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Posted 12 Mar 2012

A Performance Meter Used In Call Center Software

, 12 Mar 2012
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How to make a performance meter that looks like the one in Windows Task Manager


Windows Task Manager has a nice performance meter control to show the current and historical data about CPU and memory usages. This kind of control is useful in many monitoring applications, such as the one used in our Call Center Software. We use it to meter several key factors, such as number of agents logged in, how many calls are currently active, and how are phone lines and agents are being utilized.

We want something similar to the performance meter in Windows Task Manager. It should have similar look and feel. Especially, the background grid should shift with data so it won't look static.

The result is the code we present here.

Creating the View Class

We use a CView derived class to show the drawing of the performance meter. Since all the drawing code are in the DrawPerf(CDC& dc, CRect rect) class method, you should be able to use the same code if you need to create a control class. For more information about creating a custom control class, please take a look at Chris Maunder's article Creating Custom Controls.

class CPerfMeterView : public CView
    virtual void OnDraw(CDC* pDC);
    // actual drawing code
    void DrawPerf(CDC& dc, CRect rect);
    void DrawPerfLeft(CDC& dc, CRect rect, const CString& reading, int r, int total);
    void DrawPerfRight(CDC& dc, CRect rect, int total);
    void DrawPerfDataLineChart(CDC& dc, CRect rect);
    CFont*    m_pFont;
    CPen    m_penDottedGreen;
    CPen    m_penSolidGreen;
    CPen    m_penSolidYellow;
    CPen    m_penSolidDarkGreen;
    int    m_leadingTick;
    UINT    m_perfTimerId;

To reduce flicker, we use a bitmap DC. Here we simply use the CMemDC class that is included in the MFC feature pack. The include file is "afxcontrolbarutil.h". If you are using older version of the VC++, you can check some of the projects posted here for flicker free drawing.

void CPerfMeterView::OnDraw(CDC* dc)
        // calc sizes
    CRect rcClient;
        // use a buffer to reduce flicker
    CMemDC memDC(*dc, this);
    if (! m_pFont)
        m_pFont = GetHeightFont("Tahoma", 12, memDC.GetDC());
    CFont* pOldFont = memDC.GetDC().SelectObject(m_pFont);
        // the actual drawing
    DrawPerf(memDC.GetDC(), rcClient);

Draw the Meter

The actual drawing of the performance meter is not difficult. Most of the code involves calculating the CRect for the drawing. The top level drawing code is in DrawPerf, which is invoked from OnDraw function. The background color is the system's COLOR_BTNFACE. This function simply call DrawPerfLeft and DrawPerfRight once it calculates the with for each meter.

void CPerfMeterView::DrawPerf(CDC& dc, CRect rect)
    CPerfMeterDoc* pDoc = GetDocument();
    if (! pDoc)
    if (! dc.IsPrinting())
        dc.FillSolidRect(rect, ::GetSysColor(COLOR_BTNFACE));
        // do not draw if it is too small  
    if (rect.Width() < 100 || rect.Height() < 60)
        // get the meter reading
    CString reading;
    int r, total;
    pDoc->GetMeterReading(reading, r, total);
        // draw the left hand side meter
    CRect lrect(rect);
    lrect.right = 100;
    DrawPerfLeft(dc, lrect, reading, r, total);
        // draw the right hand side historical data
    CRect rrect(rect);
    rrect.left = 101;
    if (rrect.Width() < 100)
    DrawPerfRight(dc, rrect, total);

The left meter contains a title, a metering box with bars showing the maximum of metering value (tota) and current reading r, using a solid green pen or a dotted green pen.

void CPerfMeterView::DrawPerfLeft(CDC& dc, CRect rect, const CString& reading, int r, int total)
 CPerfMeterDoc* pDoc = GetDocument();
 // draw title
 CRect titlerect(rect);
 titlerect.left += 10; += 4;
 titlerect.bottom += 16;
 dc.DrawText("Title", titlerect, DT_SINGLELINE | DT_TOP | DT_LEFT);
 // draw meter outer box
 // draw meter reading text
 // draw meter line graph
 CPen* pOldPen = dc.SelectObject(&m_penDottedGreen);
 draw_bars(dc, rect, middle, totalbars - rbars, 1);
 draw_bars(dc, rect, middle, rbars, 0);

The right meter is for drawing historical data. It contains a title and a line graph. Here we use a member variable m_leadingTick to keep track of how much to shift the background grid with each drawing. The grid is hardcode to be 12 pixels, and each shift is 1/6 of the grid unit.

void CPerfMeterView::DrawPerfRight(CDC& dc, CRect rect, int total)
 dc.DrawText("History", titlerect, DT_SINGLELINE | DT_TOP | DT_LEFT);
 // draw grid
 CPen* pOldPen = dc.SelectObject(&m_penSolidDarkGreen);
 int delta = 12;
 for (int i = rect.bottom - delta; i >; i = i - delta) {
  dc.MoveTo(rect.left, i);
  dc.LineTo(rect.right, i);
 for (int i = rect.right - (m_leadingTick * delta/6); i > rect.left; i = i - delta) {
  if (i == rect.right)
  dc.LineTo(i, rect.bottom);
 DrawPerfDataLineChart(dc, rect);

Getting Data

The view class calls the document class for current measurement data and historical data. For this sample, the actual data is generated randomly. The view class uses the following three methods.

class CPerfMeterDoc : public CDocument
    void UpdatePerfData();
    void GetMeterReading(CString& reading, int& r, int& total);
    BOOL GetPerfDataNext(int index, double& r);
        // sample data
    CArray<int>    m_perfs;

The GetMeterReading method is used in drawing the left meter. The GetPerfDataNext method is used to draw historical line graph.

void CPerfMeterView::DrawPerfDataLineChart(CDC& dc, CRect rect)
 while (drawIndex > rect.left) {
  double r;
  if (! pDoc->GetPerfDataNext(dataIndex, r))
  int v = rect.bottom - int (rect.Height() * r / 100);
  if (lastr < 0)
   dc.MoveTo(drawIndex, v);
   dc.LineTo(drawIndex, v);
  dc.LineTo(drawIndex - dataUnit, v);
  lastr = r;
  drawIndex -= dataUnit;

The Timer

The timer is used to refresh the data and meter. The current elapse time for the timer is 1 second. On each timer tick, the m_leadingTick is updated and the graph is invalidated for redraw.

void CPerfMeterView::OnTimer(UINT_PTR nIDEvent)
 if (nIDEvent == m_perfTimerId) {
  if (m_leadingTick++ >= 6)
   m_leadingTick = 0;
  CPerfMeterDoc* pDoc = GetDocument();
  if (pDoc)


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


About the Author

Voicent Support
Web Developer Voicent Communications, Inc
United States United States
Voicent provides easy-to-use call center software such as predictive dialer, IVR, IP PBX for businesses and organizations. We are Windows developers and love Codeproject.

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Comments and Discussions

SuggestionNice Code, Window design is quite clear Pin
sun mi Kang20-Mar-12 18:08
membersun mi Kang20-Mar-12 18:08 

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