Documentation, Data, and Dashboard Files

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  • This article discusses the documentation and data files you can add to a project. It also gives an introduction to LookML dashboard files. For how to access a project’s files, see this page.

    LookML Dashboard Files

    Looker Dashboard files enable you to combine key queries and visualizations into a one page executive view stored as version-controlled files associated with the project.

    LookML Dashboards are created using old LookML as described on this page.

    Also, dragging a file with the extension .dashboard.lookml into the LookML IDE adds the file to the Dashboards section.

    Looker also has User-defined Dashboards, which can be created by non-developer users without using LookML. For details, refer to Building Dashboards.

    Documentation Files

    Looker documentation files let you write documentation or other notes about your Looker data model using GitHub-flavored markdown. This can be helpful for your users to become acquainted with how your organization uses Looker.

    Creating Documentation Files

    To add a documentation file:

    1. Click + next to Add Files.
    2. Click Create Document.
    3. Name the document file and press return.

    Also, dragging a file with the extension .md into the LookML IDE adds the file to the Documentation section.

    After you create a file you can edit it by clicking Edit Source in the upper right. Then you can preview your changes by clicking Preview, or save them by clicking Save.

    Viewing the Document Outside of the IDE

    To see this document outside the IDE, which you will need to do to take advantage of the navigation features described below, choose the View Document option from the dropdown menu in the upper left:

    You can distribute the URL of the resulting page to other users so that they don’t need to navigate through Looker’s developer section to reach it.

    Adding a Navigation Structure to Your Documentation

    If desired, you can also organize and label your documentation so that users can navigate through it more easily.

    The labeling and organization of your documentation pages is defined by including additional information at the top of your markdown files, enclosed in 3 dashes.

    The first option is the title parameter:

    ---
    title: New Title for Users
    ---
    

    The title parameter defines the name of the page in the navigation. By default, Looker will try to guess at a meaningful title.

    The second option is the navigation parameter, which has two forms:

    ---
    navigation: true
    ---
    

    Using navigation: true turns on the default navigation structure, which places all of the documentation pages at the same level and orders them according to their file names.

    For more control over how the pages appear, you may also define the navigation more explicitly:

    ---
    navigation:
      - document_one
      - document_two
      - document_three
    ---
    

    In the example above you can provide a list of documentation file names, and they will be displayed in the order you list them, allowing for non-alphabetic ordering.

    You can also add section headers into the navigation by using section:

    ---
    navigation:
      - document_one
      - document_two
      - section: My Section Name
      - document_three
    ---
    

    Finally, you can change the way the way that pages are labeled in the navigation by using document and label like this:

    ---
    navigation:
      - document_one
      - document: document_two
        label: Customized Label for Document Two
      - section: My Section Name
      - document_three
    ---
    

    The example above would be used like this:

    This would create the following result:

    Data Files

    The Data section stores JSON files that you want to use in your project. The map_layer parameter enables you to specify using the JSON file as a custom map that can then be used to plot your data in Looker. You then use the map_layer_name parameter with a dimension so that you can associate a data value (like “Paris”) with a geographic region on your custom map.

    Dragging a file with the filetype extension .json, .topojson, or .geojson into the LookML IDE adds the file to the Data section. You can edit a JSON file in the LookML IDE and then click Save. For debugging, you can choose View Raw to view the file in raw format. If you have the proper extension to view JSON in your browser, you will also have the option to view the file in a Parsed format:

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