicator in the Data Collections configuration panel, but there is no notification to the user in the client and the old data may continue to display as if the data were accessible.
    2. When access to a lost CSV file is re-established, the status icon in the Data Collections configuration panel may still show the file as inaccessible.
  • The Builder occasionally freezes on transition, typically when completing the Data Source wizard. No configuration is lost but a client reload is required. (AB-570)

6. Contact Information

For questions or assistance with this release of AppBoard, please see the support page for contact information