The Server-Side Pad

by Fabien Tiburce, Best practices and personal experiences with enterprise software

Server-Side Charting

with one comment

Businesses have long relied on charts to expose key metrics. Pie and bar charts need no introductions and for this reason, they will continue to be popular in reports and data mining interfaces. Thankfully, including real-time charts in a Java based web application has become easy. JFreeChart and its companion product Cewolf are powerful free and open source libraries for generating real time charts server-side. JFreeChart is the core graphing library while Cewolf is a Java Server Page (JSP) wrapper for it. Together they allow a developer to build and serve complex pie, bar, line, stacked, candlestick, area and scatter plot charts.
The chart library has a built-in cache for optimum performance. Charts can be generated and saved in several formats including .jpg or .png. Building and serving a chart for the web requires two classes. A processor class accepts arguments and specifies what graph to build, its scale, legend and colours. A producer class is a data container containing arbitrary JDBC or object calls.

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Written by Compliantia

October 31, 2006 at 11:09 pm

One Response

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  1. Another possible option would be to create a charting component in Flash. Interactive features and dynamic chart manipulation could be a powerful tool if implemented correctly. Using Flash also has the added benefit of offloading the cpu cycles needed to generate the server-side image off to the client computer.

    One excellent example of Flash charts can be found at Google Finance:

    http://finance.google.com/finance?q=GOOG

    Rob Gee

    November 5, 2006 at 4:13 am


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