How to create custom dashboard templates in Chartbrew
The custom templates were introduced in Chartbrew to make it easier to replicate dashboards and charts for different projects or different clients. This takes Chartbrew one step closer to being the go-to solution for setting up quick and simple visualizations for teams and stakeholders. Let's get started!
Preparing the grounds
If you want to follow along with this tutorial you will need to have access to a Chartbrew dashboard. You can use any of your existing ones, or you can create a dashboard in a few seconds by clicking here.
The custom templates feature is available for both open-source and managed versions of Chartbrew.
Create the template
There are currently two ways to create a template in Chartbrew. The most accessible one is right on your dashboard. The action bar has a new button specifically for creating a new template from the current dashboard.
The new action will open a dialogue where you can enter a name for your template so you can remember it later on. Enter a name there and you can save your new template!
The second place from where you can create a template is in the "Connections" screen. The templates are now separated into community templates (pre-made for all accounts) and your templates which you can create or delete at any time. When you do not have a custom template registered with your team, Chartbrew gives you the option to create your first template directly from that screen.
Once the template is created, you will be able to check it out in the connections screen. You will notice that the custom templates can contain any number of connections and charts associated with these.
Configuring a custom template
The template is automatically saved with all the connections and charts in the respective dashboards. You can see from the screenshot above that I have 15 charts and 7 connections in my template.
Now let's click on the template so we get more information and see how it can be configured.
The template screen has two sections: Connections and Charts. Before you generate a template, you can configure it so that it doesn't create all the connections and charts. The toggle next to each connection will tell Chartbrew whether to create the connection or not. You will notice that the charts that rely on that connection are automatically disabled.
The Charts section contains all the charts in the template and by unchecking the box, you can tell Chartbrew to ignore creating the chart. If one of the connections is enabled, but there are no charts that will use the connection, Chartbrew will avoid creating it as well.
Creating a dashboard from a template
The dashboard creation screen will now offer the users the option to create an empty dashboard or create one from one of the available templates in the team. So let's generate one from the template we just created.
Head over to your team dashboards and click on "Create a new project":
This will open a dialogue where we can select to create a dashboard from an existing template. That's exactly what we are going to do:
Creating individual charts from templates
On top of creating a dashboard from a template, Chartbrew also lets you create individual charts from them. You will notice that when you click on the "Create new chart" the template are available there as well. Instead of creating a chart from scratch, let's create one from the new template.
Now select one or more charts from the list and your new charts will appear in the dashboard right away.
Future plans for the templates
This is just the first iteration of the custom templates. There will be new things that will extend this feature. One of the priorities will be to allow users to define variables that can be configured before generating a dashboard. This can be useful if you want to automatically create connections and charts with dynamic parameters.
Do you have any cool ideas? Let me know on Twitter or send me an email at [email protected]