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Introducing New Data Analysis Controls for Silverlight

, 31 Mar 2011 CPOL
Get analytical processing features similar to Microsoft Excel Pivot tables and charts with ComponentOne OLAP for Silverlight. This suite of Microsoft® Silverlight® controls allow developers to deliver the same Excel-like functionality into their apps, and deliver powerful data analysis capabilities

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In March 2011, ComponentOne launched a new suite of data analysis components called OLAP for Silverlight. This suite of controls provides analytical processing features similar to those found in Microsoft Excel Pivot tables and charts. These controls allow developers to deliver the same Excel-like functionality into their Microsoft® Silverlight® applications and dashboards, and thus deliver powerful data analysis capabilities to the end user.

Learn more about OLAP for Silverlight | Demo OLAP for Silverlight | Download OLAP for Silverlight

How does OLAP for Silverlight work?

OLAP for Silverlight takes raw data in any format and provides an easy-to-use interface so end users can quickly and intuitively create summaries that display the data in different ways, uncovering trends and providing valuable insights interactively.

image001.jpg

The new controls center on a single control, the C1OlapPanel, which acts as the “OLAP Engine”. You can connect this panel to any standard Silverlight data set, such as a collection of business objects, and get instant summaries in the form of pivot grids and stacked charts using the C1OlapGrid and C1OlapChart controls. The other control in the suite is C1OlapPage, which combines all the controls into one user-friendly tabbed interface.

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Power to the End User

The controls provide a familiar, drag-and-drop UI for defining custom views at run time. End users may perform ad-hoc analysis by selecting any number of data fields they want to analyze and the ComponentOne OLAP controls do all the work summarizing the data.

See the controls in action. Check out a Live Demo.

This freedom to customize views gives the power to the end user. No longer do you, the developer, need to write code for each view the end user may want to see.

Writing a custom application to summarize data without OLAP for Silverlight requires extensive maintenance time to add new views and the end users are confined to only the views originally implemented. In a few months, they may want to see a different “slice” of the data and you would have to recode and redistribute the application. OLAP for Silverlight delivers a multitude of dynamic views without the need to write much code at all and eliminates “view-adding” maintenance entirely.

Users can even save views to analyze at a later time, or create printable reports based on their views.

Learn more about the features and benefits. Visit OLAP for Silverlight online.

Not interested in Silverlight? ComponentOne also offers the same controls for desktop applications; check out OLAP for WinForms.

Why use OLAP for Silverlight?

Typical OLAP tools include “OLAP Cubes” which take large data sets and summarize them by grouping records based on a set of criteria. OLAP tools allow users to redefine these grouping criteria dynamically (on-line), making it easy to perform ad-hoc analysis on the data and discover hidden patterns. For example, consider the following table:

image003.jpg

Now suppose you were asked to analyze this data and answer questions such as:

  • Are sales going up or down?
  • Which product is the most important to the company?

In order to answer these simple questions, you would need to summarize the data into pivot tables. For example, an OLAP cube might summarize sales data grouping it by product and date such as this:

Sales by Date and by Product

image004.jpg

Here, we can quickly and clearly see that sales are going down and that Product A is the most important to the company.

Each cell in the summary table represents several records in the original data source, where one or more value fields are summarized (totaled) and categorized based on the values of other fields (product and region in this case). This can be done easily in a spreadsheet, but the work is tedious, repetitive, and error-prone.

OLAP tools from ComponentOne allow users to define the views they want interactively. Any changes to the underlying data are reflected automatically. In short, OLAP is a tool that provides flexible and efficient data analysis. ComponentOne OLAP for Silverlight empowers you to deliver this in your own applications customized to your exact specification.

Get started at no cost. Download your trial of OLAP for Silverlight today!

Bonus: OLAP for Silverlight also includes ComponentOne Studio for Silverlight, a suite of 50+ UI components including advanced data visualization, editing, layout, and navigation controls.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Greg Lutz
Product Manager ComponentOne
United States United States
I am the ComponentOne product manager for Studio for WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone and WinRT XAML. You'll find me blogging about these awesome XAML technologies and speaking around the country at various code camps, techfests and tradeshows.

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