Fusion Charts for dashboarding

April 24, 2009 by: David Lai

fusion charts logo

I’ve been working alot with Fusion Charts lately and found that Fusion Charts is able to produce the Wow factor that most of the other big name dashboarding tools produce.

FusionCharts comes in a free version and a professional version. The free version comes with 18 charts however these charts are quite bland and I would recommend buying a license for the professional version since you are able to control many more aspects in the charts such as gradients, shadows, drilldowns, etc. In addition, the professional package comes with 45 charts.

To get started, you only need to know a simple amount of HTML and how to configure the FusionChart tags on your page. It doesn’t have the drag and drop GUI other tools such as Xcelsius have but for developers that have some programming background, this should be simple.


What I really like about FusionCharts is the amount of flexibility it provides for your application. FusionCharts just provides you with the chart component, so everything else on your application is totally customizable. Unlike other tools that produce a whole dashboard that you embed onto your page, you only need to generate the chart swfs wherever you want it on your application.

When using Xcelsius for example, it is very easy to produce a great looking dashboard quickly. However, embedding it to your existing application and connecting it to data produces problems. If you have an existing j2ee or .net web application, you can just add the code that constructs the data string that a Fusion Chart requires and then place the chart anywhere on the screen.

As of now FusionCharts has plugins for Visual Basic and Dreamweaver if you are interested in dragging and dropping Fusion Charts into your webpage or application.

Please take a look at the following link for an example dashboard produced using FusionCharts.

FusionCharts Demo

Basically for anything not related to charts, you can use whatever you want so this gives developers endless possiblities for choosing the type of dropdown menus, reports, widgets, etc on their application.

Finally, the pricing for Fusion Charts is very attractive. If you just want the charting package, it is only a one time licensing fee of $199 -> $1999 depending on what you intend to use Fusion charts for vs other dashboarding tools which go for $20k+ if you are an independant software vendor.

In conclusion, FusionCharts offers great flexibility and customization on your application, easy to connect data, and the ability to seamlessly embed charts into your application. The only drawback is that FusionCharts is geared towards technical users, but hey you have to be somewhat technical to proficiently use other dashboarding tools as well.

Comments

2 Responses to “Fusion Charts for dashboarding”
  1. farid says:

    Hai, David.
    I’m new in Pentaho Dashboard (CDF). When i using fusion flash chart plugin in CDF, everything on example is working well. But, i want to show Combination ChartType, e.g. MSColumnLine3D and add a trendlines. Where the definition or parameter written?
    Thank You

  2. antoine says:

    Hi David,

    Our company was facing the same need for dashborading tool. FusionCharts is awesome, but we needed something more Dasboard focused. With the help of google charting library, we built our own dashboarding tool.

    https://jolicharts.com/

    We launched Jolicharts for every one few month ago. It works fine on our application, and we are very happy with it.

    It’s an Saas solution, and you can try it freely online and see the power of our features as well as an easy interface for creating dashboards with drag’n drop, collaborate and share them.
    Even applying filters to show your colleagues only the info they need. For us, it’s a real advantage to be able to embed these dashboard quickly into our own application.

    It works fine for us, I hope it would do the same for you and respond to your needs!

    Cheers!

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