Import/ Export Data Connections

This process involves taking a data connection, with everything in it, from one dashboard to another. This would be particularly useful for example if a development team have been building/ making changes to a data connection in a development/ test dashboard and are now ready to deploy to a live dashboard. 

Exporting a data connection

Click the Dashboard Configuration icon at the top-right of the dashboard.

In the Dashboard Configuration screen, click Data Connections.

Hover over the data connection that you want to export on the left-hand side of the screen.

You will see an ‘Export data source’ icon, click this icon.

After clicking the ‘Export data source’ button, you will see the following screen.

This screen is used to show what items are included in the selected data connection and to choose which of these items are included in the export.

On the left-hand side of the screen, we can see the details of the connection for example, the Connection Name and type of connection.

To view the Objects in that connection, click the Objects tab. This will show all objects, tables and joins that will be included in the export.

The middle section of the screen will show the charts that will be included, all charts will be selected by default. If you don’t want to export certain charts untick the box next to that chart.

Additionally, you can choose to exclude all charts by clicking the ‘None’ option or include all charts by clicking the ‘All’ option.

The right-hand side of the screen shows all the Categories that will be included in the export. If these categories don’t already exist when the data connection is imported, they will be created in the new site. If they do exist, they will be ignored.

When you’re happy with the objects/ items that will be included in the export, click the Export button at the bottom-right of the screen.

When the Export process has finished, the file will be displayed at the bottom-left of the screen.

The previous export process used XML, the new export process uses JSON.

Importing a data connection

The ‘Select a file to import’ option will only be available when no data sources are currently open.

If you’ve opened data sources, you will need to close these by clicking the close icon next to each data source.

Once this process has been completed, the import option will be available.

Click the ‘Select a file to import’ button and browse to where the file is stored. After selecting the file, the following screen will be displayed.

Initially, when you import a file, all items that will were included in the export will be automatically selected. This means that when you click the ‘Import’ button everything will be imported. If items in your current dashboard match the items being imported, e.g., a chart is imported that matches the name of a chart in your dashboard, you will overwrite the existing items with the new items in the import window.

The icons next to the items indicate:

  • the selected item is used by other items in the data connection

  • the selected item does not exist in the system and will be added if selected

When you hover over an item with the (U) icon, you will be able to see which other items use the selected item. In the following example, the Chart Type Table is linked to a Table Join and an Object.

If we untick the ChartType table but leave the Table Join and Object selected, the following message will be displayed at the bottom right of the screen

and the Table Join and Object will be displayed in red text.

The ‘Import’ button will not be available until this error has been corrected.

The Show Details icon , seen when you hover over one of the items in a data connection, can be used to view the dependencies for an item and to compare the current item with an imported item.

Example

The following screenshot shows the Dependencies for the ‘Chart Usage’ Chart. We can see that this item is dependent on a Category (Dashboard Charts) and three Objects (Chart Category Description, Chart Name and Audit Count). All items are valid in this example.

Example

The following screenshot uses the same information as the previous example (Chart Usage) but in this example, one of the Objects (Chart Category Description) has been de-selected which means that the ‘Invalid Items’ warning message is once again displayed.

The ‘Comparison’ tab can be used to identify the differences between the Imported file and the file currently in the system.

We do not include a comparison tool with the Dashboard, but you can easily compare the difference between the files by using a text comparison website.

Choosing which items to import

At the top of each of the sections of the import screen there are options that can be used to quickly select or deselect an entire section:

  • used to select every item in a section. The number in brackets will indicate how many items are selected.

  • used to untick any items that are classed as invalid due to another option being de-selected. Please refer to the example shown in the previous section for more information.

  • used to de-select every item in a section

When the items you want to import are selected, and are valid, click the ‘Import’ button to import the data connection.

When the data connection has been imported successfully, it will appear in the list of Data Connections on the left-hand side of the screen.