Here are a few useful charting tools for the .NET platform and one statistical analysis package available on Linux.
ASP.NET Charting Tools
The ASP.NET controls were released in the late fall of 2008. The chart controls were finally included in the C# 4.0 release as part of the standard ASP.NET platform. If you’re looking for reasons to upgrade to C# 4.0, this three part series is a big reason to do so if you rely on reporting in your web application using SQL Reporting Service. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Google Chart Tools
The only issue I see with using some external charting provider like Google is that you rely on them for core aspects of understanding your business. Say, one day, Google’s server’s go down for a 3 hour period — or the route to Google’s servers is unavailable. I see that happening about as often as the power going out at home — but it does happen. What does your application do to recover? What do you show when the graphics don’t appear?
That minor issue aside, there are so many cool features with the Google Charting tools, that it outweighs the downside for small the medium sized applications. The good thing is that these tools are free but I wonder how Google views “customers” of its free services with respect to long-term API support.
Tip: If you want to use Google Chart Tools – Image Charts — over HTTPS, you need to change the base URL from
Google doesn’t have a valid SSL certificate on “chart.apis.google.com”.
Some sample Google Chart Images
The R Project for Statistical Computing
R is a Unix-based statistical analysis package that has the ability to create any type of visual representation imaginable. Here’s a brief description from the About Us page at the R project
R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, …) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible. The S language is often the vehicle of choice for research in statistical methodology, and R provides an Open Source route to participation in that activity.