Software Development: How To Add Dynamically Generated Graphs And Charts To Web Pages And Applications

by admin on March 12, 2011

Software Development: How To Add Dynamically Generated Graphs And Charts To Web Pages And Applications

Not so very long ago adding a graph or chart to a web page or application required a fair amount of programming knowledge and was rather time consuming for even the most experienced. However with the tools available today it is possible for almost anyone to add graphs and charts to web pages. With just a little bit of HTML, dynamically generated graphs and charts can be added to web pages and/or applications.

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Why use Graphs and Charts
The web is about making information available. Today’s users tend to be in a hurry and require that information is presented to them clearly and quickly. If your web site has a message to convey, which is currently being presented as a table of figures, then it is highly likely that you will benefit from using graphing and charting functionality. With a table of figures most people find it hard to see the meaning immediately, however if those figures are presented as a picture (i.e. a graph) then almost all will instantly get the point. What’s more presenting your information graphically is both colorful and adds a touch of professionalism. People tend to have more confidence in information when it is presented in both a pleasing, clear and professional manner.

The Easy way to create a graph
There are now many graphing and charting packages on the market which make it very quick and easy for you to build in professional quality graph images. The time saved in using an ‘out of the box’ solution is so great that even the most seasoned professionals are using these packages. In addition most graphing packages are very reasonably priced.

Before choosing a package there are a couple of things to consider. For instance do you simply want to present the graph image to your visitor or would you like some level of interaction. e.g. making certain areas of the graph clickable or pop-up data displays when the mouse passes over certain area’s. Another consideration is the source of your data. Is it held in a database, file or somewhere else. Ideally you would want a graphing package that is capable of fetching the data directly from the source itself.

Which Graphing packages are available
At the time of writing there are many graphing solutions on the market which fall into the following technology categories:-

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– Java Applet Graphing Solutions
This type of software, in addition to the standard graphical capabilities, also provides interactive features like clickable link area’s and mouse-over popup displays. These solutions can be installed on any web server without any server side configuration or set-up.

– Java Servlet Graphing Solutions
These solutions are powerful server side functionality. Although probably not for the beginner they are very beneficial to the ‘web application’ developer.

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graphing software

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