Support for JavaScript charts, ASP.NET chart controls, more to come. We start with ten chart products or applications (chart apps), selected based on specific criteria presented below.

Selection Criteria

  • One or more JavaScript chart libraries. They are very popular today, and gained this popularity with the rise of HTML5 and decline of Flash/Silverlight applications. We started with 9 out of 10 such JavaScript chart libraries.
  • SVG-based and canvas-based JavaScript chart apps. SVG/VML and HTML canvas are two top new HTML5 technologies for drawing on a web browser. SVG in particular shows better resolution when shapes are dynamically resized. We ended up by including 7 SVG-based libraries and 2 canvas-based apps.
  • Server-side ASP.NET chart controls. While our main website is built in MVC ASP.NET, with C#, it made sense to consider some chart controls in this category. We tried several, but we ended-up by starting with just the old free Microsoft ASP.NET Chart control. It’s worth noting some products have similar implementations, but using different technologies: in JavaScript, WPF, MVC, ASP.NET, Web Forms, Java etc. When this was the case, we preferred to start with the JavaScript implementation.
  • Both free and commercial products. Commercial products had to have an unlimited trial period, and show eventually just some small credits image or watermark. Or a free community edition. We ended up with 3 free products and 7 commercial apps.
  • Focus on popular and well-known products, with well-established customers and communities. We selected products from well known powerful software companies, such as Google and Microsoft. But also popular players such as Highcharts or jqPlot, to name just two.
  • No Flash or Silverlight implementations. They are both not supported by mobile, and HTML5 is lately preferred to them. In fact, many former Flash vendors re-implemented lately their charts libraries in JavaScript.
  • JavaScript JSON configuration and ASP.NET markup. For our chart code generators, both JSON and ASP.NET markup offered a structured starting approach. We plan to evolve using XML configuration, and also D3-specific fluent JS notation. The ASP.NET markup is programming language independent, common for both C# and VB.NET.

Product Specifics

  • amCharts. Commercial SVG-based JavaScript charts with lots of animation and great imagination. Lithuanian company. We included charts from JavaScript Charts and JavaScript Stock Charts packages.
  • AnyChart. Another commercial SVG-based JavaScript library, based on the open-source Graphics JS. American company. We included charts from AnyChart and AnyStock packages. These guys published also a “Chartopedia” recently.
  • CanvasJS. Commercial canvas-based 2D JavaScript chart library. Indian company.
  • FusionCharts. Good-looking gradient-based SVG-based charts, based on Raphael. Commercial product with many worldwide customers. Indian company. We included charts from FusionCharts XT, PowerCharts XT, and FusionWidgets XT packages.
  • Google Charts. Free SVG-based Google API for simple GoogleDocs-inspired 2D charts, evolving into materialized charts for Android. Part of a larger Google Visualization platform.
  • Highcharts. Maybe the most popular commercial JavaScript chart library, SVG-based. Well advertised, with many books, elegant implementation, great look and feel. Norwegian product, cloud version available. Free for non-commercial. We included charts from both Highcharts and Highstock packages.
  • jqPlot. Free popular open-source canvas-based 2D JavaScript chart library, with great look and feel, inspired by Flot.
  • Microsoft ASP.NET Chart control. Old free server-side control (evolved from Dundas Charts, acquired in 2007), with WebForms and ASP.NET implementations, wrapper for MVC.
  • Syncfusion ejChart. JavaScript implementation, SVG-based, commercial product. Part of a large suite of controls, with similar implementations in ASP.NET, WPF and JavaScript. US/India-based company. Free community edition of the whole suite available.
  • Shield UI JS Chart. SVG-based JavaScript implementation, for 2D charts. Commercial product part of a larger suite, with similar implementations in ASP.NET, WPF and JS. American company. Free for non-commercial.

Future Roadmap

  • We plan to include charts for Office applications: Excel, PowerPoint, Word.
  • There are dozens of other free and commercial JavaScript libraries, we plan to support more. Among them: D3 and NVD3, jqChart, Chart.js, Plotly, ZingChart, ZoomCharts, ECharts, EJSCharts, Chartist, Morris, Flot, xCharts etc.
  • More ASP.NET chart controls, from well-known vendors such as DevExpress, Telerik, ComponentOne, Infragistics etc.
  • Chart templates for Business Intelligence products: Tableau, QlikView, Power BI etc.
  • Some Java chart applets, with JFreeChart…
  • Google Material charts.


Categories: How It Works

Cristi Scutaru

Experienced software architect and developer, founder of XtractPro Software, creator of and Focused lately on easy data extraction, visual data representation, and productivity tools.