We are an EE customer that is trying to decide how to offer dashboards to our users. We are a SaaS provider, and here is our situation:
- Our customers are small business owners
- We would like to create a library of dashboard widgets (specific charts that show the data) and allow users to pick and choose the widgets that they want on their own dashboards.
- Eye candy would be nice, but we won't use Flash.
The Dashboard Designer is well-suited for end-user widget selection, because that's exactly what it does. Unfortunately, the filters are limited to drop-down lists, and we have to implement those filters as static lists, because our users won't be allowed to use direct SQL, and DD won't let a SQL-prohibited user change a DD dashboard that has SQL prompts.
CDF, on the other hand, looks really powerful and flexible, first with a huge selection of filter prompts that can be SQL-driven. Even better, the charts can "dance together" for the user, meaning the user can click on one chart to drill into another chart via the listener paradigm. Very cool, and as far as I know, Dashboard Designer panels can't talk to each other this way. (Or can they?) Unfortunately, the CDF Dashboard Editor is heavily oriented towards programmers, so there's no simple way for end users to customize their CDF dashboards. (Or is there?)
Regarding eye candy without Flash, I think I've read that the Google Visualization API is an option. Is that a good way to go, or is there something better?
I know there are a lot of questions here, so any feedback that you feel like giving is most welcome. I feel like I've learned a lot in the last few days of research into this issue, but I never get the feeling that I'm done and ready to make a decision...sort of like Hamlet.