Web UI and Charting Components

By : |November 2, 2006 0

Anadi Misra

Custom UI components for building user interfaces are always cherished for the fact that they make things easier when it comes to building user interface intensive applications. The new Web UI library of components for ASP.NET 2.0 and Charting components by ComponentArt provide you with a rich set of AJAX enabled custom components and 3D charts respectively to give you an easy to work with solution for enabling rich UI in your .NET applications.

 

Web UI components
ComponentArt’s Web UI is a set of twelve AJAX enabled components for ASP.NET that include Grid, Menu Tab Strip- which provides a tabbed panel interface, NavBar, Splitter, and TreeView amongst others. You can find demos with detailed explanations for all the components in their website. We checked out the components through simple single form applications using each of these components. The way some of these controls have been designed is truly remarkable. For instance, the Grid control provides both a ‘Client’ running mode wherein all the data, paging and filtering are handled within the browser at users’ end.

Direct Hit!
Price: Web UI: $799 (single user), Charting: $699 (single user)
Meant For: .NET developers
Key Specs: Visual Studio 2005 integration, callback modes
Pros: Lightweight, AJAX enabled, amazing 3D rendering 
Cons: None
RQS# E21 or SMS Buy 131021 to 6677

This mode is suitable for cases where data is not that numerous. The AJAX features provided in the Component library are pretty decent, ranging from built-in AJAX capabilities in components such as TreeView and Grid (described earlier) to implementations of universal AJAX interfaces for the library, typically using callbacks.

Charting library
The Web UI charts are unique in the sense that they allow you to create rich user interface based 3D charts without much fuss. The data sources for these charts can be anything from an XML document to SQL databases, Excel sheets, text files or even arrays and collections in .NET. The charting components are available in both Windows’ Forms as WinCharts and in ASP.NET as Web Charts. There is a huge collection of more than 175 built-in chart types that you can put to use in your applications using this library. Trying out the component for charts reveals that it is not so tedious to get these charts running for your usage. We liked the way the library allows usage of more than one chart indicator type (bars, cones, etc) while displaying a single chart. You can even use composite charts with, for example, bars and areas on the same chart.

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3D charts created using the Charting library provide a visually appealing look without too much effort

The website displays a list of various options for different libraries and individual components. The license types viz. Developer, Subscription and Enterprise differ in the number of users and services provided thereafter. The only difference between the latter two is that with Enterprise, you also get telephonic support. You can go for an enterprise license if you need three or more developers working on the library but you need the Grid component only, then go for a developer license for a single user. The price is customized as per Enterprise requirement.

Bottom Line: A good option if you need a library that provides a UI and is easy to use for your applications.

Source: PCQuest

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