Yellowfin launches DashXML to make building custom analytical apps quick and easy

Global Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics software vendor, Yellowfin, has launched DashXML – a browser-based Java application that makes it fast and easy to create customized analytical functionality and applications.

DashXML is a flexible framework that communicates with Yellowfin via a Web Services API to expose the functionality of Yellowfin’s BI platform – such as reports, filters and security capabilities – while simultaneously providing complete freedom regarding application design, layout and user interaction.

To find out how to get started with DashXML today, visit the Yellowfin Wiki >

An introduction to DashXML

DashXML launch Webinar recording

DashXML: Customized analytical functionality without IT programming

The DashXML framework provides a method for creating uniquely tailored dashboards that combine Yellowfin content and custom items without the need for programming:

Yellowfin CEO, Glen Rabie, said that DashXML would enable Yellowfin customers and software partners to create a unique analytical user experience.

“Creating highly customized analytical functionality and applications has always been difficult,” said Rabie. “Application managers and developers had two choices. Firstly, they could simply use an out-of-the-box BI tool, which limited their control over product design and user interaction. Alternatively, they used Open Source charting libraries to create a tailored charting experience, but lost the analytical functionality and security of an analytics platform, such as Yellowfin.”

The first option meant compromising on the uniqueness of the user experience, while the second required significant development work, resulting in lost time and money.

“DashXML addresses both challenges,” said Rabie. “DashXML empowers organizations to leverage the power of Yellowfin’s BI platform, which removes the need to build sophisticated BI functionality from the ground up, while simultaneously offering unlimited flexibility and control when it comes to design, layout and interactivity.”

Developers simply create the content and security permissions in Yellowfin, then configure and style the analytical functionality using DashXML.

“It’s a win for developers and application managers alike,” said Yellowfin Director of Product Marketing, John Ryan. “DashXML leverages the power of Yellowfin, with the control and flexibility of a charting library.

“DashXML offers application developers the freedom to quickly and easily create bespoke analytical functionality – as part of their existing BI implementation or via an entirely new customized analytical application – without compromise.

“Importantly, DashXML empowers developers to deliver a unique analytical experience for information consumers. The tailored reporting and analytics functionality, developed via DashXML, gives Yellowfin clients and software partners the ability to expose new audiences to the power of BI, growing the potential number of BI users and use cases.”

DashXML genesis: A customer case study with LocalEdge

Yellowfin developed DashXML in response to the unique dashboard requirements of US-based client, LocalEdge, a multi-media organization and a Hearst Media Services Company. LocalEdge wanted to develop a “state of the art” Customer Dashboard to deliver proof-of-performance reporting to each of its customers across its 15 core marketing products and services.

“Our previous customer dashboard was custom developed and was therefore resource intensive and inflexible,” said LocalEdge Vice President of Information Technology, Scott Strozyk. “Over 10 years old, it had an outdated user interface that was hard to navigate, and it was difficult to enhance or create new dashboards due to the cost, time and complexity of working with the custom-built applications behind the dashboard.”

To address this situation, LocalEdge undertook a BI procurement process to find an “out-of-the-box” solution capable of providing the features and flexibility of a custom-developed solution – minus the delays and costs associated with IT programming.

“We had a very complex set of new customer dashboard requirements and an extremely aggressive timeline to deliver the new solution,” said LocalEdge President of Affiliate Relations & Technology, Jeff Folckemer. “Our customers were unhappy with our outdated, custom-built dashboard. Our sales teams were apprehensive to show it due to the poor look, feel and unpredictable performance. Our old customer dashboard was no longer an asset and was becoming a significant liability for our business.”

LocalEdge’s goal was to revamp both the look and feel as well as the operations of its dashboard solution as quickly as possible.

“We were short on time to implement and it was important for us to get the new Business Intelligence solution right the first time,” said Folckemer. “We needed a capable partner who could understand our needs, guide us through the process, and provide a solution that would meet the complex dashboard reporting requirements within an extremely tight timeline. To do this, we needed a core product that could provide most, or all, of the features out-of-the-box. We found that partner in Yellowfin.”

Strozyk explained that Yellowfin’s DashXML solution enabled LocalEdge to create and update dashboards by simply modifying an XML configuration file on the front-end application server and building or updating the reports in Yellowfin on the back-end.

“The portal solution created with DashXML and Yellowfin allows us to dynamically and easily modify the look and feel of the customer dashboard,” said Strozyk. “It ties the Yellowfin reports and layout together for each of the product dashboards.

“The Yellowfin portal solution allowed us to seamlessly tie-in the new Yellowfin dashboards with our existing product management and legacy reporting applications via a consistent and seamless dashboard navigation menu. The portal is also extensible in that we can add our own features to it as desired over time.”

Using Yellowfin and DashXML, the portal solution delivers metrics from over 15 core products to LocalEdge customers. Specific dashboards focus on areas such as Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Website Statistics, Social Media Management and Performance Overview, which display aggregated metrics across all products used by each customer.

Folckemer said that the results of the BI initiative exceeded the expectations of LocalEdge and its customers.

“We implemented much faster using Yellowfin than we could have with any custom-built solution,” said Folckemer. “The finished product is far better than we could have achieved with any other ‘out-of-the-box’ Business Intelligence tool. Both customers and business partners love the new dashboard.”

Strozyk echoed Folckemer’s sentiments.

“The bottom line is, by partnering with Yellowfin, we achieved the goals of a highly-customized, feature-rich dashboard reporting solution our customers love, while ensuring minimum IT staffing requirements for ongoing dashboard enhancements and support,” said Strozyk. “LocalEdge and its customers are extremely satisfied with the solution. If we had to do it all over, we wouldn’t hesitate to work with Yellowfin again.”

DashXML is now Generally Available

Existing Yellowfin customers can download DashXML from the Yellowfin Support Center, at no cost, from TODAY >

Custom dashboards created using DashXML are configured in a single XML file that describes each element on each dashboard tab as a widget. Each dashboard is a single page with an arrangement of widgets, which can include reports, text and filter widgets. All layout and styling can be achieved via customized CSS. Each dashboard is referenced directly by a unique URL and is accessible via Web-browser.

DashXML can be deployed alongside Yellowfin, or on a separate server.

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About Yellowfin

Yellowfin is a global Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics software vendor passionate about making BI easy. Founded in 2003 in response to the complexity and costs associated with implementing and using traditional BI tools, Yellowfin is a highly intuitive 100 percent Web-based reporting and analytics solution. Yellowfin is a leader in mobile, collaborative and embedded BI as well as Location Intelligence and data visualization.

Over 10,000 organizations, and more than one million end-users across 70 different countries, use Yellowfin every day. For more information, visit

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For further media information, interviews, images or product demonstration, please contact:

Lachlan James, Yellowfin Global Communications Manager on +61 (0)3 8617 4954, +61 (0)431 835 658 or