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Editor's Note: Save time developing applications for Reporting Services.

Last month our newsletter arrived in your inbox with a lot of great information, and this month it is back. I have received excellent feedback from readers over the past month about the newsletter content, so this month is another set of issues that I am sure you will find interesting. Of course, if there is a specific issue you would like to see, then write in and tell me!

On to business: Dundas Gauge for Reporting Services is now available! This, along with the release of Dundas Chart for Reporting Services version 1.5 means that you can now do more with Reporting Services than ever before. I have been working extensively with these two products over the last month and I am really impressed with their flexibility. You can expect to see exciting add-ons in the near future for these products.

Terrence Sheflin

In this Issue: April 19, 2006

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Articles  

Dundas Chart for .NET Spike Removal Add-on

Dundas Software is pleased to present the latest available free add-on: Spike Removal. Like our other add-ons, we have made this tool as an easy-to-use utility class that you can quickly and easily add to your solution. Spike removal is used when data contains large spikes randomly distributed throughout it. These spikes cause the majority of the graph to become squished and illegible, as well as the overall look of the chart to become unattractive. Data spike removal deletes these spikes from the graph making the chart easier to read. The expansion of the majority of data within the chart allows for accurate visual readings, instead of having to guess what the value of each point is. Furthermore, there is the option to place tooltips, markers, and labels on the points that were deleted to allow the user to see where spikes have been modified.

This add-on is both easy to use and flexible to allow you to customize it with little effort. The installation steps for using this add-on are:

  1. Add the spike removal class file to your project
  2. Add the namespace Dundas.Charting.Utilities to the class using the add-on
  3. Instantiate the class, setup any optional properties, and call the RemoveSpikes function

The RemoveSpikes function is the main algorithm, and accepts two parameters: Range and Tolerance. These parameters allow you to control what is considered a data spike by the algorithm so that small changes in data can be left intact.

The online article contains more information on how to use this utility, including a full sample with source code.


Tips n' Tricks Chart | Gauge | Diagram

General Tips

Free performance gain on the x64 platform
Due to the increasing popularity of the x64 platform, many customers have asked us whether our products work with x64 or not. We have tested our products and found that they work on the x64 platform and perform better than on the current 32-bit platforms with no changes. As well, since we fully support the x64 platform, you can upgrade without worrying about our products.
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Deploying ASP.NET applications
A common misconception about the deployment of ASP.NET solutions is that the Dundas Software installer needs to be run on the deployment server. This is not the case; our installer was created for development machines. For deployment, all you need to do is copy your solution to the server and ensure that our .dll files are in the Bin folder of your application.
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Let SmartLabels technology clarify your Chart
Dundas Chart for .NET includes the powerful SmartLabels technology which is designed to help clarify your chart. When using data point labels in a chart that has many points, there is the possibility that the labels will collide. These collisions make the chart difficult to read and the overall look of the chart undesirable. SmartLabels technology overcomes this issue by automatically repositioning the labels based on user-defined rules, creating better legibility and a professional look while still allowing for customizability and control by the developer.
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Drill Down functionality
Included in Dundas Chart for .NET is an excellent sample set that demonstrates many of the features available within our Chart product. In this set is a sample that shows how to create a Chart which has drill down functionality. Additionally, the Drill Down sample for ASP.NET demonstrates how to create a hover-over preview, which is useful when the user wants more information before the drill down. All the samples include full source code, so you can use our solutions as a template for your own project.
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Chart for Reporting Services

Version 1.5 of Dundas Chart for Reporting Services Available
We are proud to announce the release of Chart for Reporting Services version 1.5 this month. The biggest question is of course: What's new in this version? A few of the new features available are:

  • The Wizard is now skinned and easier to use
  • SmartLabels technology has been added
  • Custom assemblies can now be added to the code editor
  • Secondary axis properties are now available
  • Many bug fixes

Custom assemblies is a feature that would interest any developer, as it means any of your own compiled .NET assemblies can now be used within Reporting Services applications.
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Chart for OLAP Services

Store your reports in a SQL database
Report management is important functionality if you want to control the reports each user can or cannot access. The reports generated by Dundas Chart for .NET - OLAP Services are in XML format, and can therefore easily be put into a SQL database. To put the Report files generated by our chart into a SQL database requires very little code and is well explained in our knowledgebase article.
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Real-time streaming in ASP.NET
Creating a real-time streaming application is easy with Dundas Gauge for ASP.NET and can be done in three ways: Image, Flash and SmartClient. All three of these real-time streaming types are included with Gauge and easy to use. To use real-time streaming, set the RenderType property to RealTimeStreaming, and the ImageType property to either a type of image or Flash. To use SmartClient, set the RenderAsControl property to True and ensure that the file DundasWinGauge.dll exists in the root directory of the application. Each of the real-time streaming types have advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which one to use is left to the developer.
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Gauge for Reporting Services

Dundas Gauge for Reporting Services launched!
The much anticipated Dundas Gauge for Reporting Services is now available. It is based on the API of Dundas Gauge for .NET so that using it will be a familiar experience for those who have used any of our other Gauge products. If you have not used our Gauge before, you will still find it very easy to use due to the new Wizard included with Gauge for Reporting Services.
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Generate the Organizational Chart without the library in ASP.NET
We are often asked if this is possible, and can confidently answer that it is, but does require a bit of manipulation. A sample that includes full source code is in the knowledge base article and demonstrates how to do this. The reason the Organizational Chart fails without the library is because when the OrgChartDemo library is used, the DOM (Diagramming Object Model) engine checks the type of the elements in the library and creates the diagram, which works as intended as the elements in the library are of OrgChartElement type. However, if the library is removed the DOM engine will create elements of type ElementRectangle and the OrgChartLayoutEngine can not be applied. To circumvent this, the elements of ElementRectangle type, which are node elements, need to be converted to OrgChartElement type. To do this we use the WebTreeGenerator's event NodeCreated, and the ElementFunctionality's method ConvertToTemplateInstanceType.
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Dundas Q & A Chart | Gauge | Diagram

Chart for.NET

Q. I bought a retail copy of Dundas Chart for ASP.NET and replaced my evaluation copy, but the watermark is still appearing. How do I fix this?
A. This happens because in ASP.NET the .dll files are physically copied to your project directory and referenced, and these files are not replaced when an install occurs. The replacement of these files must be done manually by copying all of the files from c:\Program Files\Dundas Software\Charting\WebControl[VS2005]\bin to your project's Bin folder.


Chart for Reporting Services

Q. How can I change the color of a Series to a color not in a palette?
A. This must be done in the Code Editor included with Dundas Chart for Reporting Services. To access the Code Editor, right click on your chart and select "View Code". Then, choose the PostApplyData event, and add the following code for each series that you wish to change: chartObj.Series["Series Name"].Color = YourColor;.

Q. Do I need to have Reporting Services and SQL 2005 on the machine I'm using for development?
A. On each development machine, Reporting Services must be installed. However, a full SQL 2005 database is not required, as Reporting Services can be configured to use a database that is on a different computer.


Gauge for .NET

Q. Is it possible to display a text message in the numeric display Gauge type?
A. Yes. To do this you have to set the Style of the numeric indicator Gauge to NumericIndicatorStyle.Mechanical, and the FormatString equal to the text you want to display.
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Diagram for .NET

Q. Is it possible to center a group of elements on a page?
A. Yes, this is both possible and easy to code. It involves grouping all the elements on a page and then setting the group's Location property to a new Point2D that has Document.ActivePage.PageSize.LogicalSize.Width / 2 for its X value, and Document.ActivePage.PageSize.LogicalSize.Height / 2 for its Y value. Detailed source code is available in the full article.
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