In my day to day discussions with other consultants and customers who use Xcelsius, I have experienced common issues that you may find when building Xcelsius dashboards. While I often work within the constraints of the product I beat up Xcelsius pretty good and have found a suitable system configuration for building dashboards. I wanted to share my configuration and practices in hopes that you may be able to improve your dashboard building experience.
Troubleshooting an issue with Xcelsius can be a bit of a moving target with different versions and hot fixes of Windows, Excel, Flash player, and of course Xcelsius. Here is how my system is currently configured:
Design Time with Xcelsius Best Practices
As you launch Xcelsius, the following practices should be taken into account to set you up for success.
- Do not run Excel while using Xcelsius. I have both 2007 and 2003 on my system, so if I need to get into Excel while using Xcelsius, I only use 2003.
- Run 1 instance of Xcelsius at a time. If you need to copy and paste components between Xcelsius instances do so and then close the second instance of Xcelsius. UPDATE- With Xcelsius SP3.1 this works much better now
- If Xcelsius crashes for whatever reason, open the task manager CTR + ALT + DELETE and shot down any Excel processes before re-starting Xcelsius.
- Turn Excel auto save off while working heavily inside Xcelsius. In Excel 2003, this is located in Tools>Options>Save. In Excel 2007 this is located under Excel Options.
- Shut down all Excel add-ins or any other applications that may use Excel or Office.
- Save and version your dashboards every time you make major changes. It never hurts to have extra versions sitting around.
- Don’t develop dashboards on Xcelsius running on Windows Server. I don’t believe that it is supported and does not work very well for heavy development.
- Be aware that Xcelsius 2008 is designed with Flex 2 and designed for Flash Player 9. As new Flash Player versions come out, make sure you check up on forums or linked-in to find any potential issues.
If you have other contributions to this list feel free to add them in the comments section.