This is a blog extract on ASP.NET/WinForms chart controls on ScottGu’s blog Built-in Charting Controls (VS 2010 and .NET 4 Series)..

The Microsoft Chart Controls are some predefined controls for ASP.NET and Windows Forms released by Microsoft as part of .NET.  There controls facilitates us the programming and  display of Charts and Diagrams in our ASP.NET Pages and Windows Forms.

The Microsoft Chart Controls offer all of the standard chart types – line charts, bar charts, pie charts, and so forth – as well as more specialized ones, like pyramid and bubble charts. The Chart Controls suite offers a comprehensive set of charting features, including support for multiple series, customizable legends, trend lines, and labels. And the Chart Controls API makes it easy to sort, search, filter, group, and export the chart data. Unfortunately, this first version of the Chart Controls has limited support for customizing the chart from the Designer. There are no wizards to guide you through customizing the chart’s look and feel and specifying its data source. Instead, you have to set the properties and bind the chart data yourself.

Microsoft has release ASP.NET/WinForms chart controls as an addin  to Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5, this was included as a separate extension, which you need to download and install from Microsoft Downloads.

Required files/setups you need to download from microsoft  for utilizing these controls are

  • Microsoft Chart Controls - the assemblies (DLLs) that provide the core functionality for the ASP.NET and WinForms Chart Controls. When you download and execute this program (MSChart.exe), the installer places the assemblies in the Program FilesMicrosoft Chart ControlsAssemblies folder; it also adds them to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC), meaning that you can use the Chart Controls from any ASP.NET application on the server without having to add the DLL files to the application’s /Bin folder. (If you are hosting your application in a shared hosting environment and the web server does not have the Chart Controls installed then you will need to upload these assemblies to the /Bin folder in your hosted environment.)
  • Microsoft Chart Controls Add-on for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 - adds Toolbox and IntelliSense support for the Chart Controls in Visual Studio 2008.
  • Samples Environment for Microsoft Chart Controls - click the Download tab and then download the ASP.NET Samples. The samples are packaged into a website project and include demos and source code (in VB and C#) for the various chart types and charting features.

In the latest Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, you can see that Microsoft Chart Controls are integrated to the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 packages itself. So we no longer needed to download a separate setup files to install these controls.

You can simply Install the Visual Studio 2010 and start developing the application right away..

For learning Microsoft Chart Controls, You can find an interesting Article by Scott Mitchell in 4 Guyz From Rolla.com , as mentioned by Scott Guthrie.

  1. Getting Started - walks through getting started using the Chart Controls, from version requirements to downloading and installing the Chart Controls, to displaying a simple chart in an ASP.NET page.
  2. Plotting Chart Data - examines the multitude of ways by which data can be plotted on a chart, from databinding to manually adding the points one at a time.
  3. Rendering the Chart - the Chart Controls offer a variety of ways to render the chart data into an image. This article explores these options.
  4. Sorting and Filtering Chart Data - this article shows how to programmatically sort and filter the chart’s data prior to display.
  5. Programmatically Generating Chart Images - learn how to programmatically create and alter the chart image file.
  6. Creating Drill Down Reports - see how to build drill down reports using the Chart control.
  7. Adding Statistical Formulas - learn how to add statistical formulas, such as mean, median, variance, and forecasts, to your charts.
  8. Enhancing Charts With Ajax - improve the user experience for dynamic and interactive charts using Ajax.

His articles are written using .NET 3.5 and the separate ASP.NET charting controls download – but all of the concepts and syntax work out of the box exactly the same with ASP.NET 4.

Spend some time to read it, and try out the basic examples..

Thanks to my All time Mentor - Scott Guthrie, for all his articles, which inspire me to learn .NET in depth. I am not an expert, but i know some parts of it.

and

Courtesy and Thanks to ScottGu, Scott Mitchel and 4 Guyz from Rolla.com