Active Dashboard Palette

Overview

The Active Dashboard Palette allows you to add contents to a dashboard and create your own tools. To open this in Active Console, you can either:

  • Go to View > Active Dashboard > Show Tool Palette.

Dashboard palette groups

The dashboard palette consists of a set of groups which has a number of tools or objects to choose from. The palette consists of the following groups by category:

  • 3D Shapes — the tools in the group are three dimensional basic shapes. These are used as building blocks for some of the more complex three dimensional shapes, such as the infrastructure tools. Many of the 3D shapes are created from groups of simpler objects.
  • Backgrounds — all of the tools on this category are generic dashboard backgrounds.
  • Basic Shape — these are the building blocks of dashboard diagrams. See Configure basic shape properties.
  • Block Arrows
  • Call Outs
  • Frames — the tools in this group are all titled frames which can be used as part of a dashboard layout. In each case, you can link the object to the severity of a data item or create a hyperlink from the object to a data item. You can also link the frame title to the name of a data item.
  • Hyperlinks
  • Infrastructure
  • ITRS Dark Theme Icons
  • ITRS Dark Theme Shapes
  • ITRS Light Theme Icons
  • Lines — these are created with the line tool. Each line object has its standard appearance settings like the other shapes. See Configure lines properties.
  • Widget — these are the key preconfigured tools that enable you to easily display data in the Active Dashboard.

By default, when one group is expanded, the palette collapses the other group. If you want more than one group to open at a time, then right-click in the palette and disabled the Auto Minimise Groups.

The table below lists the tools in the dashboard palette groups:

Category Tool name
3D Shapes 3D Cloud
3D Cog
3D Diamond
3D Ellipse
3D Hexagon
3D Lightning
3D Rectangle
3D Rounded Rectangle
3D Speech Bubble
3D Triangle
Glass Disk
Backgrounds Deco
Fire
Sky
Swirl
Basic Shape Borderless Large Label
Can
Cloud
Cog
Corner Section
Cube
Cut Corner Rectangle
Diamond
Doughnut
Ellipse
Folder
Frame
Half Frame
Hexagon
L Shape
Label
Label without Multiline
Lightning Bolt
Page
Pie
Plus
Rectangle
Regular Pentagon
Rounded Rectangle
Star
Teardrop
Trapezoid
Triangle
Block Arrows Block Arrow Left
Block Arrow Right
Double Headed Arrow
Call Outs Cloud Speech Bubble
Round Speech Bubble
Rounded Speech Bubble
Square Speech Bubble
Frames Edge
Filled Frame
Glass Frame
Hyperlinks Equal to Time Range
Last 24 Hours
Last Hour
Last Minute
Last Month
Last Week
Last Year
Past Working Day (6AM to 8PM)
User Defined
Infrastructure Application
Client
Database
Exchange
Firewall
Server
ITRS Dark Theme Icons Dark Theme Application
Dark Theme Client
Dark Theme Database
Dark Theme Exchange
Dark Theme Firewall
Dark Theme Gateway
Dark Theme Rack
Dark Theme Server
ITRS Dark Theme Shapes Area Chart
Arrow
Block 1
Block 2
Block 3
Block 4 with Value
Capsule
Block 4 with name
Group Dashed
Group Dotted
Label and Bar
Line Chart 1
Line Chart 2
Line Chart 3
Meter Gauge
Square
Text Label
Volume Bar
ITRS Light Theme Icons Light Theme Application
Light Theme Block with Name
Light Theme Block with Value
Light Theme Capsule
Light Theme Client
Light Theme Database
Light Theme Dotted Group
Light Theme Exchange
Light Theme Firewall
Light Theme Gateway
Light Theme Gauge
Light Theme Label and Bar
Light Theme Rack
Light Theme Server
Light Theme Simple Area Chart
Light Theme Simple Line Chart
Lines Double Block Arrow
Double Line Arrow
Line
Line Arrow
Multipoint Line
Multipoint Line with Arrowheads
Thick Line
Widget Line Chart
Active Gauge
Active Pie Chart
Active Volume Bar
Bar Chart
Half Gauge
Picture
Spark Chart
Speedo Style Gauge
Area Chart
Scatter Plot
Step Graph

Hidden tools

The Active Dashboard Palette contains a group of tools that are hidden by default. To displays the hidden tools, right-click the screen of the Active Dashboard Palette > Show Hidden Tools.

  • 3D Shapes for Data Items
  • Breach Predictor
  • Data Item Tools
  • Historical — the tools in this group are used to create a Line Chart or Spark Chart using historical data, or to add historical data to an existing chart.
  • Indicators
  • Time Series

The table below lists the hidden tools in the dashboard palette groups:

Category Tool name
3D Shapes for Data Items 3D Data Item Cloud
3D Data Item Diamond
3D Data Item Ellipse
3D Data Item Hexagon
3D Data Item Rounded Rectangle
3D Data Item Speech Bubble
3D Data Item Square
3D Data Item Triangle
Cell Button
Breach Predictor New Breach Prediction
Data Item Tools Compact Managed Variable
Data Item Tool
Managed Variable Tool
Historical Equal to Time Range
Historical Chart Dataset [Last Hour]
Historical Chart [Last 24 Hours]
Historical Chart [Last Hour]
Historical Chart [Last Minute]
Historical Chart [Last Month]
Historical Chart [Last Week]
Historical Chart [Last Year]
Historical Chart [Past Working Day (6AM to 8PM)]
Historical Chart [User Defined]
Historical Chart Dataset [Last 24 Hours]
Historical Chart Dataset [Last Minute]
Historical Chart Dataset [Last Month]
Historical Chart Dataset [Last Week]
Historical Chart Dataset [Last Year]
Historical Chart Dataset [Past Working Day (6AM to 8PM)]
Historical Chart Dataset [User Defined]
Indicators Snooze Indicator
User Assigned Indicator
Time Series New Time Series
Time Series on Existing Chart
   

Tool properties

To open the properties of the selected tool in the dashboard palette:

  1. Right-click the selected tool.
  2. Click Properties.

The Tool Configuration dialog appears on the screen:

The Tool Configuration dialog has the following options:

Field Description
Icon

The icon for the tool.

Double-click the existing icon panel to select a different icon.

Name Name of the tool used in the palette and tool selection.
Description Displays the text description in the tooltip, if enabled.
Meta Data Defines the group the tool belongs to.
Paths

Sets the data item elements. This is only applicable for tools which have modifiers or widgets.

Note: Tools that belong to Widgets category in the palette do not have this field.

   

Configure basic shape properties

To configure the properties of the basic shapes:

  1. Select the shape you want to use in the Active Dashboard Palette.
  2. Drag and drop the shape into the Active Dashboard canvas.
  3. To access the object's properties, perform any of the following:
    • Right-click the shape and click Properties.
    • Select the shape and press CTRLEnter.
    • Modify the properties using the Object Inspector.

This opens the Object Attributes dialog for basic shapes:

Object appearance properties

These are the properties of a shape that you can change on the Appearance tab in the Object Attributes window:

Field Description
Object Name

Name given to the dashboard object.

This is used to reference the shape when using modifiers. It does not determine the text that appears on the object in the diagram.

Tooltip Text that appears on the object when you hover your cursor/pointer over an item.
Shape Style Select a shape from the list to change the object to the current shape.
Width x Height

Sets an explicit size for the shape. Alternatively, you can resize the shape using its control points.

This setting is useful if you want to make many dashboard objects the same size.

X position x Y Position Sets the location of the selected object in the Active Dashboard.
Filled If disabled, the shape only appears as an outline.
Fill Colour Colour the shape should be filled with.
Gradient Target Colour Sets the gradient colour for the selected shape.
Transparency Sets the transparency of the fill, where 0% is completely opaque; 100% is completely transparent.
Drop Shadow Shows/hides the drop shadow for the selected shape.
Anti-aliased

Makes the shapes edge appear smoother, but is more expensive to render.

The more objects that are anti-aliased, the greater the CPU processing required.. By default, this property is disabled.

Keep Aspect Ratio Locks the ratio of an object's width to its height.
Lock Size Toggles if the object can be resized.
Visible Border Shows/hides the border for the selected object.
Border Colour Changes the colour of the border.
Line Thickness Sets the thickness of the border in pixels.
Line style

Changes the line style.

Options: Solid, Dashed, Dotted, Dotted Dash

Move to front of selection When the object is selected, it moves to the front of the shape.
   

Object text layout settings properties

With the exception of lines, all basic objects can contain text. The text tool, rectangle tool, and ellipse tool create the same type of basic canvas object.

When an object is able to display a text, Text Layout Settings is available in the Object Attributes window.

The following properties are available on the Text Layout Settings tab:

Field Description
Text

Name of the text that appears in the object on the dashboard.

The text box expands automatically as you type.

Text Font Type of font to use for text.
Text Style

Style of font to use for text.

Options: Plain, Bold, Italic, Bold and Italic

Text Size Size of the text.
Text Colour

Changes the text colour.

If set to None, the text colour changes to contrast with the selected background colour.

Transparency Sets the transparency of the text, where 0% is completely opaque; 100% is completely transparent.
Anti Alias Font Makes the text smoother, but is more expensive to render.
Text Underline Applies an underline style into the selected text.
Horizontal Text Alignment

Positions the text in the X axis.

Options: Left, Right, Centre

Vertical Text Alignment

Positions the text in the Y axis.

Options: Left, Right, Centre

Multiline Allows text to span multiple lines.
Line Wrapping Breaks a line of text and wrap them into the next line.
Text Clipping Allows the text to exceed the outline of the shape if it is too small to contain it.
Allow Direct Editing Edits the text area for the selected object.
Highlight Colour Colour used to highlight text while it is being edited on the dashboard directly.
Expose Settings to parent If enabled, the shape is made part of a grouped object.
Scale Font Size on Zoom Allows the texts to resize when you zoom in and zoom out.
   

Change the default font and display Unicode characters in label text

Active Dashboard supports Unicode characters for dashboard labels and texts. To change the default font and display Unicode characters:

  1. Install the font you need if it does not exist from the text layout font option. The font must be a valid and existing system font before it can be used.
  2. Indicate the name of the font under the -dashboardDisplayFont flag in ActiveConsole.gci:
-dashboardDisplayFont
MingLiu

Note: If you are displaying Unicode characters, the font must have the specific Unicode characters you need (example, MingLiu - Japanese and Chinese, Batang - Japanese and Korean).

For fonts with names that have Unicode characters (example, MS ゴシック, MS P明朝), it is required to convert the file encoding of ActiveConsole.gci from ANSI to UTF-8. You can do this by using the Save As option in Notepad.

These settings change the following:

  • Chart headers, labels, and legends of dashboard objects that display texts, but these do not have a text font selector for Line Chart, Pie Chart, and Gauge.
  • Default selected font of shapes and objects that have a text font selector do not change the fonts of existing shapes or objects in the dashboard.

Create complex and arbitrary shapes

You are not restricted to the default shapes available in the Active Dashboard Palette. The dashboard allows you to define arbitrary polygons and other objects. There are two main ways to construct new shapes:

  • Shape amalgamate, subtract, and intersect — allows you to modify existing shapes by adding and subtracting the areas of other shapes from the target.
  • Edit properties directly option — shapes are made up of a number of segments, where each segment is a straight line or curve (a square is made up of four segments). It is possible to add, remove and modify segments directly.

Amalgamate selected shapes

You can build up more complex shapes from basic shapes by using the Amalgamate selected shapes functionality.

To use the amalgamate selected shapes function:

  1. Drag and drop a set of objects into the Active Dashboard canvas.
  2. Select all the objects simultaneously.
  3. Right-click the selected object.
  4. Click Shape and click Amalgamate selected shapes.

In this example, four ellipse objects are combined manually:

  • Selecting all ellipse objects display each object's control points. It means that each object has still its own set of properties that you can configure.
  • When you amalgamate the selected shapes, the dashboard combines the selected shapes, remove the overlapping lines, and making it a new object. This displays only one control point for the new selected object.

Subtract selected shapes

The Subtract selected shapes function deletes the area of the other selected shapes from the selected item, which is the opposite of the Amalgamate selection shape function.

To use the subtract selected shapes function:

  1. Drag and drop a set of objects into the Active Dashboardcanvas.
  2. Select all the objects simultaneously.
  3. Right-click the selected object.
  4. Click Shape and click Subtract selected shapes.

In this example, four square objects are placed manually into the end points of the bigger object:

  • Select all five objects so you can see their own control points.
  • Right-click the bigger object to delete the area of the other selected shape (four square objects).
  • When you subtract the selected shapes, the four square objects delete the area of the other selected shapes from the selected item, and making it a new object. This displays only one control point for the new selected object.

Edit object properties directly

This functions allows you to modify the hidden segment points of the selected objects.

To edit objects directly:

  1. Drag and drop the selected shape into the Active Dashboard canvas.
  2. Right-click the selected shape and click Edit Properties Directly.
  3. Alternatively, you can press ALT and click the shape.

New red and blue segment control points appear around the edge of the selected shape. Dragging these control points modify the shape of your object. You can add additional shape segments, and modifying these control points accordingly.

In this example, the square object has changed into a new object using the segment control points:

Configure shape segment

The shape segment adds more segment control points so you can modify the existing shape.

To add a new segment control point:

  1. Right-click the existing segment control point.
  2. Select Shape Segment.
  3. Click Insert New Segment.

Types of segment

The dashboard is capable of adding curved segments to the selected shape.

There are three types of segment:

  • Single-Point — creates a simple straight line between its adjoining segments.
  • 2-Point Curve — creates two control points. One point determines the segment end, while the other can be used to change the curve on the segment. This curve bends in just one direction.
  • 3-Point Curve — creates three control points. One point determines the segment end, while the other two determine the bend points. This is similar to a Bezier curve where it can bend in two separate directions.

Configure lines properties

To configure the properties of the line:

  1. Select the line you want to use in the Active Dashboard Palette.
  2. Drag and drop the selected line into the Active Dashboard canvass.
  3. Perform any of the following:
    • Right-click the line shape, and click Properties > Line Format.
    • Select the shape and press CTRLEnter . Then, click Line Format.
    • Modify the properties using the Object Inspector.

The properties of a line that you can change on the Line Format tab are:

Field Description
Line start edge

Displays an arrow head at the start of the line.

Options: Normal, Arrow Head

Arrow Head Style

Style of the arrow head. This only becomes editable when the Line start edge is set to Arrow Head.

Options: Area, Line, Double Line

Width x Height Size of the start arrow head. This only becomes editable when the Line start edge is set to Arrow Head.
Line end edge

Displays an arrow head at the end of the line.

Options: Normal, Arrow Head

   

Add line control points

Lines can have multiple control points so these can be configured and repositioned in the dashboard. To add an additional control point to the line:

  1. Right-click the selected line.
  2. Click Add Control Point.

Alternatively, you can hold down ALT and then press and drag the mouse at the point in the line where you want the new control point to appear.

Auto anchor lines

Auto anchor lines automatically connect lines over the top of the selected objects. If disabled, you can select and drag the control point in any part of the selected objects.

To enable this feature:

  1. Right-click the selected line.
  2. Click Auto Anchor Lines.

Alternatively, you can hold down ALT and then press and drag the mouse at the point in the line where you want the new control point to appear.

Auto lock line angles

Auto lock line angles allow lines to auto-lock at 90 degree angles when you position it around the object in the dashboard. It retains the line while it is being moved around and repositioned. This makes it easier to create large complex diagrams that remain neat.

Configure grouped objects

Selecting multiple objects is different from grouping the selected objects. To group the selected objects and configure the group:

  1. Drag and drop two or more objects into the Active Dashboard Palette.
  2. Select all the objects.
  3. Right-click the selected objects.
  4. Select Arrange.
  5. Click Group.
  6. Right-click the grouped objects and click Properties.

This opens the Group Properties dialog:

The Group Properties has almost identical options as when configuring an object property. The only field that is specific for grouped object is the Atomic Group option. If the Atomic Group is enabled, you cannot ungroup the object.

Note: You can still access the properties of each object within a group by pressing ALT and right-clicking the object.

If a set of dashboard objects that have no common settings, such as widgets and basic shapes, are selected, then the Active Dashboard displays the No Common Properties error message.

Copy and link object styles

You can copy and link the styles of selected dashboard objects to make other dashboards look the same, or even update their styles based on changes in the source object.

To copy the style of an object:

  1. Right-click the selected object.
  2. Select Stye > Copy Style. This object is known as the source object.

To apply the style to another object, right click on the selected object and select one of the following functions on the Style menu:

  • Apply Aesthetic Style — changes the visual properties of the target object to match the source object. This includes the appearance colour, transparency, border, and text properties settings. However, this does not change the shape and size of the target object.
  • Apply Shape Style — changes the shape of the target object to match the source object.
  • Apply Aesthetic and Shape Style — changes the shape and visual properties of the object to match the properties of the source object.

To link the style of the target object to that of the source object:

  1. Copy the style of the source object.
  2. Right-click the target object and click Style > Link Aesthetic Style.

Whenever you change the style of the source object, the target object automatically updates with the same style. This function only modifies the visual properties. It does not update the shape, or size of the target object.

Arrange dashboard objects

There are number of functions supported by the dashboard for arranging dashboard objects with respect to each other. Right-click the selected object and navigate to Arrange. This shows he following list of options:

  • Group — combine several objects into a group to treat them as a single object.
  • Ungroup — disassociates the object from the group.
  • Move to front — moves the selected objects in front of all other dashboard objects.
  • Move to back — moves the selected objects behind all other dashboard objects.
  • Align Left — aligns the selected objects, so that their left most points are equal to the left most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Right — aligns the selected objects, so that their right most points are equal to the right most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Center — aligns the centre of all the selected objects so that these are in straight line from top to bottom.
  • Align Top — aligns the selected objects, so that their upper most points are equal to the upper most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Bottom — aligns the selected objects, so that their lowest most points are equal to the lowest most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Middle — aligns the middle of all the selected objects so that these are in straight line from left to right.
  • Distribute Horizontally — distributes the selected objects so that are equally spaced, and not overlapping, from left to right.
  • Distribute Vertically — distributes the selected objects so that are equally spaced, and not overlapping, from top to bottom.

Hide and unhide selected objects

If there are many stacked objects in the Active Dashboard, you can temporarily hide the object. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the object.
  2. Click Temporarily Hide Selected option to hide it.

To show the hidden objects, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click anywhere in the Active Dashboard canvas.
  2. Click Unhide All.

Configure grouped objects

Selecting multiple objects is different from grouping the selected objects. To group the selected objects and configure the group:

  1. Drag and drop two or more objects into the Active Dashboard Palette.
  2. Select all the objects.
  3. Right-click the selected objects.
  4. Select Arrange.
  5. Click Group.
  6. Right-click the grouped objects and click Properties.

This opens the Group Properties dialog:

The Group Properties has almost identical options as when configuring an object property. The only field that is specific for grouped object is the Atomic Group option. If the Atomic Group is enabled, you cannot ungroup the object.

Note: You can still access the properties of each object within a group by pressing ALT and right-clicking the object.

If a set of dashboard objects that have no common settings, such as widgets and basic shapes, are selected, then the Active Dashboard displays the No Common Properties error message.

Copy and link object styles

You can copy and link the styles of selected dashboard objects to make other dashboards look the same, or even update their styles based on changes in the source object.

To copy the style of an object:

  1. Right-click the selected object.
  2. Select Stye > Copy Style. This object is known as the source object.

To apply the style to another object, right click on the selected object and select one of the following functions on the Style menu:

  • Apply Aesthetic Style — changes the visual properties of the target object to match the source object. This includes the appearance colour, transparency, border, and text properties settings. However, this does not change the shape and size of the target object.
  • Apply Shape Style — changes the shape of the target object to match the source object.
  • Apply Aesthetic and Shape Style — changes the shape and visual properties of the object to match the properties of the source object.

To link the style of the target object to that of the source object:

  1. Copy the style of the source object.
  2. Right-click the target object and click Style > Link Aesthetic Style.

Whenever you change the style of the source object, the target object automatically updates with the same style. This function only modifies the visual properties. It does not update the shape, or size of the target object.

Arrange dashboard objects

There are number of functions supported by the dashboard for arranging dashboard objects with respect to each other. Right-click the selected object and navigate to Arrange. This shows he following list of options:

  • Group — combine several objects into a group to treat them as a single object.
  • Ungroup — disassociates the object from the group.
  • Move to front — moves the selected objects in front of all other dashboard objects.
  • Move to back — moves the selected objects behind all other dashboard objects.
  • Align Left — aligns the selected objects, so that their left most points are equal to the left most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Right — aligns the selected objects, so that their right most points are equal to the right most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Center — aligns the centre of all the selected objects so that these are in straight line from top to bottom.
  • Align Top — aligns the selected objects, so that their upper most points are equal to the upper most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Bottom — aligns the selected objects, so that their lowest most points are equal to the lowest most object at the time the function is used.
  • Align Middle — aligns the middle of all the selected objects so that these are in straight line from left to right.
  • Distribute Horizontally — distributes the selected objects so that are equally spaced, and not overlapping, from left to right.
  • Distribute Vertically — distributes the selected objects so that are equally spaced, and not overlapping, from top to bottom.

Hide and unhide selected objects

If there are many stacked objects in the Active Dashboard, you can temporarily hide the object. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the object.
  2. Click Temporarily Hide Selected option to hide it.

To show the hidden objects, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click anywhere in the Active Dashboard canvas.
  2. Click Unhide All.