SharePoint is quickly becoming a popular content management system that small to large companies around the globe use to share information. The information managed by a SharePoint server is almost always heterogeneous – users publish Office documents, create SharePoint lists, access data from diverse databases, use the SharePoint Business Data Catalog to provide a common interface to a large set of other data sources including web services etc.
The diversity of data sources makes it difficult for any organization to create or incorporate a solution that handles all types of data that comes from various origins in a consistent manner. The complexity of any such solution is further increased by the needs of the organization to be able to perform data analysis and be able to display the results graphically. To make it even more complex any such solution must provide a web-based configuration interface so that users with no technical experience should be able to configure it.
At the time of writing of this article there is no viable solution that can handle all these aspects directly in SharePoint environment. Nevron Chart for SharePoint aims to address this gap in the SharePoint data visualization space.
Functionally, pivot engines can be separated by the flexibility options they provide for grouping, filtering, sorting and extracting summary values. In its simplest form a pivot engine would provide row and column grouping by a field value, sorting on a single field value + single formula and summary values based on a single field + single formula.
For example: the pivot data analysis features of Excel are simple. For a table that has two columns – company and sales, you can display a pivot tablix that group the columns by company, sorts the columns in increasing/decreasing order based on the sum of sales and display the sum of sales as data values.
As the tables grew in size and diversity of information the need for pivot engines that perform more sophisticated queries emerged. The simple expression format represented by field + formula couples evolved to functional languages in which grouping, sorting, filtering and data values summaries are defined by formula based expressions. Furthermore the sophisticated pivots allow for multiple grouping expressions, sorting rules, filtering rules and summary values extracted on all possible levels of the data aggregation. This gives the IT professionals the needed flexibility to create reports and dashboards that are truly addressing the specificity of the data and extract valuable information quickly and easily – performing the same tasks from scratch is very hard, expensive or even impossible.
For example: the pivot data analysis in Reporting Services and other major reporting and BI providers are using formula based expressions, allow for summary values to be calculated at all levels of data aggregation (row and column data members etc.) and support multiple grouping, filtering and sorting rules.
Nevron Chart for SharePoint internally uses the Nevron Pivot engine. The Nevron pivot engine is functionally classified as advanced, since it uses formula based expressions, summary values can be calculated at all levels of the data aggregation and supports multiple grouping, filtering and sorting rules. The functional language of the Nevron pivot engine is advanced, since it offers a myriad of functions that help you deal with any type of numeric, date time, time span, boolean, text or array data. Many of the available pivot engines support aggregate functions (like SUM, AVERAGE etc.), but only a few support function chaining. Chain functions allow you to perform a series of data transformations prior to the data aggregation – for example suppose that you need to calculate the sum of the absolute values for a field – with the Nevron Pivot engine you can simply write =(SUM(ABS(Fields!sales)) – in this example the ABS function is a chain function.
Nevron Chart for SharePoint internally uses Nevron Chart for ASP.NET as a charting engine. Nevron Chart for ASP.NET is a fast, flexible, browser compatible and time tested solution that is trusted by many Fortune 500 companies. This charting engine is capable of displaying virtually any 2D and/or 3D chart and has a wealth of settings allowing the customization of all chart elements (series, axes, legends, titles, walls etc.).
Nevron Chart for ASP.NET is a product of Nevron's long and true commitment to charting technology.
Using a leading charting engine is not enough to display pivot charts. The specifics of the pivot data aggregation require the development of a pivot charting model that addresses them. Virtually all pivots, when processed are having the same structure – a hierarchically organized rows and columns with aggregated values at each level and a grid of data cells each holding aggregated values. The idea of a pivot engine invariant pivot charting model emerged in the development of the Nevron Chart for Reporting Services product.
The following images illustrate a simple pivot at design time and runtime:
Nevron Chart for Reporting Services enhances the charting abilities of SQL Server Reporting Services and handles the differences in the 2005 and 2008 editions by abstracting itself with a pivot engine invariant pivot charting model. Internally Nevron Chart for SharePoint uses this pivot charting model.
* For more details regarding Nevron Chart for SQL Server Reporting Services visit: Nevron Chart for SSRS
The benefits of such approach are clearly visible – you can streamline your pivot charting efforts at all levels of your organization – from SQL Server Reporting Services authors to SharePoint users and general WinForm – WebForm developers – they all receive the same quality pivot charting functionally for a diverse range of .NET platforms.
Any charting solution for SharePoint should clearly have a web based configuration interface. This makes it possible for all types of users to configure the chart visually and directly in the browser – which is the essence of any component of a web based CMS solution.
We hope that this document gives you more than one reason why you should be on the board of the most advanced charting technology available in SharePoint today. Do not take our word for granted - download the evaluation now and see for yourself how we can chart your data.
Founded in 1998, Nevron Software is a component vendor specialized in the development of premium presentation layer solutions for .NET based technologies. Today Nevron has established itself as the trusted partner worldwide for use in .NET LOB applications, SharePoint portals and Reporting solutions. Nevron technology is used by many Fortune 500 companies, large financial institutions, global IT consultancies, academic institutions, governments and non-profits.
For more information, visit: www.nevron.com.