How to deploy Dashboard Server Community Edition from the Azure Marketplace
Which installation method should I choose?
There are a couple of options for installing Dashboard Server Community Edition:
Deployment via the Azure Marketplace
Installation via the installer
Use the installer if you don't want to use the Marketplace (for example, because you want to install Dashboard Server Community Edition in AWS or an on-prem machine).
For step-by-step information about installing Community Edition using the downloadable installer please see How to install Dashboard Server Community Edition using the installer
What you need
- An Azure Active Directory account that can deploy applications to Azure Active Directory (AD).
Where to deploy
- The Marketplace deployment will create a Windows virtual machine with the minimum requirements and lead you through the configuration process.
What we create
- A virtual machine in your Azure tenant, running our web application and IIS, with a small data disk and a public IP address.
- Dashboard Server has a number of prerequisites that will be automatically installed by the setup process (e.g. the IIS Web Server role)
Browse to the Azure Marketplace using this link to deploy Dashboard Server.
Click here to register and we will email you a free forever license to get you started.
If you have not already signed in, sign in with an Azure Active Directory account that can deploy applications to Azure AD.
Click on the Get it now button.
Enter your contact details and click Continue.
Click the Create button.
Select the Subscription you wish to use.
Select an existing Resource Group, or create a new one.
Select a suitable region, close to where most of the Dashboard Server users will be located.
Accept the suggested virtual machine name or rename if you prefer.
Windows computer names cannot be more than 15 characters long in Azure, or contain special characters other than "-".
The default virtual machine size suggested is based on a small test environment. If you are deploying for production use please select the appropriate virtual machine size required. See System Requirements, Server Spec and Sizing
Click the Next button to move on to Administration.
Here you need to enter details to create a new administrator account for the new Windows VM. You will not need this to use Dashboard Server, but you will need it later to access the new VM, for example to update Dashboard Server or view diagnostics logs.
Click the Next button to move on to Networking.
A public IP address is required and will be created automatically with the suggested label. Enter a domain name label for this virtual machine. This is the URL you will use to access Dashboard Server for the first time.
Click the Next button to move on to SSL.
We recommend HTTPS to login to Dashboard Server. For HTTPS you can either use a self-signed certificate, which may cause a browser warning that the website is insecure and users will need to explicitly agree to proceed, or you can use a Let's Encrypt® certificate.
Using a Let's Encrypt certificate stops a browser warning appearing to users.
If you choose to use a Let's Encrypt certificate then you need to provide an email address and agree to terms of service. The email is used to contact you if there is a problem with the renewal of the certificate. The Let's Encrypt certificate is valid for 90 days, but it will renew automatically every 55 days, as long as it is accessible through port 80, as that is how the http challenge is conducted.
To install the Let's Encrypt certificate a self-signed certificate is temporarily installed, so a browser warning may appear in the first 2 minutes before the Let's Encrypt certificate is applied.
Click the Next button to move on to Tags. It can be useful to tag resources now, or you can do this later in the Azure console.
Click the Next button to move on to Configuration. Click on the URL displayed, which will open a new tab. The resource cannot be reached straight away because it hasn't been created yet, but once it has been created following this Marketplace deployment you will need to go to this address to complete the Dashboard Server setup process.
Click the Next button to move on to Review + create.
Check the details and click the Create button to agree to the terms and create the virtual machine.
You will see a message that the deployment is underway. This may take a few minutes.
Logon to Dashboard Server for the first time
Browse to the VM you created by using the new tab you opened from the Marketplace link.
Alternatively, browse to
https://DNSName. You can find the DNS name by browsing to the VM in the Azure portal, click the Go to resource button and copy the name of the virtual machine.
If you are using a self-signed SSL certificate so you will see a browser warning and will need to explicitly agree to proceed. In Chrome this is done by clicking Advanced.
Before you can get started, Dashboard Server has to complete some final configuration of your environment, which includes activating your license.
Dashboard Server setup wizard
Log in to Dashboard Server as an administrator user.
Paste in your activation key, and click Activate.
You will have received your activation key by email following your request for your Dashboard Server free forever license.
If you have not received a license key please contact SquaredUp Support.
If your server is not connected to the internet (or the online activation didn't work because of proxy settings) click offline activation (see How to activate your license offline (manual activation))
Click Import to install a set of pre-built dashboards to help you get started using Dashboard Server.
Setup is now complete and the Getting Started page will be displayed.
- Take a look at the Dashboard Server Getting Started playlist on YouTube.
- Invite users to view a Dashboard Server dashboard: How to share a dashboard
- Manage which users can access Dashboard Server: How to manage Named Users
- Set up a Dashboard Server administrator(s). To manage Dashboard Server you will need to be a Dashboard Server administrator, see How to make a user a Dashboard Server administrator
- Give dashboard authors permission to create dashboards. A Dashboard Server administrator will need to give users or groups author permission to a Team Folder, within which they can create and edit dashboards. See Team Folders
- Get access to your API data: How to add a Web API provider
- Configure Open Access dashboards. Open Access enables easy sharing of dashboards, that do not require authentication to view. See Sharing Dashboards with anyone - Open Access
- Create your first dashboard: How to create a dashboard
Troubleshooting Dashboard Server deployment
Submit a request
If configuration fails, a large volume of diagnostic text will be produced, followed by a red failure message. If you experience this, please contact SquaredUp Support and we can help diagnose the cause.
Note that the diagnostic text may reveal sensitive details - such as your username, installed AD applications and IDs. Please be conscious of this when sending us details - for example, it is not appropriate to send us this text over email.