10 Useful Flash Components for Graphing Data

Apr 5 2009 by Jacob Gube | 29 Comments

Flash is an excellent technology for dealing with data visualization. It being client-side, it can reduce the amount of work your server has to perform in order to generate graphs and charts. Because of its robust ability in dealing with sleek and fluid animation and complex user interactivity, Flash is an excellent web and (and even desktop) application technology for dealing with graphing data.

In this article, you will find ten excellent Flash components that will help you in building stunningly attractive, complex, and interactive data visuals. These components will help you create an assortment of graphs and charts to aid in presenting otherwise boring and stale numerical data.

1. Open Flash Chart

Open Flash Chart Flash component screen shot.

Open Flash Chart is an open source Flash-based graphing and charting solution developed using ActionScript 3 and compiled using Flex. Open Flash Chart’s features include interactivity of your charts with tooltips, the ability to resize your charts client-side, and being able to save your graphs as images.

Its native data format is JSON, which makes it a breeze to work with for developers who know C-style language like Perl, Python, PHP, and of course, JavaScript. There’s some great Open Flash Chart tutorials to get you started right away.

Live Demonstrations: Open Flash Chart

2. XML/SWF Charts

XML/SWF Charts flash graphing component.

XML/SWF Charts is a powerful Flash component for creating interactive graphs and charts. With XML/SWF, you can use XML to describe the data you’re wishing to plot, making it easy to create dynamically-generated and easily-maintainable Flash charts (i.e. you need only to alter the XML file instead of having to use Adobe Flash application). Check out this basic tutorial to get you up and running right away with XML/SWF Charts.

XML/SWF Charts is free to download and use, and the Free license only has a few features unavailable to you, such no technical support. The Single License and Bulk License is $49 and $59, respectively.

Live Demonstrations: XML/SWF Charts

3. zxChart

zxChart Flash graphing component screen shot.

zxChart is a Flash component that allows you to create dynamic graphs and charts. It allows data input in numerous ways including static files (text files, XML) or via scripting (PHP, ASP, Perl, etc.). zxChart costs €35 (roughly $20).

4. amCharts

amCharts Flash graphing component screen shot.

amCharts is a set of excellent Flash graphing/charting components for your web-based data visualization needs. amCharts can take in data from static files such as CSV or XML, as well as from dynamically-generated data inputs using popular scripting languages like PHP, .NET, Java, and Ruby on Rails.

Live Demonstrations: amCharts

5. Fly Charts

Fly Charts flashing graphing component screen shot.

Fly Charts is a Flash component for graphing data. Fly Charts has an Online Wizard to help you quickly create your Flash charts, making it extremely accessible even to non-developers. Fly Charts has many outstanding features such as the ability to zoom into any section of a chart, the capability to become scrollable if the chart is too big, client-side interaction with JavaScript, and error-handling for missing data.

Fly Charts is available for free for private use but will contain a link to the Fly Charts website. Commercial-use and developer licenses range from $99 to $799.

Live Demonstrations: FlyCharts

6. AmiChart

AmiChart Flash graphing component.

AmiChart is an easy to use and user-friendly Flash-based graphing component that can create animated column, line, and pie charts. AmiChart is Microsoft Office friendly, offering you the ability to embed graphs and charts into your PowerPoint slides and use data copied from an Excel spreadsheet for your data inputs. You can also use CSV file for data input.

AmiChart has a 15-day free evaluation which gives you unfettered access to all its features. A single-user license costs $39.

Live Demonstrations: AmiChart

7. Black Box Chart

Black Box Chart flash graphing component.

Black Box Chart is a free Flash component for charting data on the web. Black Box Chart offers you an interactive solution for data visualization, clicking on data points of bar graphs outputs the data value. The Black Box Chart editor is a tool that you can use for creating and editing your charts using a graphical user interface (GUI).

Live Demonstrations: Black Box Chart

8. flashCharts

flashCharts Flash graphing component screen shot.

flashCharts is a set of five attractive, animated, and data-driven Flash components for use in the creation of dynamic, as well as static, charts. flashCharts components are designed specifically for developers or designers, so whatever your background, you’ll be able to use it. It’s lightweight, weighing in at only 12KB, and has an ActionScript API for easily working with your charts and graphs. The whole set costs $99, but you can buy some components separately starting at roughly $30.

Live Demonstration: flashCharts barchart

9. FusionCharts

FusionCharts Flash graphing component screen shot.

FusionCharts is an excellent Flash component for creating animated and interactive charts for the web or desktop applications. FusionCharts integrates with a lot of web technologies including PHP, ASP.NET, JSP, RoR and a bunch of other acronyms. With FusionCharts, you have access to over 45 types of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional charts. Check out the user showcase to see actual applications of FusionCharts.

There are five types of licenses for FusionCharts, and the price ranges from $69 for a user license all the way up to $1,999 for an enterprise license.

Live Demonstrations: FusionCharts

10. Origramy

Origramy Flash graphing component screen shot.

Origramy is a graph editor and viewer Flash component. You can use it to create complex and interactive graphs and charts for presenting data. Origramy is available free for private use but will contain a link to Origramy – commercial licenses start at $99.

Live Demonstrations: Origramy

What’s your graphing solution?

Do you deal with data visualization? What do you use and why? Have any experience with the Flash components above? Share your thoughts and opinions on this topic in the comments!

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29 Comments

Eric Miraglia

April 5th, 2009

YUI Charts is a free (BSD-licensed) Flash-based charting solution with a full JavaScript API:

http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/charts/

Eric Kaltman

April 5th, 2009

Flare Data Visualization for the Web:

http://flare.prefuse.org/

Open source (BSD) AS3 charting library.

Michael S. Scherotter

April 5th, 2009

The Silverlight Toolkit has some free, open source components for charting in Silverlight as well:
http://silverlight.codeplex.com

link

Claire Web

April 6th, 2009

Time saving stuff! I didn’t know this existed. Makes all the numbers look interesting, especially when doing presentations. I was just wondering if these can be done using data drawn from page visits from your website – just as an example, i know Google Analytics can quite do this, but it would be handy to know yourself. Does it update itself live?

Peter Evans

April 6th, 2009

Personally, I like open source software. I use Open Flash Charts and it works great.

Why should I be spending money on commercial components? Most of them charge $$$ just for some eye candy.

Max Stanworth

April 6th, 2009

Ive used 2. XML/SWF Charts on one of my projects, it worked really well with php and output in flash to generate some great graphs it was really easy to set up too.

Nice list

Varun

April 6th, 2009

We recently shifted to Open Flash Chart 2, and it is really very good with lots of options. Only downside is its bulky size (250KB swf file) along with no built-in preloader (because of which there is no indication to user that the swf file is being loaded).

steven

April 6th, 2009

Thanks for the list.

I used fusion charts. Drilldown charts are nice in that package, also it has a lot of features/functions, more than just eye candy.

Chazz

April 6th, 2009

For those of you who wish not to use Flash, This is a javascript based plotting library. got lots of features and other projects for visualizing data.

http://www.simile-widgets.org/timeplot/

Lee

April 6th, 2009

I’ve used http://www.degrafa.org/samples/ with decent luck. Some of the ones you list look cool too.

jlib

April 7th, 2009

@Michael S. Scherotter

If you are speaking of Silverlight Charts, I would definitely go with Visifire. No non sense charting.

Richard D.

April 7th, 2009

I like FlyCharts. It’s online wizard saved me much time

EngineHere

April 13th, 2009

Thanks for the post.
I only know (and recommend) XML/SWF Charts. I’ve used it together with ASP.NET in 2 projects. In both cases the XML for the charts is generated dynamically from a database. It also works nicely with Ajax inside an asp:UpdatePanel.

ilike2flash

June 11th, 2009

Thanks, these graphs are great.

vtstarin

June 19th, 2009

Hi
I line Open Flash Chart because of its openness.

This is another nice possibility of Open Flash Chart
http://demo.webasp.com.au/ofc-explorer-k.html

Extend Studio

July 16th, 2009

If you are looking to implement FusionCharts from Dreamweaver, there is also a Dreamweaver extension for this:

Dynamic animated Flash charts in Dreamweaver

Em

July 30th, 2009

Open Flash Charts is very good, and now with version 2 much easier to use. Glad to see it at number 1.

Jarrod.

September 14th, 2009

Thanks for the article and all the helpful comments! Some great libraries here.

SMiGL

December 21st, 2009

Nice collection!

Vlad

February 25th, 2010

Thanks for useful information! I like Flycharts – Two, three, … or even ten! charts on the same area and for one price!

FlashJuggler

April 24th, 2010

Great collection of free components and products. For developers of flash applications there are great. Thanks

David

April 24th, 2010

Cool post. I really like your idea and i think it would be useful for my projects.

sarkosyi

April 2nd, 2011

I love XML/SWF charts. unfortunately composite chart part is not working, it only show one chart. anybody can help me how? tx

Billy

April 8th, 2011

Hi I’m using Open Flash Charts 2 and I’m trying to add links to each bar in a bar chart. So far I’ve only managed to assign each bar the same link with $bar->set_on_click(‘http://google.com’); does anyone know how to add an individual link to each bar? Thanks

FlashDo

May 18th, 2011

Nice free item collection. I used fusion charts before. It’s very useful.

Erik Maas

May 24th, 2011

Please also check out SmartCharts on http://www.smartcharts.nl for a free flash dashboarding tool to create dashboards on the fly without any programming.

PPT

June 2nd, 2011

Thanks for posting. but i have a problem. how can i basic image slider making with flash? have a tutorial for it?..

Flasher

July 29th, 2011

Forgot to mention that his name is “Open Flash Grapix” are components documented in English and Spanish

———————————————————
These graphs are adaptable to the Web in any programming language that uses only HTML and a SWF object, supports and linear bar series and is fairly complete to hang on the Web simple statistical consultation has OpenSource GNU GPL can download that is completely free!

This is an example:
http://sourceforge.net/p/openflashgrapix/screenshot/SsGrapixLines.JPG
greetings

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