One of the new additions to Microsoft’s SharePoint Server 2010 platform is the Chart Web Part (CWP), which allows you to create static and dynamic charts for your site without a line a code. One of the complaints from MOSS 2007 was that users wanted to be able to drop a chart onto their site to create dashboard or display information from Excel documents, or provide metrics to other users in a graphical way.
So now that the Chart Web Part is available, let see how we can use it. To drop a Chart Web Part on your page, go to Site Actions > Edit Page. From there, click “Insert” from the Editing Tools menu. The “Chart Web Part” is available under the “Business Data” category, then you can click on the CWP option and add to a content area.
Once added to the page, you will see “Data & Appearance” and “Advance Properties” options.
There are a couple of ways you can go once you click the “Data & Appearance” link. You can change the way that the chart will display under “Customize Your Chart” or change the data connection the chart by selecting “Connect Chart to Data” link.
The “Customize Your Chart” options will start with selecting the type of chart you’d like to have display your information. There are 2D and 3D chart types you can select and various sub-types of chart types to choose from.
Then click “Finish” and you have a web part on your page, but now we need to decide which data to use now that we’ve make look the way we want. To change the data source, click “Connect Chart to Data” and we’ll review the options available.
We can connect to another web part that has information that we need, maybe from another SharePoint list. We can connect directly to a list, the Business Data Catalog that contains your business system’s data or to Excel Services that has a spreadsheet you’d like to dynamically update in one location and pull into a dashboard. For this exercise, I will connect to a List, in this case, I’m going to select my “Help Desk Tickets” list.
Here is the information that is going to be contained in my chart:
I provide some information to enhance how the chart will display the data and by which fields the data could be grouped by.
The final result looks like this:
You can change some of the properties or styles to get the result you’d like, but you can see it’s pretty easy to add a chart (or charts) to your site with a little configuration. We could look at Excel Services or BDC data in the future, but the concept is the same.