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Editor's Note: Gauge v2.0 In Beta

The highly anticipated Gauge v2.0 is currently in beta. The beta program is an excellent way to learn the new product features and see how it can assist your data visualization solutions. As well, it can help early-adopters get through any transition issues from 1.6 to 2.0, especially when using the new functionality available in v2.0.

Dundas Chart for SharePoint was been officially released this month. Beta users can now purchase the product and use it in live solutions. Additionally, an online demo is available to see how the product works and what it can do for you. I've been using this product intensely for the past few weeks and I find the integration between SharePoint and the Chart to be extremely intuitive. The script coding feature of Chart is also very powerful, and I believe developers will be able to extend Chart for SharePoint to add a lot of custom functionality. If you're experienced at all with the Custom Code editor in Dundas Chart for Reporting Services, then you will be right at home with the Code editor in Dundas Chart for SharePoint.

Terrence Sheflin

In this Issue: March 27, 2007

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Articles  

Series Aligner (Add-On)

The purpose of the Series Aligner Add-On is to change any chart (with missing data, but not using Dates for the X values) into a 100% stacked chart. In business analysis, it is frequently advantageous to see data both in its default form and a comparison between the different sets of data. While this is easily done with charts which have no missing data, changing a chart which has missing data is more difficult.

Converting a Chart with missing data to a 100% stacked chart type will result in an exception. To avoid this problem, and to make the process of aligning and un-aligning your series easy, we have created the Series Aligner Add-On specifically for this situation. While the DataManipulator class in Chart does contain methods to help insert empty points, they apply only to those series which use Dates for the X value, not numbers.

The public methods available for this class include functions to check if the Chart is aligned or not, an alignment function and a CommandFiring event handler to automatically handle any changes done by the user through the UI of Chart.

The downloads available for this Add-On are both the stand-alone Add-On source code and a sample which includes the Add-On. The full article contains the downloads as well as more in-depth coverage on the various functions available within this Add-On.


Tips n' Tricks Chart | Gauge | Map

General Tips

Dundas Gauge for .NET v2.0 Now In Beta

As mentioned in the editor's note, Dundas Gauge for .NET v2.0 is now available in our beta program. The new features of Gauge v2.0 include an AJAX Callback Manager to provide methods for the Click and Callback events. As well, new frames are available to make it simple to improve the appearance of your Gauge, as well as numerous new core enhancements. The previous Bullet Graph enhancement (available on the Dundas Support site) has now been integrated into Dundas Gauge to make it more accessible than ever.

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Chart Tooltips

Dundas Chart offers a wide selection of built-in keywords which can be used with the tooltip and label properties. The built-in keywords can be combined with other keywords and descriptive text. One of the benefits of using built-in keywords is that you do not have to set the tooltip string for each of the data points in the series in order to display the tool tip for the point's value. Simply set your series' ToolTip property to #VALY. Other useful keywords include #SER, which will show the name of the series, and #TOTAL which will display the total of all the Y values in the series. For a full list of keywords available, please refer to the full article or the documentation.

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Chart for .NET - OLAP Services

How to connect to your OLAP data source

Dundas OLAP Services uses Microsoft's ADOMD/ADOMD.NET technology, the standard way to connect to Microsoft Analysis Services from outside the database. The first step is to install the correct data providers. Each type of server uses its own data provider which is listed below.

  • SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services or offline cube files

    Drivers: The OLE DB drivers will be used to connect to these data sources, so you should install Microsoft SQL Server 2000 PivotTable Services from this link.

    Data Provider Object: You can use either our AdomdDataProvider or AdomdNetDataProvider objects. Both will connect using the same driver. (You will need to install ADOMD.NET if you want to use our AdomdNetDataProvider?see below for links.)

  • SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services

    Drivers: If you are connecting to Microsoft SQL Server 2005, it is most efficient to install and use ADOMD.NET. If you use Visual Studio 2005, download ADOMD.NET from this link, or for older versions of Visual Studio download ADOMD.NET 8.0 along with the hotfix here. You can also choose to use the OLE DB (COM) Provider for Analysis Services 2005. If you do, be sure to install the pre-requisite Microsoft Core XML Services.

    Data Provider Object: Use our AdomdNetDataProvider to use ADOMD.NET to connect to your database. Use the AdomdDataProvider if you choose to use the OLE DB COM drivers.

  • Dundas OLAP Samples

    The best way to get into our product and learn how to use it is to run our installed samples. Our samples use an offline cube file and the AdomdNetDataProvider, which means you may need Microsoft SQL Server 2000 PivotTable Services and ADOMD.NET installed on your system. See both sections above for links.

As well as data providers, the security and connection strings will vary depending on your type of connection. The full article includes sample connection strings and information on how to set up security on the server to allow the connection.

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Gauge for Reporting Services

Get More Out Of Your Gauge With Custom Code

The code editor built into all Dundas Reporting Services products provides direct access to the events that fire during the life-span of the product. These events include PostApplyData and PostInitialize. During the event, the custom code placed in the code editor will be processed and run in the current Gauge. This means that all properties available, and any customization that you want, can be easily done all through your favorite language: C# or VB.NET. A number of the samples included with Dundas Gauge for Reporting Services include custom code to show different things, including changing the render DPI depending on a parameter.

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Map for Reporting Services

Improve Your Map With Client Side Functionality

Dundas Map for Reporting Services offers different options for client side functionality. These options include a tooltip for the entire Map object, drill down support (jump to) for specific items, and report parameters. The drill down support is invaluable when the user wishes to see more data concerning a specific data item, as all they have to do is click on the item. Report parameters offer a further degree of interactivity by letting the user change the Map's values the Report Viewer. Changes may include DPI resolution, zoom level, view center, or any other value within Dundas Map. The Sample Solution which comes with Dundas Map for Reporting services included several great examples of how to use report parameters, including ZoomingVisibility.rdl and Sales.rdl.

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Dundas Q & A Chart | Gauge | Map

Chart for .NET

Q. Why do I get a GDI+ error when trying to save a PNG image into the Response?

A. In ASP.NET, images can be saved only into bidirectional streams. The most common approach to saving an image created by Map into the response is to write it directly to the HTTP Response object. However, the HTTP Response object is not a bidirectional stream. The solution is to first write the image into a memory stream and then write the memory stream to Response.OutputStream. Please note that while the code in the full article pertains to Dundas Map, it can also be used for Dundas Chart in exactly the same way.

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Chart for .NET - OLAP Services

Q. When using AdomdNetDataProvider in Visual Studio 2002 or 2003 I am receiving an error. What is the cause of this?

A. ADOMD.NET version 8.0 is required for these versions of Visual Studio. Sometimes this is not installed, or a different version is installed, and an exception or error message is displayed when you try to use the AdomdNetDataProvider. An exception might resemble:

  • "The operation could not be completed."
  • "...Version 2.0 was not found."
  • "File or assembly name Microsoft.AnalysisServices.AdomdClient, or one of its dependencies, was not found."
  • "The found file's manifest definition did not match the assembly reference."

To resolve this issue, click here to download and install ADOMD.NET version 8.0 from Microsoft. As well, be sure to install the latest hotfix provided on this page.


Gauge for .NET

Q. I am using Dundas Gauge with a Numeric Indicator. I don't have any data, but the Numeric Indicator always seem to have a default value. How can I change it?

A. Sometimes after a template has been loaded, the Number Indicator will have a default value assigned to it from the template. The value can be changed back to zero either in the designer or in code: GaugeContainer1.NumericIndicators[0].Value = 0;

Q. How can I easily data-bind to a dataset or other source of data?

A. Dundas Gauge for .NET will data-bind to any object that implements the IEnumerable interface. There are a number of standard .NET objects which implement this interface, including DataTable, DataSet and Array. Data-binding in Visual Studio 2002/2003 is done slightly differently than Visual Studio 2005, but articles in our documentation are available for both types to help get you started: Data-binding in Visual Studio 2002/2003, and Data-binding in Visual Studio 2005.


Map for .NET

Q. I'm using Internet Explorer 7; the Sample Framework for Dundas Gauge and/or the Online Documentation is very slow. What's wrong?

A. This is an issue which was found and fixed by Microsoft within Internet Explorer 7. To get the fix for IE7, please visit http://support.microsoft.com/?id=928089. Once IE7 is patched, the issue will no longer occur.