Feeds, Feeds, Feeds: Finding, Setting Up and Displaying Data Feeds

Learn all about pulling Data Feeds into Venus Control Suite so you can share them on your Daktronics display!

Deciphering Data Feeds

Did you know that Venus Control Suite gives you the option to pull in data feeds on your display? This means you can display current weather conditions, future weather forecasts, sports scores and news, local and national news, stock market information, and so much more!

Before we get started, there’s something that we need to talk about. First and foremost, Daktronics does not create or provide data feeds of any kind. We can definitely help you set up your feed(s) in Venus Control Suite, but it is up to you to find and/or create them first.

One place to check for feeds would be local news stations. Often times they will provide them to you for free if you agree to put their logo on your display, along with the feed.  Another place you can find feeds or even have feeds created for you is a company called Screenfeed.

If you are still unsure about what route to go, you can always reach out to Daktronics Sales for more information.  You should also make sure that your Daktronics display is compatible with XML/RSS feeds before you move forward with creating and/or purchasing any feeds.

Venus Control Suite

Once you have your feed, you can pull it into Venus Control Suite by clicking on Data in the Main Menu. Keep in mind that only Users set up as Administrators will have access to Data. Once you click on Data, you will see an Add New button that you can click on to set up your feed.

There is also an Arrow button right next to the Add New button that you can click on to set up additional types of Data, including Twitter Feeds and Countdowns/Countups. We have previously blogged about Countdowns if you are interested in learning more about them.


Setting Up a Data Feed

Let’s go ahead and set up a Data Feed, shall we? Acceptable data feeds include time, temperature, date, Twitter, countdown, countup, RSS, Atom or XML feeds.

  1. Log into Venus Control Suite.
    Login
  2. Click on Data in the Main Menu.
    Data Tab
  3. Click on the blue Add New button, or the Arrow next to it, and select Data Feed.
    Blue Add New button
  4. Type in a name for the feed into the Name of Feed text field.  You cannot have more than one feed with the same name.
  5. Type or paste the data feed URL address into the Feed URL field.
  6. Type the Update Interval and select the unit of time, which determines how often Venus Control Suite polls data. Intervals can range from 1 minute to 365 days.
  7. Type the Username and Password if required by the data feed provider/source.
    Data Feed Source
  8. Configure the data feed component.
    1. Click Add Components under Data Feed Components.
      Add Component
    2. Click Confirm in the Add Component Confirmation dialog.
      Confirm Component
    3. Type the Component Name in the text field.  You cannot have more than one component with the same name.
    4. Select a Data Type from the drop-down list.
      Component Name and Date Type
    5. Select an Element from the element tree, which will create an XPath Expression.  When you put check marks next to elements, you will also see a Preview of what will appear on your display.
      Xpath and Preview
      Trainer Tip: If your Preview says “No item selected” you will not be able to save the component. Please read How do I create a place holder for an XML stream with no data? so you can save the component for when the data becomes available.  One example of this situation would be scores for a basketball game that hasn’t started yet.
    6. Click Add.
      Click Add
    7. Confirm the Venus Data Usage Agreement.
      Data Usage
    8. Repeat the above steps to configure additional data feed components.
  9. Click Save when you are finished.
    Save when finished
  10. Click Exit and you will see your Data Feed listed.
    List of Feeds

Setting Up a Twitter Feed

As we mentioned earlier, you can also set up Twitter Feeds within Venus Control Suite. Let’s go ahead and set up one of those while we’re at it, as well!

  1. Log into Venus Control Suite.
    Login
  2. Click on Data in the Main Menu.
    Data Tab
  3. Click on the Arrow next to the blue Add New button and select Twitter Feed.
    Add New Twitter
  4. Type in a name for the Twitter feed into the Name of Feed text field.
  5. Type the number of Tweets in the Number of Tweets text field.
  6. Type the Update Interval and select the unit of time, which determines how often Venus Control Suite polls data. Intervals can range from 1 minute to 365 days.  We recommend setting the Update Every field to no less than 10 minutes for Tweets.
    twitter-feed-source
  7. Authenticate the Twitter account.
    1. Click Launch Twitter Authorization.
      launch-twitter-authorization
    2. Type the Username and Password if required by Twitter.
    3. Click Authorize app.
      Authorize app
  8. Configure the data feed component.
    1. Click Add Components under Data Feed Components.
      Add Component
    2. Click Confirm in the Add Component Confirmation dialog.
      Confirm Component
    3. Type the Component Name in the text field. You cannot have more than one component with the same name.
    4. Select a Data Type from the drop-down list.
      Component Details
    5. Select an Element from the element tree, which will create an XPath Expression.  When you put check marks next to elements, you will also see a Preview of what will appear on your display.
      Twitter Component Details
    6. Click Add.
      Click Add
    7. Confirm the Venus Data Usage Agreement.
      Data Usage
    8. Repeat the above steps to configure additional Twitter feed components.
  9. Click Save when you are finished.
    click-save-twitter-feed
  10. Click Exit and you will see your Twitter Feed listed.
    List of Twitter Feeds

Create a Web Presentation with Data

Once you have your Data Feed(s) created, you will probably ask yourself, “So, now how do I get that to show up on my display?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

All you have to do is create a Web Presentation and add your Data or Twitter feed to it, similar to how you would with a time, temp and date message.

  1. Log into Venus Control Suite.
    Login
  2. Click on Media in the Main Menu.
    Media Tab
  3. Click on the Arrow next to the blue Add New button and select New Web Presentation.
    New Web Presentation
  4. Type in a Name and Select the correct Display Size for your Web Presentation.
  5. Click Continue.
    Name and Size
  6. Click on the Add Dynamic Data Field button above your canvas. This button will only appear if you have feeds set up.
    Data button

    1. Choose a Source in the Select Data Source window.
      Select Data Source
    2. Choose a Field in the Select Data Source window.
      Select a field
    3. Click the blue Set button.
      Set Data Source
  7. Adjust the formatting of the data field under the Properties column. If the data component that you pulled in is text only, you may want to consider importing a background from your Media Library as well.
  8. Click Save when you are finished.
    Finished product
  9. Schedule your new data presentation to play on your display by reading How do I create a playlist in Venus Control Suite?.
  10. Give yourself a pat on the back because you did it!

We hope you found this information useful and that it helps you get more out of your Daktronics display. If you find our blog helpful, be sure to click on the orange “Receive Email Updates” button on the right side of the page to subscribe. Thanks for reading!

Knowledge Base Articles

Please read the following related Knowledge Base articles for additional information regarding data feeds in Venus Control Suite.

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