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Client Side Graph/Charting Recommendation?

 
Paul Sturrock
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I'm dipping my toe into the world of client side programming - and I'm instantly out my depth!

Can anyone recommend any existing client side components that can generate line and bar graphs? I'm particularly looking for something that can be updated on the fly (in an AJAX-y way presumably?!) as data on the server changes. I'm looking for something that can be used as an alternative to a modest graph drawing applet in environments where the installation of a JRE is prohibited.

If anyone has any recommendations, or can suggest any good resources for pre-cooked client side scripts (commercial or free) it would be a big help.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Even if you are prohibited from using a JRE on the client, can you not generate the images on the server to send to the client? Or does it truly need to be a client-side solution?

I know of no such libraries (but that doesn't mean one doesn't exist), but, of course, there's no such thing as "drawing" on the client side (without applets), so you're limited to what can be faked using HTML elements.

I've done such things in the past using Javascript and a heavy dose of CSS, but it's pretty messy and I had lots of problems with IE (since its CSS support is so poor).

Eric usually is pretty up-to-date with what's available out there, so maybe he'll chime in with an available library.
[ January 18, 2007: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
 
Paul Sturrock
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Even if you are prohibited from using a JRE on the client, can you not generate the images on the server to send to the client? Or does it truly need to be a client-side solution?

We can certainly involve the server to do some of the work, and we are considering producing the chart server-side (since that's easy to do) but were wondering if there was some existing client-side solution. So far all my googling seems to be suggesting if I don't want to do this with an Applet, I need to use Flash or ActiveX. i.e. replace one browser plugin with another, which seems a bit pointless.

If it is just far too difficult a thing to do, I'll probably start pestering the account manager to push the client into dropping their no JRE on the client requirement. But at the moment, its early days.
[ January 18, 2007: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]
 
Bear Bibeault
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I wouldn't pursue ActiveX, unless you are sure that your client base is 100% IE (God help them). But since Flash doesn't require any plugin external to browser, your clients may be less knee-jerk about it.

Personally, being the server-side guy that I am, I'd opt for the server-side solution, if only because that's what I'm most familiar with.
 
Eric Pascarello
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You might want to look into: http://webfx.eae.net/dhtml/chart/chart.html or http://ajaxian.com/archives/dojo-charting-engine-released

Uses Canvas/SVG to render images so we are talking current day browsers.

ANother solution people use is to make a post to the server with Ajax to get data. Have a serverside charting engine build the graphic, give it a temp name/session id and send that to the client. The client in return sets an image tag to this id and you got the image.

Eric
 
Paul Sturrock
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Thanks Bear and Eric.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
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