In Design Studio 1.6, we are introducing a new type of charting component: Info Charts. Visually they are nearly identical to the old chart component, but their configuration is much more flexible. In this post I will give an overview of the component, how to configure it and what are its main features.
Info Charts are a new charting component that you will find under “Analytic Components” in Design Studio 1.6. The key difference between charts and Info Charts is the fact that Info Charts can be configured independently of the initial view. In the configuration dialog for Info Charts, dimensions from the data source are bound to specific areas of the chart. This means that if two dimensions are in the rows in the initial view, they can be displayed in different areas of the chart. This was not possible with charts in previous versions of Design Studio.
Other differences include:
- New chart types (bullet, trellis charts, combination charts)
- Missing chart types (waterfall planned to be added in a future release)
- Better integration with the Chart Type Picker
- More properties
An Info Chart component and its configuration dialog
Going forward, Info Charts will be the main charting component of Design Studio, and all new charting features will be available on Info Charts. The recommendation for customers is to use Info Charts when creating new dashboards in Design Studio 1.6. However, Charts will still be supported.
Configuring Info Charts
Creating an Info Chart requires the same steps as creating a Chart: dragging the component onto the canvas and assigning it a data source. Once the data source is assigned to the chart, a default configuration will be generated and a chart will be displayed.
To configure the Info Chart, click on the “Chart Configuration” property, where the chart type is displayed. In the Configure Chart dialog you can:
- Change the chart type
- Change where each dimension is assigned by dragging a dimension from one group to another. The available groups depend on the chart type. For instance, only a Trellis chart will have Trellis Rows and Trellis Columns available.
- Change where each measure is assigned. For instance, Value Axis 1 and Value Axis 2 for a dual axis chart.
Each change to the configuration will be reflected in the chart on the right of the dialog.
Configuring a Trellis Info Chart using the Configure Chart dialog
❗ Swap Axis is not a relevant property any more: Since dimensions are assigned directly to chart areas, the chart is not bound to the initial view any more. Moving a dimension from the columns to the rows will have no impact on an Info Chart. To change the look of an Info Chart at runtime, the recommendation is to use the Info Chart Feeding Panel component.
In no particular order, here are the main features of Info Charts. Some are copied from the Chart component.
Integration with Chart Type Picker and Info Chart Feeding Panel
Two components are meant to be used in parallel with Info Charts: the Chart Type Picker and the Info Chart Feeding Panel.
The Feeding Panel is a component that should be bound to an Info Chart via the properties. It allows you to configure the chart at runtime and change where the measures and dimensions are bound.
The Chart Type Picker works with both Charts and Info Charts. It will allow to change the type of the Info Chart. For Info Chart, it will automatically reflect which type is currently set.
An application with an Info Chart, a Feeding Panel and a Chart Type Picker
This feature is different from the Chart component. In Info Charts, only exceptions coming from the BW query will be displayed. They will display the exact same way they are in the crosstab. To enable conditional formatting, set the “Conditional Formatting Visible” property to true in the Info Chart properties.
An Info Chart component displaying the same conditional formatting as the crosstab
Similar to the Chart Component, the Info Charts have additional properties to configure the look and feel. The tabs are:
- General: allows to change the Info Chart title, background and padding
- Plot area: allows to configure the area where the shapes are drawn, for instance show/hide data labels, gridlines, etc.
- Axes: allows to configure each axis of an Info Chart
- Legend: allows to configure the legend area
- Data Series: allows to change the color palette and define which measures should be a bar or line for combination Info Charts
- Interaction: allows to configure tooltips and Info Chart selectability
Info Charts support the same scripting methods than the Chart component regarding selection and behave the same way: