My Network Dashlet (Alfresco Dashlet Challenge 2012)

My Network Dashlet lets you browse your Alfresco relations (persons you follow or who follow you).
These relations are displayed on a niced colour graph and you can easily get details on your relations, the relations of your relations… and so on.
The result is a nice, smoothly constructed graph.

I had the idea of My Network Dashlet a few months ago but didn’t find time to develop it. Alfresco Dashlet Challenge 2012 … and children hollidays, gave me motivation and time to build the first version of that dashlet.

What is « My Network Dashlet » ?

From my point of view (I admit I might by partial ;-)), My Network Dashlet is :

  • Creative: It’s fun (see the animated positionning of points !) and no one did it before for Alfresco
  • Business Applicable: Enterprise Social Network are even growing and it could be time consuming to find the right person to follow. My Network Dashlet will speed up the discovery of « valuable » persons to follow.
  • Pretty well coded: Even if I’m not a JavaScript developer, I hope my code is pretty readable and commented. The module is designed to be reusable in other projets (see below for some ideas).
  • Well packaged: An AMP is available for Share… And that’s all. No need to extend Alfresco repository. That was one of my goal with this dashlet: only native Alfresco repository WebScripts have to be used.

What really is « My Network Dashlet » ?

Ok ! Previous chapter may be a bit « Dashlet Challenge » oriented.
Best way to have an overview of what My Network Dashlet looks like is to watch following screen cams.

Beginning with « My Network Dashlet »

When you add My Network Dashlet to your dashboard, you will see you in red and your relations. By clicking one of your relations, you will dive into its network. Look !

The deeper you dive into the network, the smaller and darker are the rounds.

The business part

The goal of that dashlet is to identify person you should follow. To know who these people are, just let your mouse pointer over the node a few seconds. A popup will be displayed with some user details.
By clicking the user name, his full profile will open.

Increasing graph readability

As more and more nodes or relations are drawn, it may become difficult to view a user relations.
In order to avoid this issue, when mouse hover a node, only its direct relations are shown. The links that starts from the node are in bold, links that points to this node are thinner.

If node density is too high, you also can zoom into the graph by using your mouse wheel.

Restarting your network discovery

In dashlet title bar, the « refresh » button can be clicked to restart the graph as if you were refreshing the whole page.

Configuring « My Network Dashlet »

The dashlet can be configured by clicking then pen in the title bar.

Configuration dialog

You can get help on each property by hovering its label.

How to get « My Network Dashlet »

The quick way: download AMP file

My Network Dashlet is available as a single AMP file.
Press the button to download it :
Then follow Wiki steps to add this AMP to share.war.

The long way: build from sources

Dashlets sources are available here :
To build « My Network Dashlet », you need:

  • Ant
  • YUI Compressor
  • a JRE to execute YUI Compressor
  • to set the path to yuicompressor.jar in build.xml
  • to fire ant target « package-amp »

There is no Java compilation, the dashlet is based on JavaScripted WebScripts only.
You will get an AMP to add to share.war.

Getting more of the concept

Concept presented in My Netwok Dashlet can be reused to display many types of relations between Alfresco nodes:

  • link nodes according to their associations: folder tree can be drawn as a graph
  • link nodes according to their tags: link weigth is defined by the number of tags shared by nodes


I want to give a great thank to Alexis Jacomy that released sigma.js, a JavaScript tool to display nice graphs.
Without sigma.js, My Network Dashlet hadn’t been released in such a short time.

Some code improvements have been made to sigma.js in order to allow integration with YUI.
These modifications are available in My Network Dashlet source code for now.

Some more details

Licence: LGPL v3
sigma.js Licence: MIT
Version: 1.0
Release date: 30/08/2012
Author: Charles Le Seac’h

2 réponses à My Network Dashlet (Alfresco Dashlet Challenge 2012)

  1. Charles Le Seac'h dit :

    Hello Community !

    I just uploaded a new version of My Network Dashlet.
    This new version corrects a problem when user login contains a dot.

    Version 1.1 is available using above download buttons.

  2. Charles Le Seac'h dit :

    If you want to generate some test users to give a real try to My Network Dashelt, you should read this:

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