Monday, April 19, 2010

Developing Charts with JFree Charts

Implementing the charts while developing the Web applications as well as Stand alone applications is crucial part. This must act like business intelligence and it should give more information to the user with small graph or in short form of data. These will play major part in the application for analyzing and capturing application whole information.

For example A shopping cart applications sells the things in online and the owner of shopping cart wants to know the sales details in daily basis or weekly basis or Monthly basis and so on... and he has to get this information in short way and user friendly. He may need the more information like in which country the things are selling more, which materials are selling more and the things which are added for the carts and so on... In these situations representing the data in the graphical format will make the user to feel comfortable and feel like friendly.

As I from Java technology I worked more around to choose open source chart implementing tools for some days. I looked into Jasper Reports, Jfree charts, and some other technologies. Jasper reports are more useful while displaying the data in pdf fomat or excel  format and other formats. This has the ui tool called iReport to define the jrxml files and these jrxml files are parsed and finally we will get the data. This data can be displayed on different formats like pdf, excel,html...etc. Using JFree charts we can display the reports data in a graphical format. This chart can be write into pdf or other formats using JFree api. Here i will explain briefly about JFee charts.

By visiting the site we can see the Jfree charts features as:
" JFreeChart is a free 100% Java chart library that makes it easy for developers to display professional quality charts in their applications.
  • a consistent and well-documented API, supporting a wide range of chart types;
  • a flexible design that is easy to extend, and targets both server-side and client-side applications;
  • support for many output types, including Swing components, image files (including PNG and JPEG), and vector graphics file formats (including PDF, EPS and SVG);
  • JFreeChart is "open source" or, more specifically, free software. It is distributed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL), which permits use in proprietary applications. "
The demo application can be downloaded from the site and u can start implementing the JFreechart's applications. JfreeChart developer guide helps more to develop the applications.

As per my opinion JFreeChart is more friendly for the developers while developing the applications. Using this you can implement Pi, Bar, StackedBar, Line, Bubble, Step ..etc charts.

Some times you may need to display JFreeChart image in JSP in that case Cewolf tag library helps more. Using Cewolf Tag library you can display all types charts in JSP and its easy to display tool tip, link and labels.

If you works with JSF, you can use Primefaces or Rich faces to integrate the JFree charts and its easy to implement.

No comments: