Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Stackify Blog, Nitin Donde, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

How To Give Your Web Applications A Facelift With WebCharts3D To Make It A Blockbuster

Give your Web app a facelift with WebCharts3D to make it a blockbuster

You can create a sophisticated application that implements complex algorithms, but in many cases you sell its GUI part to your users. The presentation layer of plain vanilla HTML/JSP-based Web applications is usually pretty basic unless you use specialized software. Today we are testing the charting engine WebCharts3D 5.0 from GreenPoint.

Let me introduce myself: I am a Java developer with basic JSP skills and a stopwatch on my desk. My task is to show you how you can create a Web page in less than 20 minutes that retrieves the sales data from an external data source and displays them as a chart using WebCharts3D.

To set the scene, I downloaded and installed the beta version of the Tomcat 5.5 servlet container from Apache (http://jakarta.apache.org/tomcat/). Actually, WebCharts3D comes with an embedded Web server that can be used for test purposes, but I decided to use a commercial-grade server. I've also created a plain comma-delimited sales_data file with the annual sales data in a cross-tab form:

John		2002	7171.30
Alex 2002 5921.00
Mary 2002 6273.00
Sam 2002 5092.00
John 2003 2980.30
Alex 2003 3928.00
Mary 2003 8905.00
Sam 2003 3093.90
John 2004 5095.30
Alex 2004 2000.00
Mary 2004 2870.00
Sam 2004 4900.90
I spent the next five minutes downloading and installing WebCharts3D 5.0 from www.gpoint.com.

Start WebCharts3D, and you'll see its Designer screen with a large variety of charts to choose from (some of them are shown in Figure 1). You can select one of the following: bar, pie, radar, dial, statistical, and Gantt charts.

Designing a Chart
Every chart consists of two parts: a style and a model (remember the MVC paradigm?). Internally, both style and model are generated in XML format.

For this demo I've selected one of the flavors of a 3D bar chart (it's the third icon in the first row in Figure 1). This opened the screen shown in Figure 2. On the right side you can modify multiple properties of the chart starting with colors to event processing.

To populate the chart with the data from our sales file just go to the XML Model tab, check the Crosstab box, press the button "Import From File" and select our sales_data file. You'll see the table with our data and XML with hard-code sales values. Switch to the tab Design again to make sure that the chart is populated with our data.

Since we don't want to create charts with hard-coded data, go to the tab CodeView, press the Options button, and select the model "Imported File" (for databases you'd select the model "Database Query"). The Designer immediately generates the JSP code as shown in Listing 1.

Please note that the line myChart.linkTo() points at my sales_data file as the data source.

You can immediately see how the chart will look in your Web browser. Let's launch the embedded server: select the Console tab at the bottom of the Designer's screen and press the Start button and wait a second for the message "Server Started on port 8802." To see your Sales chart just open your Web browser and enter the following URL: http://localhost:8802 as in Figure 3.

The next code snippet shows how you can get the data from a database using the JDBC-ODBC bridge:

Class.forName("sun.jdbc.odbc.JdbcOdbcDriver");
Connection dbConn = DriverManager.getConnection("jdbc:odbc:...",
"admin" , "User Password");
myChart.linkTo(dbConn,"select ProductName, Sales from Sales",false, false);

Note the links at the bottom of the screen in Figure 3. You've guessed it right! For example, press the PDF link, and see your chart in Adobe Acrobat Reader if you have it installed.

Flash and SVG-Animated Charts Some of the chart formats can be animated. To animate our sales chart using the Flash file format just select the SWF or SVG link while watching the chart in the embedded HTTP server (or set the chart type to SWF or SVG). You'll see how the bars start growing one after another. You can change their order of appearance by setting the Morphing attributes of your chart elements in the Designer. The charts can grow vertically or horizontally, you can add a blurring effect, and set the length and quality of your movie by playing with the framesCount and framesPerSecond properties. You can animate the entire chart or by row or by column. You can control the time of the animation, pauses between fazes, etc. If you want to get a "wow" from your users, add the animation to your charts.

Deploying the Sales Chart Under Tomcat
Just follow the simple steps below to deploy our chart under Tomcat (the process is literally the same in any J2EE-compliant servlet container):

  1. Copy ws50.jar into the WEB-INF\lib directory to make WebCharts3D-supporting classes available to Tomcat.
  2. Create the file getImage.jsp in the root directory of the Web server. This file is used internally to retrieve the generated image temporarily stored on the server. Go to Designer's File | Setup menu, select the Server tab and enter the application home directory, which in the case of a default Tomcat installation is C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 5.5\webapps\ROOT
  3. Restart Tomcat.
  4. In the Designer's CodeView tab press the Save button and save the generated code shown in Listing 1 in Tomcat's root directory as sales.jsp. In the real world you'd copy and paste this code into one of your existing JSPs.
  5. Point your browser at http://localhost:8080/sales.jsp and you'll see a screen as in Figure 4.
The yellow box is a cool feature called annotation - not to be confused with Java 5.0 annotations - that shows the underlying data as you move a mouse pointer over the chart. If you know Swing, it's similar to tooltips. Figure 4 shows the default annotation, but you can change the text the same way you'd change any other chart property.

The Web page is ready and my stopwatch shows that the entire process including the WebCharts installation took about 20 minutes. Of course, I've only demonstrated a small part of the WebCharts3D functionality, but the result is pretty impressive.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (3)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DX World Expo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 150 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.