Dashboard specification

The Lumen dashboard can be configured using a dashboard.yml file. The core design principle behind the yaml specification is that it instantiates instances of the four main types, i.e. Filter, Source, Transform and View objects.

For example the type declaration of a Source is matched against source_type and all the other keywords are passed as arguments to the class, instantiating the object with the provided configuration.


We will start by breaking down the specification into individual sections.


The config section provides general settings which apply to the whole dashboard.

  title: The title of the overall application
  layout: The layout to put the targets in ('grid', 'tabs', 'column')
  logo: A URL or local path to an image file
  template: The template to use for the monitoring application
  ncols: The number of columns to use in the grid of cards

A simple example config might look like this:

  title: "Example Application"
  layout: grid
  logo: example.png
  ncols: 3


The defaults section allows overriding parameter defaults on the Filter, Source, Transform and View objects.

    - type: Type to override the default on
      ...: Parameter to override
    - type: Type to override the default on
      ...: Parameter to override
    - type: Type to override the default on
      ...: Parameter to override
    - type: Type to override the default on
      ...: Parameter to override

As an example we may want to override the default WidgetFilter.multi value, because we want to query with a specific value rather than multiple values:

    - type: widget
      multi: false


The sources section allows defining Source instances which can be referenced from the monitoring targets. This is useful when reusing a Source across multiple targets.

  - type: The type of Source to instantiate
    ...: Additional parameters for the Source

As an example we may want to load a table of population data from a local CSV file using the FileSource:

    type: file
    files: [population.csv]

This will declare a Source called population which publishes a table called population.

It is also possible to declare filters associated with a global Source.

    type: file
    files: [population.csv]
	    field: country
		type: widget

Any target that uses the population Source can now refer to year filter by name. This allows multiple targets that are fed by the same Source to reuse a filter.


The targets section defines the actual monitoring targets and therefore makes up the meat of the declaration.

targets: This is the list of targets to monitor
  - title: The title of the monitoring endpoint
      format: When specified adds a section to the sidebar allowing users to download the filtered dataset
      kwargs: Additional keyword arguments to pass to the pandas/dask to_<format> method
      tables: Allows declaring a subset of tables to download
    source: The Source used to monitor an endpoint (may also reference a Source in the sources section
      type: The type of Source to use, e.g. 'rest' or 'live'
      ...: Additional parameters for the Source
    views: A list of metrics to monitor and display on the endpoint
      - table: The name of the table to visualize
        type: The type of View to use for rendering the table
        ...: Additional parameters for the View
    filters: A list of Filter types to select a subset of the data
      - field: The name of the filter
        table: If set filters only on a specific table.
	    type: The type of the Filter to use, e.g. 'constant', 'widget' or 'facet'
        ...: Additional parameters for the Filter
    layout: The layout inside the card(s), e.g. 'row', 'column' or 'grid'
	  by: List of fields to facet by
	  sort: List of fields to sort by
	  reverse: Whether to reverse the sort order
	refresh_rate: How frequently to poll for updates in milliseconds
    ...: Additional parameters passed to the Card layout(s), e.g. width or height


The auth field may provide a dictionary of any number of fields which are validated against the user information provided the the Auth provider, which is made available by Panel in the panel.state.user_info dictionary. To discover how to configure an Auth provider with Panel/Lumen see the Panel documentation.

As an example the GitHub OAuth provider returns the login of the user that is visiting the dashboard. If we add the following field to the yaml:

  login: [philippjfr]

Lumen will check the current user login against all user logins listed here. For a more generic Auth mechanism many Auth providers, such as Okta, make it possible to configure a list of groups a user belongs to in which case you could list the allowed groups in the auth field.

Special Syntax

To avoid repeating yourself the yaml specification supports some special syntax.

Source References

In some scenarios you might want to refer to a Source, a table on a Source or a field on a table from elsewhere in the yaml specification.

As an example you may have local CSV file which contains a column of URLs to monitor and feed that information to a WebsiteSource which reports whether those URLs are live. Using the @ syntax we can easily establish such references.

    type: file
    files: [websites.csv]
    type: live
    urls: "@csv.websites.url"

The @csv.websites.url syntax will look up a Source called ‘csv’, request a table called ‘websites’ and then feed the ‘url’ column in that table to the urls parameter of the WebsiteSource.


In many cases you do not want to hardcode variables inside the yaml specification instead passing in variables from an environment variable, a shell command, a CLI argument, a HTTP request header or cookie, or a OAuth token variable. This can be achieved using the following templating syntax:

  • {{env("USER")}}: look in the set environment variables for the named variable

  • {{shell("get_login thisuser -t")}}: execute the command, and use the output as the value. The output will be trimmed of any trailing whitespace.

  • {{cookie("USER")}}: look in the HTTP request cookies of the served application

  • {{header("USER")}}: look in the HTTP request headers of the served application

  • {{oauth("USER")}}: look in the OAuth user token

  • {{USER}}: Arguments passed in using --template-vars="{'USER': 'lumen_user'}" when using lumen serve on the commandline.

Local components

While Lumen ships with a wide range of components users may also define custom components in files which live alongside the dashboard.yml file. Specifically Lumen will automatically import filters.py, sources.py, transforms.py and views.py if these files exist alongside the dashboard specification.