SmartConsole in R80 is focused on the daily operations that the administrator makes. While we put the emphasis on managing the security policies, monitoring the network devices, exploring the network objects, and managing sessions, some blades have several configuration pages which are accessed on a less frequent basis. So for example, the Mobile Access Blade has its certificates page inside SmartConsole, as well as editing all of its mobile applications, but when trying to edit the engine settings, the user is redirected into the Mobile Access tab in SmartDashboard. We wanted to give the best user experienced for the mission critical topics. This does not draw from the completeness and readiness of R80 on the Security Management side.
Regarding the server backend, as you may know, R7x Management had the FWM process, which stores the data inside flat files such as objects_5_0.c and others. In R80, views that are accessed from SmartDashboard still communicate to the FWM process, but it only serves a bridge to the new process called "CPM". That process stores the data into the new relational database and the indexing database. The only use case for the flat files is before installing the policy into Pre-R80 GW's.
Please share your views in the comments: Did one of your most-accessed views still remain in SmartDashboard? Do you feel that the navigation of R80 does not completely represent the views in order of importance?