Pennsylvania State Data Center

How-To and Troubleshooting for iDashboards

The Institute for State and Regional Affairs uses iDashboards, an industry leader in data visualization software for the web, to build interactive data analysis and presentation tools for our clients. iDashboards is built on Adobe Flash technology, a common web browser plug-in application used to serve interactive experiences from the World Wide Web. This page contains helpful information about viewing the dashboards and ensuring their functionality in your browser environment.

iDashboards and Adobe Flash Versions

ISRA is currently running build 9.5b-070717101252-160.23 of iDashboards, which was installed on August 17, 2017

iDashboards is compatible with Adobe Flash Player version 11,1,0,0, which was released on November 7, 2011, or later (current version is version 26.0.0.151).

Flash Update Message in iDashbords

If the iDashboards Server has been updated, it may include an update to the Adobe Shockwave/Flash file (.swf) which is the application that Flash executes to display the dashboards. This file is commonly cached by your local browser: The file is kept on your computer's local storage and accessed from there, rather than needing to be downloaded from our server every visit. If the cached version of the file is out of date relative to the iDashboards server, you may see the following message:

The Flash user interface you are using is not valid for this version of the iDashboards server. Please close this browser window, and then clear your browser cache and re-login to iDashboards to fix this problem.

If you are viewing dashboards on a site portal page, close the browser or navigate to another page, clear cache, then open the page with the dashboards.

Instructions for Clearing Browser Cache

Use these instructions to clear the cache from your specific browser provider:

To completely clear your browser cache in IE9:

Use one or more of the following to resolve this issue.

To make sure IE does not maintain the old version of the UI:
  1. From the 'Tools' menu select 'Internet Options'.
  2. Navigate to the 'General' tab.
  3. In the 'Browsing history' section select the 'Settings' button.
  4. In the option for 'Check for newer versions of stored pages' select 'Every time I visit the webpage'.
  5. Reopen a new browser window and connect to the website.
To delete just the iDashboards UI:
  1. From the 'Tools' menu select 'Internet Options'.
  2. Navigate to the 'General' tab.
  3. In the 'Browsing history' section select the 'Settings' button.
  4. Select the 'View Files' button.
  5. In the Windows Explorer window locate the 'iDashboards.swf' file(s) and delete it(them).
  6. Reopen a new browser window and connect to the website.
To completely clear your browser cache in IE9:
  1. From the 'Tools' menu select 'Internet Options'.
  2. Navigate to the 'General' tab.
  3. In the 'Browsing history' section select the 'Settings' button.
  4. Select the 'Delete...' button.
  5. At the top of that dialog you'll see that you have the box checked that says "Preserve favorites website data". That's the new "feature" in IE9 that keeps the cached copy of the iDashboards UI from being deleted when you clear your cache. Uncheck this box.
  6. Select 'Delete'.
  7. Reopen a new browser window and connect to the website.
To completely clear your browser cache in the new Internet Explorer Developer Tool:
  1. While in IE, press 'F12' to bring up Internet Explorer Developer Tool.
  2. From the menu, select 'Cache' then 'Clear browser cache..'. You can also use Ctrl+R to accomplish the same.
  3. Refresh the browser and close.
  4. Reopen a new browser window and connect to the website.

To completely clear your browser cache in Chrome:

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
  5. Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
  6. Click Clear browsing data.
  7. Close the browser, open a new browser window and connect to the website.

To completely clear your browser cache in Firefox:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select Options
  2. Select the Advanced panel.
  3. Click on the Network tab.
  4. In the Cached Web Content section, click Clear Now.
  5. Click OK to close the Options window
  6. Close the browser, open a new browser window and connect to the website.

To completely clear your browser cache in Safari:

  1. Click Safari in the upper-left corner of the main menu bar, and select the Preferences option near the top of the drop-down menu.
  2. Click the Advanced tab located in the top navigation bar and check the box directly to the left of the Show Develop menu in menu bar option to add the menu to Safari by default.
  3. Click the Develop menu near the middle of the main Safari menu bar and select the Empty Caches option.

To completely clear your browser cache in Opera:

  1. Click the main Opera button in the upper-left corner of the browser window and select the Settings option from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click the Privacy & security panel located on the left-hand side of the resulting window and click the gray Clear browsing data... button within the Privacy section near the top of the page.
  3. Check the box directly to the left of the Empty the cache option near the bottom of the resulting pop-up window, along with any other browser data you wish to clear.
  4. Select the beginning of time option from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click the gray Clear browsing data button in the bottom-right corner of the window.

Browsers blocking the Flash Player

Some internet browsers are now actively blocking the Flash Player as a means to limit security vunerabilites on the Internet. With this behavior you may need to activate the Flash Player plug-in before you can use iDashboards.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox will not run Flash-enabled content by default. When Firefox encounters a page with Flash, rather than the player, the browser will display an "Activate Adobe Flash" link in the container. When clicking on the link, a dialog box will open reading "Allow (website) to run 'Adobe Flash'?", with options for "Allow Now" and "Allow and Remember". "Allow Now" will only allow Flash to run for this page for the current session (until the browser is closed). "Allow and Remember" will put the website address onto a whitelist that will let Firefox run Flash for that website in the future. It is recommended to click "Allow and Remember" when accesing the iDashboards application from the site to avoid this blocking in the future.

If the "Activate Adobe Flash" link is not visible, you may see a "plug-in" icon in Firefox's address bar. Clicking the icon will launch the same dialog box above.

Other Problems Updating iDashboards in the Browser

Because a browser is the end point of a network connection between your computer and the iDashboards server, there are several possible points where clearing the cache may not accomplish the task of updating the idashboards.swf file. These may include the following:

  • Locked-Down Computers: Some environments may have strict control over the kinds of changes that can be made on a computer, particularly in a business, educational, or government environment. This may include the ability to clear a browser cache, updating a browser version, or updating the Flash plug-in. In these cases you may need to speak with your network's administrator about getting the required authorization or having the appropriate actions taken to update your browser environment.
  • Locked-Down Networks: Some networks use items such as firewalls, NAT, or whitelists/blacklists that prohibit access to specific websites or services. You may need to contact your network administrator to see if access to the iDashboards service is being prohibited.
  • Proxy Servers: Some networks use a proxy server to act as a buffer between the Internet and a local network. Proxies allow network administrators to improve performance by locally caching Internet requests, and to catch and prevent network problems such as trojans or viruses. The use of a proxy may inhibit the newer .swf file from downloading to the browser, preventing the update, or the proxy may be caching the older .swf file and sending it to your browser instead of the newer version. Proxy servers do update with newer files, and many times the update will download over time. If you need the update faster, contact your network administrator about clearing the proxy cache or temporarily disabling it to allow the new file to download.