When I recently announced our free, web-based Service Manager Dashboards, I mentioned they could be easily customized…but I didn’t tell you how to do it. One of the key capabilities any good dashboard solution should offer is the ability to dig deeper into the details. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to edit the web parts in these dashboards to add a link to drill through to an SSRS report.

Editing the dashboard

As with any Sharepoint based web page, first you need to open the page for editing. To do that, click Site Actions in the upper right hand corner then select Edit Page.


You’ll notice at the top of the page there’s a web part called “(Hidden) Microsoft Dashboard Configuration”. This is the web part which enables you to edit all of the other web parts on the page.

Essentially, each of the little charts and gauges is a web part which reads a configuration file to determine what data to pull from the database and how to display it. These configuration files are XML files. The name of each is found in the dashboard user guide (this was downloaded with the dashboard installer).

If you start typing in the “Dataset configuration name” textbox, autocomplete kicks in and you can select the dataset you want to configure. Let’s add a Drillthrough link to the “Incident Creation by Date” web part. So, we’ll select IncidentCreationbyDate.xml then click Edit.


Adding the link

Now you can type the Hyperlink Name (which will be the test which is displayed to the user in the upper right hand corner of the “Incident Creation by Date” web part. You can also type the Hyperlink URL, which is the url of your SSRS report. If you’d like to prepopulate some parameters or control the appearance of the report you can pass parameters on the querystring of the URL. An example of how to do this is below…notice you need to specify the path to the report followed by an ampersand (“&”) then the parameters.


Once done click Save and Close in the lower right corner of the web part, then click Exit Edit Mode towards the upper right corner of the page.


You should now see a link in the upper right corner of the “Incident Creation by Date” web part


And clicking the link will open the SSRS report you specified


You can use the Dashboard configuration web part to do a lot more than this, check out the dashboard user guide for more information. For example, if you are familiar with SQL and are feeling adventurous, try editing the dataset configuration file again…but this time expand the Dataset section in the configuration web part. You can see and/or edit the SQL statement used to get the data for the web part.