In 2007 Microsoft aquired Dundas Data Visualization but Dundas still remains as a standalone company. What matters is that by acquiring Dundas Microsoft got access to all the Dundas .NET controls. Last year Microsoft made the Chart control available for free. Originally the Chart control comes from Dundas but Microsoft has done an update of its code base so it fits better with Visual Studio.
So far Microsoft have only provided some basic controls in Visual Studio and has let other providers to provide more advanced commercial controls. But with the Chart control they make an exception and provide an excellent control for free. Perhaps we will see more of that in the future?
I find the Chart control to be a great companion into my solutions where it requires some data presentation in terms of charts. Due to this I believe it deserves to be more highlighted within the Excel and .NET developing communities.
Initially I planned to create a sample and discuss it in more detail however because MSFT has made over 200 samples available there are no reasons why I just should repeat some of these samples here. Actually, the sample collection is very nice and all the code samples can be viewed in both C# and VB.NET as the below screen shot shows.
What should be noted is that we cannot place the control on worksheets when creating document centric VSTO solutions. But on the other hand we don’t need to use it like that as we have access to Excel’s nice built-in chart control.
For more information and to download please see the following links:
- Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
- Microsoft Chart Controls Add-on for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
- Microsoft Chart Controls for .NET Framework Documentation
- Samples Environment for Microsoft Chart Controls
A great blog about the Chart control is Alex Gorev’s Weblog.