Who says graphs need to be limited to bars, lines, areas, triangles and pies? And who says they need to be display-only? Dundas Gauge for .NET lets developers add great looking gadgets like dials, graduated bars and knobs that users can interact with in their applications. These gadgets can be used for applications like KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your CEO and on screens used to configure what-if scenarios for the management.
These come as sets of components having full integration with Visual Studio.NET 2005, including smart tags, F1-help and debugging support. The gauges can be real-time, circular, linear, numeric and interactive. They can also be combined with one another in a hierarchical fashion, letting the values on one gauge influence the value on another (maybe different type of) gauge. For instance, a linear gauge may setup values for another circular gauge.
Or a circular gauge may become a sub-gauge for a larger circular gauge. The setup of a gauge is done in three steps: select the type of gauge and instantiate the correct control on the display UI; set up the parameters for this control and finally add the data points (either by data binding or manually). Data binding can happen with anything for which there is a .NET provider and exposes an IEnumerable interface.
Gauges also support history with playback facility. And the depth of this history can be setup dynamically or programmatically. Playback means the data displayed using the gauge for the last so many instances of data is displayed again using another UI. For instance, a circular speedometer gauge displays the live data while a running line or bar chart progressively displays the historical information. Knobs, another control in the Gauge package, are used to collect user input. This control again has history capability that can be played back.
These can be used in an application like a What-If analyzer to set up parameters being analyzed and act as inputs to other kinds of gauges and graphs on the screen. For maximum visual effect, the developer can take advantage of graphics capabilities exposed by the different containers in the Dundas package. These let the developer add anti-aliasing, embossing, color gradients, pattern fills, rotation, image based themes and 3D perspectives to his graph.
|The gauges are readily interactive with a minimal amount of coding and feature 'playback' of activity over a configurable time period|
Bottom Line: An excellent addition to a developer's toolkit with real enterprise applications.
Sujay V Sarma