ChartDirector Ver 2.5 Release Notes
Enhancements Since Ver 2.0
Horizontal Bar Charts
ChartDirector now supports horizontal bar charts at the same level as vertical bar charts. For example, stacked bar charts, multi-bar charts, 3D effects, data labels, clickable image maps, etc., are all available in horizontal bar charts.
Arbitrary X-Axis Data
In previous versions of ChartDirector, data points are assumed to be evenly distributed on the x-axis. ChartDirector now supports arbitrary x-values for data points. Data series can be irregularly distributed on the x-axis.
Scatter Chart Layer
Scatter Chart Layer is a new ChartDirector layer type. Scatter charts plot data points at arbitrary xy positions using built-in or user defined symbols.
Trend Line Layer
Trend Line Layer is a new ChartDirector layer type. A trend line is a straight line that best fits a number of data points computed using linear regression (least square method).
CandleStick Chart Layer
CandleStick Layer is a new ChartDirector layer type. Candlestick charts represent high-low-open-close data as "candle shapes".
Pie Chart Side Label Layout
ChartDirector now supports a new method of positioning sector labels where the labels are positioned on the left and right sides of the chart (instead of circularly around the pie). In this new method, the labels can automatically shift up and down to avoid overlapping with each others, which typically will occur when there are a lot of very small sectors crowded together.
Line Chart Missing Data Points Handling
For a line chart, previous version of ChartDirector handles missing data points (NoValue) as discontinuous lines.
In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, a line can be drawn to join through the missing point. The line can be of the same style and color as the normal lines in the line chart, or can be of different style (e.g. a dash line with different color).
Data Gap for HLOC
In previous versions of ChartDirector, the data points for HLOC charts always use up all the available width, that is, there is no gap between adjacent HLOC data points. In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, it is now possible to specify the gap in between adjacent HLOC data points (similar to how bar gaps are specified in bar charts).
ChartDirector now supports configurable axis width.
Configurable Zero Affinity During Auto-Scaling
When ChartDirector auto-scales an axis, it will try to start the axis from zero, unless the data range (difference between maximum and minimal values) is small compare to the data values. For example, if the data values are in between 1000.2 to 1000.8, ChartDirector will not start the axis from zero, because the data range (= 0.6) is small compare to the data values. In previous versions of ChartDirector, small means 20% or less (that is, zero affinity of 80%).
In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, the zero affinity is configurable. A zero affinity of 100% will ensure ChartDirector always start the axis from zero. A zero affinity of 0% will mean ChartDirector will not have any special preference to the zero point when performing auto- scaling.
Sign Character Numeric Formatting
ChartDirector now supports configurable negative sign character in numeric formatting. By default, the negative sign character is "-". A common usage is to set it to an empty string, so negative numbers will look like positive numbers. This is often used in y-axis that pointd downwards (such as represeting the depth of the ocean floor).
Data Labels Support for All XY Chart Layers
In previous versions of ChartDirector, only bar chart layers and line chart layers support data labels. This is now extended to all layer types.
Custom Data Label
In previous versions of ChartDirector, data labels applies to all data points. In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, you can add a custom data label to a particular data point to override the general data label settings.
Data Label Formatting
In previous versions of ChartDirector, data labels show the values of the data points, with configurable numeric formatting. In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, data labels can also be formatted to show other things related to the data points, such as the data set names, the x-label of the data points, etc. Data label formatting now employs the same parameter substitution meachanism used in query parameters formatting in image maps.
Legend Keys Formatting for Pie Charts
For a pie chart, by default, the legend keys will contain the names of the sectors. In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, the legend keys can be formatted to also include the values of the sectors as well as the percentages of the sectors.
Configurable Legend Keys Ordering
By default, the name of the first data set will be entered as the first legend key, the name of the second data set as the second legend key, and so on.
ChartDirector now supports entering the names as the legend keys in reverse order, or not to enter the names as legend keys at all.
One common scenario is for a stacked bar chart with positive data and using vertical legend keys layout. In a stacked bar, the first data set will appear at the bottom, and subsequent data sets will stack on top (assuming positive data). If a vertical legend box is used, it may be desirable the last data set to be the top legend key, and the first data set to be the bottom legend key. In other words, it may be desirable to reverse the order of the legend keys for that stacked bar chart layer.
X-Axis Mark Labels
In previous versions of ChartDirector, only y-axis marks have text labels. This is now extended to x-axis marks.
Mark Label Positioning
In previous versions of ChartDirector, mark labels are positioned as tickd on the axis. In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, it is now possible to configure where to put the mark labels (e.g. on top of the mark lines).
More Auto Data Colors
In previous versions of ChartDirector, the default auto-color palette contains 16 colors. In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, the color palette has increased to 32 data colors.
ChartDirector now supports a special color called SameAsMainColor, which means the color is the same as the main color used for the primary object of interest. This is typically used to specify the colors of objects associated with data sets.
For example, in a pie chart, if the sector label background color is set to SameAsMainColor, the actual sector label background colors will be the same as the fill colors of sectors to which they are associated with.
ImageMapWidth for Lines
For a clickable line chart, if the line is thin, it would be hard to click on it. So when creating the image map for the line, ChartDirector always assume the line is very thick, no matter what its actual thickness is.
In previous version of ChartDirector, the assumed thickness for the purpose of image map generation is always 10 pixels. This is now configurable.
More flexible getHTMLImageMap parameters
Changes Since Ver 2.0
Pie Chart Sectors Have No Border By Default
In previous versions of ChartDirector, the default sector border color is equal to the default line color. In ChartDirector Ver 2.5, the default sector border color is "SameAsMainColor", which means the color is the same as the corresponding sector fill color. As a result, the sectors appear as borderless.
The reason for this change is because in most cases, the pie chart looks better without the borders, especially when there are small sectors.
Auto Data Colors are Slightly Lighter
The automatic data colors are slightly lighter than that in the previous versions of ChartDirector. For example, the original red color (0xff0000) is change to 0xff3333, and the original blue color (0x0000ff) is changed to (0x6666ff).
The reason for this change is to enhance the readability of data labels. For example, in a bar chart, the data labels are drawn on top of the bar segments. If the data colors are too dark, it is hard to read the data labels (which by default is black in color).
1 Pixel Layout Change
Compare to previous versions of ChartDirector, the position of the plot area now moves 1 pixel downwards, and its width also increases by 1 pixel. This more accurately reflects the position and size of the plot area as specified in the setPlotArea method.
ArrayIndex in RecordSetToArray Function
(The RecordSetToArray function applies to ChartDirector for ASP/COM/VB only.)
In previous versions of ChartDirector, the RecordSetToArray function will use the value in the "Index" column as the array index. The column name is now changed to "ArrayIndex". It is because "Index" is a reserved word in SQL and the use of "Index" as column name is incompatible with a number of databases. For compatibility, the "Index" column name is also supported but its use is discouraged.
ChartDirector Ver 2.5 is designed to be code compatible with all previous versions of ChartDirector.
That means all source code should run without modification.
For the C++ Edition of ChartDirector, although the C++ source code does not need to be modified, they have to be recompiled and linked to the new ChartDirector library "chartdir25.dll". If you do not want to recompile your source code, you can continue to use the existing ChartDirector library "chartdir20.dll" in existing projects, and use the new ChartDirector library "chartdir25.dll" in new projects. These two DLL libraries can co-exists on the same machine without conflicts.
The charts produced by ChartDirector Ver 2.5 could be slightly different from the charts produced by earlier versions of ChartDirector using the same source code. The section on Changes Since Ver 2.0 describes the changes in details.
Advanced Software Engineering's licensing policy is that all commercial software licenses will be entitled to free upgrade for the next version of the software, and thereafter, free upgrade for another 12 months.
Therefore, all existing ChartDirector Ver 1.x and Ver 2.x licenses are still valid for ChartDirector Ver 2.0. The license code is compatible and does not need to change.
To upgrade ChartDirector, simply install the new version on top of the old version.
Like all other software installation process, you should stop your existing version of ChartDirector before installing a new version. If you are using a web server with ChartDirector, you may need to stop your web server.
For Microsoft IIS, you will need to stop the "World Wide Web Publishing" services using the Service Control Panel. (In W2K, it is in Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services) Stopping IIS using the "Internet Services Manager" is not sufficient, as it does not actually unload the web server.
For the ASP/COM/VB and .NET editions of ChartDirector, the first time you run the setup program, it will prompt you to uninstall the existing version of ChartDirector. After that, you can run the setup program again, and it will install the new version.
For the .NET editions of ChartDirector, please remember to update the "netchartdir.dll", which may have been copied to the "bin" subdirectory under the ASP.NET application root, in the Global Assembly Cache or in other places.
For the PHP/Perl/Python Editions of ChartDirector, please remember to update the files "phpchartdir.php", "perlchartdir.pm" and "pychartdir.py" respectively. These files may have been copied to your scripting directory or directories. It is not possible to use the old versions of these library files with the new version of ChartDirector DLL.