Editor's ratingThe editor's rating is calculated based on the average of the following criteria, rated on a
scale of 1 of 5:
- Usage: 5
- Features: 5
- Interface: 4
- Customization: 5
- Help and support: 5
"FusionCharts XT stands unrivaled as an easy-to-use charting solution that makes data visualization on the web as comprehensive and elegant as it can get." - Ahmad Permessur, Editor - HotScripts.com
Pros and cons
- Nice aesthetic renderings of the charts.
- Works well with great chunks of data.
- Comes with great documentation with sample source code.
- Supports formatting for numbers and data.
- Includes a debug mode for troubleshooting.
- Has multilingual support for international characters.
- Charts can be exported and saved as image or PDF formats.
FusionCharts XT supports a wide range of chart types. From single series charts like columns, bar chart, and pie charts to multi-series and stacked charts, you have a great selection to choose from. Most of the charts can also be rendered in either 2-D or 3-D mode.
For this review, I took FusionCharts XT on a test drive and will review some key aspects that are indispensable to any online charting solution: implementation and usage, data binding and manipulation, chart rendering, customization, and finally interaction.
2. Data binding and manipulation — You can bind your data to FusionCharts in two ways — XML and JSON. If XML sends chills down your spine, let me reassure you that the XML schema used by FusionCharts XT is extremely straightforward and well-documented. To embed a chart in your page, all you need do is manually write the XML or JSON declarations. There's also a handy application that allows you to generate the XML either from a wizard or import from Excel, CSV, or HTML tables.
If your data originates from a database, you can leverage the FusionCharts XT API (available in several programming languages to avoid writing mundane code). The application also supports real-time data visualization from an external source. Finally, it easily supports a huge chunk of data points without bringing your page to a crawl.
3. Chart rendering — Over the years I've worked with a bunch of charting solutions, and I have to admit that FusionCharts XT makes chart rendering painless without making you dive into tons of configuration parameters. All you need do is select a chart type, plug in your data points, and let it do the magic. It takes an educated guess at rendering your chart as visually pleasing as possible, automatically calculating axes, scales and labeling positions. In this way, the product renders charts that abstract the data’s complexity while ensuring that they are as comprehensive as possible. Typical items such as setting tool tips, trend lines, and even highlights are well supported.
4. Customization — Almost every element on a chart can be customized and animated, including custom colors and fonts for your data series and labels. You can also specify a background image or add a hyperlinked logo. A lot of the data plot charts will animate by default, but with Flash charts, you can create your own animation.
One very useful customization feature is the ability to create your own style definitions for font, effects, and animation — think of it as CSS. After you declare your style, you can attach it to one or more objects. This creates a neat way of organizing your style from your data series and eliminating tons of inline style definition.
FusionCharts XT excels when it comes to support and documentation. It has a plethora of different chart examples with their XML or JSON codes, along with actual applications that illustrate integration with different programming languages. It also has an active forum with a wealth of questions and answers.
This is an editorial review; not a recommendation. All editorial reviews, some of which we may receive compensation to perform, express our objective findings and experiences with the specific product (including version) under review. The review expressed is of the editor only. Any product claim, statistic, or other representation should be verified with the provider.