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2009 September - F9 Group Marketing and Technology Blog

F9 Group Marketing and Technology Blog

Marketing, Technology, and current news at http://www.f9group.com/

Entries for September, 2009

Using Microsoft’s Chart Controls In An ASP.NET Application: Programmatically Generating Chart Images

The Microsoft Chart controls demos we have examined so far all use the Chart Web control to position the chart image on the web page and to configure a number of its stylistic settings. For example, while the Plotting Chart Data article showed several demos illustrating the different ways to specify the points to plot on the chart surface, all of these demos used a Chart Web control to indicate where on the page the chart should appear, along with its dimensions, its series, its chart areas, its colors, and so on. While the Chart Web control makes it easy to get started with the chart, it is not necessary. From the ASP.NET page’s code-behind class you can: programmatically create a Chart object; specify its width, height, colors, and other display-related properties; plot the charts data points through any of the mechanisms discussed in Plotting Chart Data ; and generate an image for the chart in a number of different image formats, saving the image data to a file or to a stream. Being able to programmatically configure the chart and generate the chart image is useful if you want to modify the chart image in some way before displaying it. Perhaps you want to add a watermark, or embed it inside a PDF file . Maybe you don’t want to display it at all, but instead want to send it as an attachment in an email, or save the image to the web server’s file system or to the database. Whatever the scenario, the good news is that the Microsoft Chart controls make it easy to programmatically create, customize, and generate the chart image. This article looks at how to programmatically create a chart. Specifically, we’ll see how to dynamically add a watermark to the generated chart image, as well as how to email the chart to a recipient. The demos in this installment do not use the Chart Web control at all; instead, the charts in these demos are created and rendered directly from the ASP.NET pages’ code-behind classes. Read on to learn more! Read More >

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Free Microsoft Software from WebsiteSpark

Microsoft has launched a new WebsiteSpark program for independent Web developers and companies that build Web applications and Web sites for others.  The program enables qualified developers to receive FREE software, support and business resources from Microsoft for three years.  The purpose is to help independent Web developers expand their business and build great Web Related posts: Free Developer Tools Microsoft to Share .NET Framework Code Microsoft Unveils Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0

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Using Microsoft’s Chart Controls In An ASP.NET Application: Sorting and Filtering Chart Data

The Microsoft Chart controls make it easy to take data – such as sales numbers, website traffic statistics, and so on – and turn it into a chart, which can be saved to an image file or displayed from a web page. In Plotting Chart Data we examined a myriad of ways to turn data into a chart, including: plotting the chart data point by point; binding data to the Chart’s Points collection; programmatically binding data structured data to the chart; and declaratively binding data using one of ASP.NET’s data source controls, such as the SqlDataSource or ObjectDataSource. Oftentimes, web pages that display charts include user interface elements that let the user filter or sort the plotted data. For example, when viewing a chart of expenses, the user may want to only show expenses between two dates, or may want to sort the expenses by category. One way to provide such functionality is to sort or filter the data before binding it to the chart. Alternatively, you can bind the original data to the chart and then instruct the Chart control to sort the data, or to apply a filter. This article shows how to use these sorting and filtering capabilities. Read on to learn more! Read More >

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Accessing Images On Flickr From An ASP.NET Website Using The Flickr.Net Library

Flickr is a popular photo-sharing website. Like many “Web 2.0″ and “social” websites, Flickr includes a programmatic interface through which other programs and websites can view and manage photos, comments, groups, tags, and other Flickr assets. I recently started work on a website that offers its users a customized homepage where they can upload pictures, enter biographical and contact information, and integrate with other social websites, such as Flickr. Specifically, a user can supply their Flickr screen name and have a random collection of their public photos in Flickr appear on their customized homepage. Flickr’s API includes a number of methods, such as flickr.people.findByUsername and flickr.photos.getInfo , which return information about a particular Flickr user and a particular photo, respectively. To call one of these methods you need to send a properly formatted message to the Flickr API URL, which returns the results in a specified format. Flickr’s API documentation provides all of the gory details

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Building Interactive User Interfaces with Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX: Triggering Full Page Postbacks From An UpdatePanel

The ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanel provides a quick and easy way to implement a snappier, AJAX-based user interface in an ASP.NET WebForm. In a nutshell, Web controls within the UpdatePanel that would normally cause a full page postback trigger a partial page postback, instead. For example, a Button Web control, when clicked, submits the form, causing the browser to start a full page postback. However, if the Button control is within an UpdatePanel then the UpdatePanel short-circuits the full page postback and performs a partial page postback, using JavaScript to make an HTTP request to the server. The server realizes that the request is a partial page postback (and not a full page postback) and only returns the markup for the UpdatePanels on the page. When this response is returned to the browser, JavaScript code parses it and seamlessly updates the user interfaces in the UpdatePanels. (For a more in-depth look at the UpdatePanel control, refer back to the Using the UpdatePanel installment in this article series.) While we usually want controls within the UpdatePanel to perform a partial page postback, there are scenarios where we need a full page postback

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