A very common method to visualize data is the use of charts. This is also a cool method to enhance every website. While working on a extranet project for a financial company I was looking for a chart control component which is also usable in .NET.
After a bit of research on the www I found different controls which seem to be suitable for my needs. The main aspect of those where usability, flexibility, visualization and of course the price. At least three of those charting controls made it into my favorite list and so here we go with a comparison of the following components:
- Dundas Chart for .NET features
|Feature||Dundas Chart for .NET professional edition||FusionCharts v3||.netCharting|
|Number of available chart types||42||45||20+|
|Animated charts||only in Enterprise Edition||all charts are animated||no images|
|gradients / 3D lighting||yes/yes||yes/yes||yes/yes|
|multi-platform support||ASP.NET||ASP.NET, ASP, PHP, ColdFusion, JSP/Java,||ASP.NET|
|export to pdf, jpg, bmp||no/yes/yes||no/yes/no||yes/yes/yes|
|script database independent||yes (uses Arrays, Lists, XML and DataViews and DataReaders)||yes using XML||yes (uses a variety of common databases like MySQL, Access (mdb), SQL Server, Excel, XML, Oracle, ODBC)|
|price||$699||$499||$395 (web site license)|
Ok what exactly do we learn from this table? That all tested chart components are really cool, all of them are very easy to implement and thank god all of them are very easy to use. This is one of the most important things since a developer should not invest too much time when implementing a 3rd party component but should be able to use it “out-of-the-box”.
After a bit of research and after working with all the evaluation copies of those components I found the following site FusionCharts free. Now this small last word is the most important reason why you should read this article until the end.
Without any further explanation here is the link to a direct comparison of both versions.
Cool isn’t it? If you are ok with the features shipped with the free version go and get it. This is a really cool thing of the developers of FusionCharts. I highly recommend you to contribute sample code and or share tips and ideas with other developers on the forums because the developers give a piece of hard work for free and so we should give something back.
If you need more features then one of the above solutions should do a great job. It would be wrong to say that Dundas for example is better than the FusionCharts v3 component or that the .netCharting component is better than the Dundas component. All of the above three chart controls are really good so you should go and find out for yourself which one fits better for you, but if your budget is limited and you don’t want to miss a powerful visualization feature of charts than you definitely should use the FusionCharts free component. It’s worth.