Archive for the ‘Xcelsius Templates’ Category


Review #3: Background Builder – Revive your User Interface!

(10/29 – Article Updated to provide .swf download)

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to a company named Centigon Solutions, who is in the business of creating Xcelsius 2008 Flex custom components! As one of the pioneers in this very new segment, they’ve managed to create some very practical, but much needed and very exciting Xcelsius components.

The ‘Background Builder’ is an awesome example. Not only is it God sent to the design challenged developer…but it allows any Xcelsius user to ‘Revive their dashboard User Interfaces’ with the click of a mouse! Be sure to read until the end…we have a special limited time offer only available through our blog for our readers..and no we don’t get a dime. It’s just a must have! :)

So what is the ‘Background Builder’? It’s a simple Xcelsius Add On that takes 5 minutes to install, 30-45 minutes to create a new design and can literally save you hundreds, if not thousands in custom design work for your Xcelsius dashboards. Don’t believe us?! See our example below.

Here is the Supply Chain dashboard template that comes with Xcelsius 2008 SP1. It was designed by a professional designer and looks great.

Before: Original Supply Chain Dashboard (done by Professional Designer)
Below is the revision that we did. It took us about 30 mins. We started from scratch and we were quite surprised with the results! See for yourself…interact with the model below. Oh yeah….did we mention that Centigon’s support is awesome?!

After – Our Revised Supply Chain Dashboard (Click on picture to open demo and download .swf / .xlf files)

Note: Downloading the model will require you to download at minimum, a free trial of the background builder. The free trial will allow you to view this background, download other templates from Centigon to use in your models and create your own cool backgrounds…but until a license is bought the design will disappear in 7 days.

Have no fear! We’ve arranged a special Centigon’s components bundle package through the month of Nov as an early Happy Holiday and thank you to all of our readers.

You can save $15 off the Xcelsius plugins components bundle for Xcelsius 2008. The components that come packaged in this bundle include Background Builder, Dynamic Sort, and Reverse Selector. When combined, these components will streamline the Xcelsius dashboard development process and add functionality that will make your dashboards look and perform much better than ever before!

Get a coupon code now:

Happy Holidays! Feel free to send us screenshots of what you did…we’d love to see..Thanks!

Here are some other links you may find interesting:

  1. Unlimited Free Trial!
  2. Over 10 free templates!
  3. Real world Xcelsius dashboards using the ‘Background Builder’
  4. More about Ryan Goodman…Founder and Owner of Centigon Solutions

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Xcelsius 2008 Demo Source files found?!

Has anyone ever wondered whatever happened to the Xcelsius 2008 .xlf source files for the demos and samples provided on the current Demo website (see below)?

For those who are familiar with the old Xcelsius 4.5 website you will recall that Business Objects used to provide the .xlf source files for most of their demos.

Well guess what? We think we found some of them! While they are built in 4.5, we don’t see much change from the Xcelsius 2008 to the 4.5 versions besides the logo and background colors! (Who knows? Maybe someone got lazy.)

Nonetheless, here is the link to download those source files:


Might be useful to refer to this article on how to open Xcelsius 4.5 files in Xcelsius 2008.

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Using the Xcelsius 2008 Map Drill Down and Scenario Button

So we finally came to a decision on what our first template would be and here it is! Keep in mind we hope to crank out more of these, depending on your feedback.

The Xcelsius chart components seem to be problematic to many users, so we decided to start with demoing how to use the Xcelsius 2008 US Map Drill Down functionality with the Xcelsius tab component, column chart and scenario button. Below is a preview of the model and a short description of each tab:

Download Source Files

  • Tab 1 – Map Drill Down to Chart
    • Xcelsius Components Used: US Map, Column Chart
    • US Sales Map shows colored alerts for each state based on % of targeted values
    • Column Chart displays 2 series ‘Actual vs. Forecast’
  • Tab 2 – Map Drill Down Scenario
    • Xcelsius Components Used: US Map, Column Chart, Slider, Scenario Button
    • US Sales Map shows colored alerts for each state based on % of targeted values
    • Column Chart displays 2 series ‘Actual vs. Target’
    • Slider changes target values by chosen percentage (%)
    • Scenario Button allows the user to save, load and delete scenarios. Try it!
    • Horizontal Line is strictly cosmetic on both tabs!

At the bottom we included a URL button which links back to our blog. Just credit for our hard work. :)

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Guru Review #2: 10 Xcelsius Template Websites you can’t live without!

Ever wonder where you can find some of the best Xcelsius templates on the web? Well look no further. Below we list and review the top 10 Xcelsius template websites we’ve seen online! While most of them do not contain downloadable source files, they are a great place to gain inspiration and ideas for dashboards in any industry!

Note: While most are in 4.5, we gained word that some of the sites will soon post their Xcelsius 2008 versions. We’ll keep you posted!

Analysis Factory Website#1 Analysis Factory Templates – For the Xcelsius innovator and designer this gallery is certainly one of the finest on the web and guaranteed to spark a few design ideas! It’s our #1 pick for flawless dashboard design and rendering! Like you, we were wondering how they get those cool designs?

Analysis Factory was nice enough to tell us that they have an in house designer who updates their original Xcelsius designs in Photoshop and then imports them into their models utilizing the image component, giving them that professional, polished look!

They also have 3 nice templates that they sell to the public that can be viewed here. (We recently learned that they are in the progress of upgrading their Xcelsius 4.5 templates to Xcelsius 2008. We’ll keep you posted….)

#2 Inverra Dashboard Demos – Patrick Quirk is a great guy and is the owner of Inverra. We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of innovation in these dashboards! While they are NOT downloadable he has a variety of Xcelsius dashboards in different industries to look at! Great place to get a few ideas.

#3 IT-Performs Xcelsius Demos – For anyone seeking the old Xcelsius 4.5 templates we think we found most of them on this website plus a neat ones that are definitely worth looking at! (We’ll see if we can get some of those source files for you a bit later on.)

#4 Ryan Goodman’s Downloadable Blog Templates – While not highly focused on the design, Ryan Goodman’s Xcelsius 4.5 & 2008 templates are nicely categorized. What’s nice if that most of them have an associated article explaining how he built them! OH, did we mention they are also DOWNLOADABLE?

#5 Xcelsius WordPress Downloadable Templates – For those seeking to download a few of the original Xcelsius 4.5 template source files this is for you (click here for steps on how to import to Xcelsius 2008)! Be sure to also check out some of the author’s dashboard work here.

#6 BOBJ Xcelsius Templates – While we are a bit disappointed that they removed most of the Xcelsius 4.5 templates, and made the source files for the new Xcelsius 2008 ones non-downloadable, the official Xcelsius 2008 template website is a great place to start.

#7 Xcelsius for Dummies Gallery - Michael Alexander the author of ‘Xcelsius for Dummies’ did a great job here of providing videos with step by step instructions on how to build these Xcelsius 4.5 templates. Very easy to learn and understand. Great for beginners!

#8 Xcelsius Journal 2008 Templates – Rated as #8 due to the number of templates available, this is one of the only places with Xcelsius 2008 templates on the web. Non-downloadable, Loren Alexander does a great job of displaying the capability of the software.

#9 Xcelsius Best Practices Sample Xcelsius Templates – Rated as #9 due to their overall lack of design, Loren Alexander again presents some interesting ideas on how to build a dashboard in Xcelsius 4.5.

#10 Dashboard Spy – This is an anonymous blog with sneak peeks of corporate dashboards that would otherwise be non-viewable to the public. Its great to see what other companies are doing. This is one you should definitely bookmark as it is updated daily with all kinds of Xcelsius and non-Xcelsius dashboards!

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