The Server-Side Pad

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

Client Side Charting

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Move over server-side charting, there is a new sheriff in town. His name is flash-based client-side charting. While a server-side charting library like Cewolf/JfreeChart produce charts as images server-side, a new (not so new but gaining ground) breed of charting utilities leverages the superior dynamic capabilities of Flash to build charts on the client side. The chart is typically populated by an XML or JSON payload, either on the page or sourced from an Ajax call. Users love the polished look and dynamic behaviours of these charts. Developers love the ease of implementation and natural separation of the model (data layer) and the view (presentation). FusionCharts is an excellent charting library that offers many types of common and complex charts. It is a commercial product however. Yahoo has one such product too although the product is currently listed as experimental (so deploy at your own risk…).
Client side charting offers clear advantages over server-side charting in terms of reduced complexity, shortened development cycles and encapsulation. Provided serving a flash widget is permissible in the client’s specific environment, client side charting is a very compelling option and one that should gain even more ground in the months and years ahead.


Written by Compliantia

April 2, 2008 at 4:14 pm

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