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Curl Version 7 Sample Application: Sales Dashboard
07-01-2011, 10:00 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2011 11:32 AM by ashimo.)
Post: #1
Curl Version 7 Sample Application: Sales Dashboard
The Curl Sales Dashboard application is a Curl implementation of a sales dashboard designed by Stephen Few. Mr. Few is Founder & Principal of Perceptual Edge, and author of Information Dashboard Design.

Design is important. This dashboard design features compact, effective display of crucial information for a regional sales manager. Every area and component of the display is designed to clearly communicate the information contained therein.

The underlying data is obtained from a subset of the standard Salesforce.com data schema. This set of coherent, tractable, business-critical information can be sensibly transformed, aggregated, and presented by a Curl client application.

The dashboard illustrates several important aspects of rich client data visualization.

Local Data Storage
The data is stored locally using SQLite, allowing rich clients to leverage the computing power of the client machine. This highly scalable architecture minimizes the latency associated with wire transfers, while freeing server resources to handle data\[-only\] requests from more clients.

Client-side Computation and Presentation
Rich Internet applications really prove their worth when it comes to performance and usability. The Curl Sales Dashboard leverages the power of today's client machines to perform simple and complex data transformations and aggregations, then presents the data in appealing ways, while avoiding superfluous server round-trips.

Specialized Display Components
The dashboard uses several standard Curl display components, but it also demonstrates the use of custom components. People familiar with Stephen Few's designs will recognize his signature sparklines and bullet graphs. These specialized components were built specifically for this dashboard with relatively few lines of code. They readily consume the data and present them, quickly, in sophisticatedly simple ways.

Flexible User Interface
The bar for usability in rich client applications is set high, so it is important to be able to offer users flexibility with regard to things like
  • Layout
  • Styling
  • Visual Feedback (for example, tooltips)
  • Drilldown (for example, popups)

as applied to their data. The extent of flexibility in these aspects is governed by the designer of the application, not the technology used to build it.

The legend in the lower right-hand corner of the dashboard applies to all data presented in bar charts. Some individual presentations also include presentation-specific legends where appropriate.

The dashboard employs some interactive features such as tooltips and drilldowns. Hovering the pointer over a data point or bar pops up a tooltip displaying the exact value. The Regional Breakdown presentation offers drilldown functionality in the Current Quarter Sales chart. When a hand cursor is present over the bars a user may click on the bar to drilldown into the region for more data. The Key Metrics and Regional Breakdown presentations also contain alert graphics indicating a metric or region is performing below a certain level.

Buttons at the top right of the dashboard provide access to Help and detailed information About the dashboard.

The data presented in the dashboard covers just one well-defined example. Specific metrics, rollups, content transformations, etc. will vary for every organization. Your competitive advantage is embodied in the information you make available. You are encouraged to take the code and apply your data to it, with the caveat that the existing code was not intended to be suitable for arbitrary datasets. You might need to modify the code in some ways to support your specific case(s).

Installation Notes

The URL for installing the Sales Dashboard application directly from the Curl Developer Center is

curl://offline/curl://launch/http://communities.curl.com/demos/nitro/SalesDashboard/occ-start.dcurl

Limitations in the infrastructure of this Web site prevent making the above link directly clickable, but if you paste the above URL into the address field of your browser, you can install the Sales Dashboard application on your system. You will need to have the current Curl Version 7 RTE installed on your machine first. (If you are running Firefox, you may see a popup window asking whether to run the Curl RTE File Loader. After you authorize this operation, the installation window for the Sales Dashboard application will be displayed.)

This demo requires Curl Version 7. If you're using earlier, beta releases, you will get a "This library is not compatible with early beta releases" error.

Source Code

If you want to see how the Sales Dashboard sample works, please download the attached zip file, which contains all the source files used to build the application. You can modify these source files to create your own variations.

Other Notes
The dashboard is best viewed at a resolution of 1024x768 pixels or greater. Note that locales other than 'en' might yield unexpected display artifacts.

SalesDashboard090126.zip
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