How to Open Dashboard Designer in SharePoint 2010

So you’ve got a new Sharepoint 2010 server configured and now you want to create a PerformancePoint dashboard.  The first thing you need to do is create a new “Business Intelligence Center” site.  You can find it under the Data category in the Create window.

Once the site is created you’ll see a page that looks like this:

Ok.  Now we’re ready for business.  In order to create a PerformancePoint dashboard you’ll need to open Dashboard Designer and there are several ways to do this.

Method #1

If this is your very first time opening Dashboard Designer you’ll need to open it from the Business Intelligence Center.  On the right hand side of the page you see three orange headings: Monitor Key Performance, Build and Share Reports, and Create Dashboards.  Hover over the first heading, Monitor Key Performance, and click on the third link in the center of the page called “Start using PerformancePoint Services“.  The next page that opens will have a large button called “Run Dashboard Designer”.  Click it.  You may be prompted to run an application, don’t be alarmed, this is actually the install for Dashboard Designer.  It takes just a minute or so to complete and once finished Dashboard Designer will open.  Of course it goes without saying that the install for Dashboard Designer only happens the very first time you click the “Run Dashboard Designer” button.  After that, any time you click the button Dashboard Designer will open right up.

Method #2

Now that Dashboard Designer has been installed you can open it from the Start menu.  Click on All Programs, expand the SharePoint folder, and click on PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer.  Make sure you expand the “SharePoint” folder and not the “Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products” folder. 

Method #3

Once you have some PerformancePoint objects deployed to SharePoint you can open Dashboard Desiger from the PerformancePoint Content list.  By default you can access this list from the left-hand nav bar, but if it’s not there you can get to it by clicking “All Site Content”.  To open Dashboard Designer from the PerformancePoint Content list, click the down arrow for one of the items and select “Edit in Dashboard Designer”.

Method #4

The final, and in my opinion, best way to open Dashboard Designer is by using a URL.  Not a URL to the “Run Dashboard Designer” page from Method #1, but a URL that opens Dashboard Designer directly.  To do this you’re going to have to do a little sleuthing.  First thing to do is navigate to the “Run Dashboard Designer” page from Method #1.  Assuming you’re using Internet Explorer, make sure the Menu bar is displayed in your browser.  Click on View and select “Source”.  This will open up the HTML source code behind the webpage.  Since we know that clicking the button automagically opens Dashboard Designer, do a search in the HTML source code for the text on the button, “Run Dashboard Designer”.  Notice the OnClick method of the button is calling a Javascript function called “OpenDD”. 

Now search for the OpenDD function name, it will probably be defined towards the top of the document.

Once it has been found, copy the function code and past into a Management Studio query window and transform it into working SQL code.  You don’t have to do this, but I recommend it because the final expression is a bit tricky to do in your head.  At least, it’s tricky for me to do in my head…

Here’s the actual SQL code…

DECLARE @designerRedirect AS VARCHAR(MAX)
SET @designerRedirect = '_layouts/ppswebparts/designerredirect.aspx'

SET @siteCollection = '/sites/BI/'

SET @siteLocation = '/sites/BI/Finance'

DECLARE @siteCollectionUrl AS VARCHAR(MAX)
SET @siteCollectionUrl = 'http://SQL2012Dev' + @siteCollection --= 'location.protocol + "//" +' + @siteCollection

SET @siteLocationUrl = REPLACE(@siteLocation, @siteCollection, '') --=siteLocation.replace(siteCollection,"");

SET @URL = 'http://SQL2012Dev' + @siteLocation + @designerRedirect + '?SiteCollection=' + @siteCollectionUrl + '&SiteLocation=' + @siteLocationUrl


Make sure the values reflect your environment.  When you run the query you should end up with something like this:


To test that it works, copy the URL into your browser and verify that Dashboard Designer opens with your content.

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