DevExpress Charts: Data Aggregation, Legend Check Boxes, and Selection (What’s New in 13.2)

Visualizing data is probably one of the most fantastic things one can do. That is why charting is near and dear to my heart. As we continue to develop powerful visualization components we are proactively trying to make things simpler and easier to use.

With that in mind there are a couple of features that follow the spirit of these principles.

Automatic Data Aggregation (WinForms and ASP.NET)

Data Aggregation

Charts with a lot of data are ugly because the computer just happily draws everything you give it. There is seldom a case where this is what we want to do. Enter data aggregation. Starting in 13.2, a chart can automatically aggregate its data according to the specified Aggregate function:

Automatic Scale Mode

In addition, you can manually specify a Scale Mode and Measure Unit to control how data is aggregated:

Manual Scale Mode

 

This feature becomes extremely useful when used in conjunction with zooming and scrolling in WinForms charts. Now you can immediately see trends over large swaths of data and zoom in to a specific area to get a better look at localized trends.

This will now work with both numerical and time based arguments.

Legend Check Boxes (WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF, Silverlight)

I think this picture says it all:

Legend Check Boxes

I was going to write a thousand words but I think the ability to turn series off and on is fantastic. This will work for WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF, and Silverlight and is easily activated by setting the Legend.UseCheckBoxes property to true.

This feature is also available for strips, constant lines and financial indicators.

Selection (WPF and Silverlight)

Previously we had support for highlighting specific points in a WinForms/ASP.NET chart by using the chart's SetObjectSelection method. 

Starting in 13.2 you will now have this ability in our WPF and Silverlight Charts. We've added the ChartControl.SelectedItem and ChartControl.SelectedItems properties and fully implemented the MVVM pattern for giving you the full power of WPF binding.

In Conclusion

This is by no means everything we’ve done for this release. I’ve left out a couple of things (including some neat mapping features I will talk about later).

As we continue to drive forward with our data visualization tools, we are confident that you will find incremental improvements that will simplify your process of acquiring, shaping, and visualizing your data.

As always, if there are any comments and/or questions, feel free to get a hold of me!

Seth Juarez
Email: sethj@devexpress.com
Twitter: @SethJuarez

13 comment(s)
Sigurd Decroos

Looks great!

Now make sure we can export them nicely to PDF... As requested a thousand times :).

12 November, 2013
Hans Nieuwenhuis

Great!

A small remark:

"Legend.UseCheckBoxes" ... seriously? shouldn't that be called something like "Legend.EnableSelectionOfSeries" or "Legend.CanSeriesBeSelected"?

This "UseCheckBoxes" sounds too UI to me....what if in a next version you change this selection mechanism in a way that end user can 'strike through' the series they don't want to see? So when there are no 'check boxes'?

Would you then rename this "UseCheckBoxes" property?

Or what if the result of a checked or unchecked series changes, so that it's no longer related to showing/hiding series but to something else?

12 November, 2013
John Smith 209

It's great! Could you elaborate the details of the Selection feature mentioned in the last section? That's the feature that I want. Thanks!

12 November, 2013
Alan (DevExpress)

@Hans

Note that this feature doesn't deal with selection, but with the end-user capability to quickly show/hide a series (as well as a strip, constant line or financial indicator) on a chart. So, this property is called UseCheckBoxes because it forces a legend to show check boxes instead of classic legend markers.

Also, there are some properties at a series level: CheckableInLegend and CheckedInLegend. These properties allow you to control which series can be shown/hidden via legend check boxes, as well as their default check state.

13 November, 2013
Alan (DevExpress)

@John

We've added the ChartControl.SelectedItem and ChartControl.SelectedItems properties, as well as the ChartControl.SeriesSelectionMode property {Argument, Point, Series}

With the release of 13.2 we'll post an example demonstrating this feature.

13 November, 2013
John Smith 209

@Alan

Thanks! So when will the 13.2 be released? I am eager to try it!

13 November, 2013
Alan (DevExpress)

@John, I am happy to be of help!

As for 13.2, we don't provide exact dates. Please follow our blogs and announcements.

14 November, 2013
Hans Nieuwenhuis

@Alan

I get your point, but still I think the checkboxes are used as a way to _select_ which series are shown in the chart.

14 November, 2013
developer_paul

Will we get Automatic Data Aggregation in WPF charts?

14 November, 2013
Alan (DevExpress)

@Hans, Thank you for explaining your point! However, there is also a capability to simply highlight and select a series, and this stopped us from using the "Select" term when discussing the UseCheckBoxes property name. In fact, it may be even longer - "UseCheckBoxesToChangeItemVisibility" - but it's definitely better to have simply "UseCheckBoxes".

15 November, 2013
Alan (DevExpress)

@Paul, We are working on this feature, but it won't be available in 13.2

15 November, 2013
Seth Juarez (DevExpress)

Wow, so I leave for a couple of days and Alan takes over the place! So I will say "what he said" and leave it at that :)

Thanks for your enthusiasm!

-Seth

18 November, 2013
Michael Berry

Love the charts.  Please add a Pareto.

27 November, 2013

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