CDE is the outcome of real-world needs. Created by webdetails with the collaboration of the community, allows a rapid development and deploy of dashboards in the Pentaho platform.
Totally extensible, virtually everything is possible, and CDE doesn't stop any of the advanced tricks supported by CDF.
On the left, you can see a sample that is using CDA for the data access (MDX and SQL queries) and a chart rendered by CCC. All integrated seamlessly in CDE. The result is a fully featured, lightning fast dashboard.
To edit this dashboard, either go to the pentaho user console, right click on the wcdf file and press edit or directly go to the url of the browser window and swap Render for Edit. A decent browser is recommended for using the editor (eg: firefox) though the dashboards should be able to render even on Internet Explorer 7. For CCC charts to render in IE, flash plugin version 10 is required.
To start a dashboard, click on the pentaho user console icon or menu. Before adding content to the dashboard save it in a desired location.
CDE has 3 main sections: Layout, Components and Datasources. There are a few handy shortcuts available listed by the key '?'. The layout engine uses blueprint css framework; You have a total of 24 columns on which to layout your columns. While weird at start it will prove invaluably helpful once you get used to it.
For the datasources, it's highly recommended that you use CDA. You can decide to use external cda files or CDE can generate them for you. Once you save a dashboard, you'll notice a .cda file with the same name of the dashboard in which you can preview if the query is correct.
The components make the bridge between layout and data sources. Specify where the component is to be placed using the htmlObject property and for those who access data select the correct data source. Look at the source of this dashboard to see how it works
Thanks to everyone that has been collaborating in this effort so far. You can report any issues in the pentaho forums and feel free to contact us if you need support / consulting help.