Without Dashboards your 3DEXPERIENCE platform
will be pretty empty so we need to understand what can be done with them on a
per user basis and also how they can be shared to the rest of the team. In
simple terms the dashboard is the layout of the webpage, the more complicated
description you find on the 3DEXPERIENCE “Getting Started” screen is that “a dashboard is a holistic view on any topic or activity, gathering
content from various sources. It is made of tabs, each tab containing widgets”. The video below summarises all that has been discussed in text form.
If you haven't seen Part 1 - Platform Management, then you can watch it here.
There is an app shortcut to “3DDashboard” but it isn’t really needed as the Dashboard is what is in essence the homepage when you land on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Logged in as my imaginary
Administrator “Chris MANAGER” I am going to go through some of the key parts of
creating your first dashboard.
Firstly you can review the
default “My First Dashboard” and modify this if needed. You can also create a
brand new Dashboard keeping the default one as a backup to refer back to if
required (some of the Getting Started material may be useful for reference).
Therefore click the down arrow next to the dashboard name and choose to create
a new dashboard or rename the existing one. This down arrow would be where you
swap dashboards if you have been invited into more than one.
Within the dashboard you can
work across multiple tabs. To add a new one click the + button and give it a
name- this will be empty and your placeholder for dragging in the widgets and
Once created you can use the
down arrow to make some changes such as renaming, and eventually sharing with
Adding widgets and Apps
Into this empty dashboard we
can begin dragging in some of the apps from the left hand task pane. We won’t
worry about the specifics of the apps at this point, but just show you some
basics of how the apps can be laid out.
The apps are found on the
left hand side when the Compass is activated- you may also spend some time
managing your favourite apps so they are more easily found. Quite simply you
then drag and drop the apps into the main area of the dashboard. Not all apps
can be dragged and dropped in this way- the indicator they can is the arrow in
the upper right corner as pictured on the 3DPlay app below:
As you drag into the
dashboard you will feel how it snaps to positions and as more apps are added
they dock alongside one another and can be dragged to their desired size. Once
you have placed the apps you may find it best to close the left hand task pane
with the X to get a full screen view.
Depending on the logged in
user’s permissions, various options appear under the drop down arrow including
a more granular level of sharing- as oppose to sharing the entire dashboard
layout. In later blogs we shall see how these apps and widgets can work with
one another to give you a full overview of how your projects are progressing.
These options will be
available in some form on each app, but the specific options you can control
will be relative to the app itself.
Now as well as adding the
app/widget with a drag and drop gesture you can also use it on the fly by
simply single clicking from the left hand task pane. When this is done the app
opens in front of the main dashboard and can be closed when you have done what
you need to. This would be preferred over pinning to the dashboard if it is a
less regularly used app and not something you want to constantly keep an eye
Communities have similarities
to how you interact with website such as YouTube and Facebook. On YouTube you
subscribe to “Channels” which keeps videos from the same author in one place so
you can assume the topics covered are related. On Facebook you may Like or Join
“Groups”. By joining you expect that the posts are relevant to your interests
based on the theme of the group. Communities in 3DEXPERIENCE should be seen in
the same way. The most simple type of Community could be a Project name. Those
you invite to join the community are your project team members and the topics
posted will be related.
The admin user therefore
needs to launch the “Communities Control Center” app from the “Social and
Collaborative” apps (North Quadrant)
Within here a new community
can be created with a name and description. You can change the image associated
with it and then begin to add new members. Members can be set to be Owners (for full control over the
Community), Authors (allowing new
posts and content to be created) and Contributors
(who can have their ability to add comments restricted). When you begin typing the names of your
invited colleagues, the search results should find them so you can add them
into your community.
The other users then receive
a notification when they next login that they have been added to this
The Statistics section is useful to track
general activity and how often people are interacting with the community posts,
and the Settings allow you to set options such as the privacy of the Community
as well as some granular options for Contributor users. Within settings you
will see this funnel type graphic. This is used for creating new ideas and
moving them through different statuses as your ideas mature. This could be seen
as a very simple entry into a product workflow that you may associate with
Product Data Management (PDM). You can create and add to the default states as
well as changing their labels and colours (as I have in the image below).
In the intial setup of the
platform and dashboards you are likely to be sharing a lot of content, which is
the equivalent to assigning permissions. The design team in this scenarios is
only 4 members so not too onerous to type in their names each time. However you
may wish to create a user group so that the sharing can be done in bulk. Again
the admin user can do this using one of their specific Social and Collaborative
Apps – User Groups.
As pictured above, User
Groups can be selected in the left hand pane, a new group created and named and
then Members invited in.
Now when it comes to sharing,
it can be done on a Group basis rather than User by User.
The Dashboard will take some
initial configuration to optimise the layout for the screen sizes. You may wish
to also add multiple tabs to keep certain information separate. Once you have
got the arrangement you are happy with you can then share this with other team
members. This means they don’t have to recreate the same layout for themselves.
Use the down arrow against the Dashboard name (now renamed to Soap Box) and
click the Share button:
You can search for users
already within the Platform, or create a public link. For this latter option,
please be aware that the content of your dashboard may be unavailable to a
public users since they won’t have been granted specific permissions to see the
content of the apps and widgets (i.e. added to the community for conversations,
or to access the files stored in 3D Drive). Therefore we would recommend
sharing the content to people you have specifically invited to join the
And you can of course share
to groups as an alternative.
Logging in as Sarah, I see a
notification that a dashboard has been shared:
Clicking the message adds the
dashboard in the same layout as the original. Now the dashboard that has been
shared is drawing information from three different sources.
The left hand widget is
3DDrive- where files can be uploaded.Currently there is just a concept sketch
image in this folder. The middle panel is the 3DSWYM Community linked to the
“New Product Proposal” community setup earlier. The right hand panel is the Web
Page Reader embedding a public webpage. You may find that when the dashboard is
shared, both the left and middle panels are not showing the same for other
users compared to how you set it up. This will be down to permissions. To see
the contents of the 3DDrive folder, this must be shared to the team members,
and likewise the 3DSWYM community members must be setup to include your team as
well. We set the Community members up earlier in this post, and will look at
sharing content from 3DDrive in a future post. The Web Page reader will be fine
as this is a public URL so no additional permissions will be required here.
So hopefully you now have a
good understanding about some of the pre-work required in setting up Dashboards
and more importantly how you can start bring other colleagues into the mix and
Further information on Dashboards and others tools within 3DEXPERIENCE Business Innovation can be found here on MySOLIDWORKS.
General Online Help for the platform can be accessed here.
By Adam Hartles
Customer Support Manager