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Editor's Note: Preferred Platform

Before you dive further into this month's newsletter I would like to mention that this is the last technical newsletter that will contain a Dundas Diagram section. Our Diagram product is branching out on its own to give you better support and is now under the name of Corgent - a new wholly owned subsidiary of Dundas Software dedicated to the Diagram. If you want more information, please check out the Diagram Q & A section.

Now the exciting part: Poll! This poll was created to find out what our readers are using for development. The .NET platform alone offers 4 options, so I assume there's going to be quite a spread in responses. If you get confused just choose randomly, I won't know anyways.

Newsletter Poll

As before, the results of this poll will be in the next newsletter. I look forward to seeing the results as well as your comments.

Terrence Sheflin

In this Issue: August 23, 2006


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Factor Axis Labels

In some cases it is desired to convert decimal labels to their fractional equivalent. This occurs when:

  1. Decimals are long and hard to comprehend
  2. User prefers to read fractions instead of looking at decimals
  3. Some applications (notably brokerage applications) require that fractions are used

The Factor Axis Labels add-on helps you do this by providing the necessary functionality to convert decimal labels into fractional ones. The use of this add-on is extremely easy, and for the most part consists of writing a line of code similar to: factorLabels factors = new factorLabels(this.Chart1,false);

Having fractions can greatly increase the legibility of your chart and the data contained within it. This increase in legibility combined with the easy-to-use add-on makes it a valuable addition to our add-on collection.

Excel Export

Due to the numerous e-mails requesting functionality for saving a Chart image into an Excel File, Dundas Software has implemented this as an add-on. If you have Excel (2002 or later) installed on your PC, then you are ready to use our add-on helper class. In this class we have provided a function that allows you to save a chart image into an existing Excel file in any cell.

This add-on also supports its own style of templates. These templates allow you to specify the spreadsheet and cell that you wish your chart to appear in. The template is then used by the export functionality in the add-on to create the output Excel file. This allows you to easily add a chart into your existing Excel spreadsheets.

As always, an example, source code, and further explanation of this add-on are available in the full write up.

Tips n' Tricks Chart | Gauge

General Tips

How to add Dundas controls to Data Dynamics ActiveReports for .NET
ActiveReports for .NET allows for .NET controls to be added to a report, and this includes Dundas components. To help you create a solution that can add a Dundas product to an ActiveReport, we have written an article detailing how to add a Dundas Chart for .NET control to your ActiveReport. We have also included a helper class to assist in the formatting and creation of a Chart that will work in an ActiveReport. While the article demonstrates adding a Dundas Chart to a report, you can easily follow similar steps and modify the attached helper files for Dundas Gauge and other Dundas components.
read more »

Dundas Map for .NET in Beta
Dundas Software is pleased to announce another new addition to our product line-up: Dundas Map for .NET. This new data visualizing product allows you to see geographic detail in a more concise way. From a developer's perspective, the object hierarchy is arranged very much like our other products making it easy to learn. As well, you can expect the same great support Dundas always offers through samples, documentation and our support program. Dundas Map makes use of AJAX to provide fluid panning and zooming through simple property changes, as well as a call-back interface for you to use to make your own AJAX features. The Beta program is open to everyone and is a great way to learn the product's features before it is released, or at the very least have a new control to play with.
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How to use Dundas controls in a report using only RDL file code
While we do not directly support creating reports without the Visual Studio designer, it is possible. The RDL file is written in XML format, and you can use tools included in .NET to edit it. We suggest working out how to add the control to the XML in an RDL file by using a report built with Dundas Chart/Gauge/Calendar in the Visual Studio report designer as a reference:

  • You will find the control as a element within the report element, and there are a number of child elements within it.
  • The number of child elements varies according to which properties have been set in the Visual Studio report designer - not all properties are listed if they have not been changed from their default values.
  • If you want your application to be able to set various properties of the control, you will need to find out which properties are mapped to what XML elements, but you can then set the contents of the child element to your own value. (You should be aware of what limits are present for the properties you set, so that your values are valid.)
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Online Documentation
Online Documentation is our full help documentation included with installations copied onto the support website for your benefit. While we are still in the process of copying documentation for all of our products, we have already completed quite a few. Online Documentation is currently available for: Dundas Chart for ASP.NET (VS2003/VS2005), Dundas Chart for Windows Forms (VS2003/VS2005), Dundas Gauge for ASP.NET (VS2003/VS2005), Dundas Gauge for Windows Forms (VS2003/VS2005). 
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How to use Interval, Maximum and Minimum Properties of Axis Labels
Within Chart's Axes class several properties are available to help you control the automatically generated Axis Labels. The most commonly used properties are Interval, Maximum and Minimum. The Interval property controls how often axis labels are displayed; so if, for example, it is set to 1 then every label along the axis will display. This can be done with a line of code similar to: Chart1.ChartAreas[0].AxisX.Interval = 1;. The Maximum and Minimum properties control how much data the axis will display allowing you to control the data view the user sees making visualization both customized and efficient.
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Equilibrium Points
In Dundas Chart for .NET it is possible to show major change or equilibrium points through the PostPaint event. The identification of these points can help to clarify your data and make changes within your data more noticeable to the user. The add-on is easy to use, with only a call to the pre-written drawLines(..) function being necessary. The function, along with some code demonstrating how to use it, is available within the full article.
read more »

Chart for OLAP Services

How to use Dundas OLAP Components on the DotNetNuke framework
We have successfully tested Dundas OLAP Chart for ASP.NET on the DotNetNuke 4.0.2 framework. This test was done using our VS2005 version of OLAP Chart for ASP.NET. The changes necessary to allow OLAP Chart to work on the DotNetNuke framework are minor, and include a change to the web.config file as well as the headers of the ASPX pages. For the full instructions, please refer to the article.
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Serialize Only the Properties You Need
Serializing only specific properties of Gauge can be very useful when both saving and loading Gauges. To serialize only specific items within a Gauge, the properties NonSerializableContent and SerializableContent must be used. These properties allow you to specify which portions of Gauge to serialize and which to not serialize. The properties also allow you to use wildcards in order to specify large portions of Gauge properties, such as *.Value, which will serialize any of the Value properties within Gauge.
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Use Dampening to Make Your Data Look Better
Dampening allows you to move the pointer slower when changing values in a real-time Gauge. This can make your gauge more legible, especially when using RealTimeStreaming with fast updates. Using dampening ensures that the user can see what values are being displayed by Gauge no matter what the speed of real-time update is. To use this functionality, the DampeningEnabled property must be set to true and the DampeningSweepTime property set to the amount of time (in seconds) that each sweep should take.
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Dundas Q & A Chart | Gauge | Diagram

Chart for .NET

Q. My ASP.NET application includes a chart that is bound to data stored in SQL Server database. At design time I can view the data and it is in expected format, but when I execute my application the chart appears empty.
A. This issue is caused by security restrictions in ASP.NET. By default the ASP.NET account does not have privileges to access data stored in SQL server databases. Please refer to the Data Access Security article in MSDN, as it provides details on what is going on and what you can do to correct this issue.

Usually the simplest way to correct this issue is to add the line <identity impersonate="true" /> to your project's web.config file.

Q. Dundas Chart is not drawing anything when my line chart only has a single data point.
A. The newest version of Dundas Chart will always display point markers. If you are using markers on your points and find that your marker is not displaying for one point, please upgrade to the latest version. Alternatively, you can change your series to a point chart type in the case where there is only one point.

If you are not using markers then please note that some series types such as line, spline, area, etc. draw between two points, and therefore require a minimum of two points in order to draw. To allow your series to perform normally you will need to add more points to the series. In the case where you need to provide some feedback when only a single data point exists, using point markers or switching to another chart type can solve the problem.

Gauge for .NET

Q. How can I manage the temporary images created on the web server by Dundas Gauge?
A. We often receive calls from our clients wondering whether they have to worry about the temporary images generated by Dundas Gauge, and what is the best approach to delete these files. The answer is that Dundas Gauge will manage these files automatically and you do not have to do anything in order to make it work.

The ImageURL property is used to control where the temporary images are stored, and the maximum number of image files allowed on the server. Dundas Gauge will only use the number of files specified and will add an entry to the System Event Log in the case where more files are required.

Dundas Gauge also provides a BinaryStreaming mode of sending images to the client. This mode is used to provide the user with images without saving temporary files to the hard drive on the server.
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Diagram for .NET

Q. What advantage does Diagram's new home give me?
A. Corgent is a new wholly owned subsidiary of Dundas Software Ltd. and is the new home for Dundas Diagram for .NET, now known officially as Corgent Diagram for .NET.

Being a full development framework and not a component, Corgent/Dundas Diagram was different from other Dundas products, and accordingly needed its own unique identity, best accomplished with a new name and dedicated site.

This re-introduction significantly benefits previous users of Dundas Diagram for .NET with additional resources, information and detail on the benefits of using Corgent Diagram for .NET. The main deployments of Corgent Diagram, consisting of HMI Diagramming, Business/Relational Diagramming and Specialized Diagramming are also expanded to provide resources specific to customers needs.

Previous users of Dundas Diagram for .NET can continue to use Dundas Diagram, or can download Corgent Diagram (with valid Maintenance Subscription). Both products can be used side-by-side without complication. Dundas Diagram files can also be loaded seamlessly into Corgent Diagram.

As well, Corgent has its own Support Site which will be run with the same dedication to support that Dundas prides itself in having.
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