Innovate 2012: Jazz Dashboard Tips and Tricks

Presenter: Dr. Dejan Glozic, Architect, Jazz Foundation Web UI

What follows is my synopsis and interpretation of this presentation given at IBM Rational Innovate 2012 in Orlando, FL.


  • Dashboards are part of the Jazz Application Frameworks, available to all Jazz Products
  • Highly configurable
  • Execute many queries at once
  • Tracking status
  • Stored in Jazz repository

This is listed as an Intermediate level presentation, so I don’t think that most in this audience need to know what a Jazz dashboard is. But then again, I just typed up most of this slide so what do I know.

Glozic goes over the types of dashboards. Seems to be just a regurgitation of the first slide. There are team dashboards, project dashboards, and user dashboards. Again, this is kind of 101 info for any Jazz application. Beginner stuff so far. 

The only thing he says that might be considered intermediate is that if you run many dashboards and tabs that performance will be affected. Common sense but not every user may expect that.

The Fun Part

This is what Dr. Glozic considers to be fun.

Resizing columns

You can resize columns. Seems to be a new feature.

Trim and background color

Setting the background color and trip (header background) makes things more legible and pleasing to the eye. If you go to settings, you can change the Trim and choose to show background color. He says it seems trivial, and he’s right. It does seem that way, but it really is a good little tip. My guess is most people don’t customize the appearance.

Unfortunately, they use pre-determined colors. They should give users full control here I think.

Hide the header

You can hide the header and it will “group” information with what’s around it. Give page a different look.

Duplicate widgets

This is pretty self-explanatory. Duplicate, then change what you need.


You can copy and paste widgets between pages or dashboards. The browser must support HTML5 local storage. You can copy and paste within the same url (I am not sure if he means domain name or jazz server by this)

You can copy and paste entire tabs.

Headline Widget

Recommends to use as a column description. Use with graphics and use without trim. I think this is a good tip.

Import/Export tricks

Embedding an external page

Just point to another website on a widget in its own tab. Seems obvious. May or may not be.

The key is finding the right URL. There is a way to put in a google calendar URL into a widget into Jazz, full page. I like this.

  • You can embed pretty much anything on the web
  • It has to serve content as HTML from a URL
  • If it provides an HTML snippet where there is an iframe, copy and paste the iframe code

New in 4.0

Export to HTML

Any viewlet can be exported as an HTML snippet from the trim menu. This lets you access Jazz data from external sites/tools. However, you’ll need to be authenticated into Jazz if not using a SSO with Jazz server. This is very nice.

OpenSocial gadget adapter

Makes dashboard viewlets act as OpenSocial gadgets in external containers (whatever that means). The picture shows Jazz widgets added to iGoogle.
Glozic also show a JIRA dashboard as an OpenSocial gadget container. Caveat is that OAuth has to be configured between JIRA and Jazz.

Tricks with Widgets

Glozic says he was looking for non-obvious tricks. Let’s find out if he succeeded.

Custom color for the work items category

New in 4.0 – you can set the color as custom in the settings of a widget. There’s a photoshop-style color picker.

New property and icons in work items

Basically you can create icons for different types of work items or work item properties. So say, a high severity work item can have a different icon than a low priority one. So you’ll get two icons next to the link for an item instead of one.

Merging categories in bar charts

You can group items that you don’t care about graphing as “other”…so if you are graphing 6 categories, you could graph categories 1 and 2 as separate bars, and define “Other” as all other categories. 

Showing custom report in a viewlet

In 4.0, you can deploy new BIRT reports and make them appear in viewlets.

Track Recently Viewed

New in 4.0: Recently viewed section. Very nice. I can’t believe this didn’t previously exist. So you can see the last 75 Jazz items you clicked. Limitation for now is that it’s on a per-sever basis. In the future it may not be.

Create a leader board

What it says. This would seem to be obvious to me.

Someone asked how often a widget would be updated. Obviously doesn’t understand that dashboards are live. Queries are live, statistics use data in the warehouse.

Process tricks

New Feeds for Project

You can make new feeds in the Project Area Editor – Process Configuration tab in the Eclipse client. This would create a feed just for a project. When it’s in the catalog anyone else can add it (this doesn’t seem to be intermediate).

Change the project/team dashboard template

Again, this seems obvious.

Add a personal dashboard template

Personal dashboards live in JTS and our not tied to projects. They seem to be tied to applications though, with you have to add other application dashboards later.

New in 4.0: a personal dashboard wizard allowing you to pick the template from applications registered with JTS. Templates used to be exclusively tied to the process.

Project / Team details

New in 4.0: project and team dashboards come with a fixed area onthe right side of the first page. Current plan and timelines are shown in the area.


“Is there a plan for you to add role-specific dashboards?”
No. But once you have the personal dashboard, you can share them.

“I don’t see documentation on how to build a template using the special language that Jazz uses?” This one I was wondering as well.
I don’t think we documented it, but you can customize a dashboard from the process configuration tab.

“How do changes to dashboards affect existing dashboards?”
They don’t. Dashboards have to be recreated. We don’t go back and fix up existing dashboards.

My Thoughts

Most of this seemed basic. Some of it not so much, but I was hoping for information on developing my own custom widgets. That’s not what this presentation was for. It really was more about displaying the widgets. That doesn’t make this presentation bad, but just not entirely what I expected.

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