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FusionCharts XT uses XML or JSON data to render the charts. In both data formats, the data file (or string) consists of data to be rendered, chart settings and cosmetics.

In this section, we will explain XML data format of FusionCharts XT. XML is a simple and structured language, which is easy to read and understand. Given below are the basics of XML:

  • An XML document is a simple text file consisting of tags and data associated with them.
  • You can make up your own tags like <mytag></mytag> to store data
  • Every opening tag requires a matching closing tag like <name> requires </name>, for example, <name>John Doe</name>. If an element has no content, the opening and closing tags may be combined into a single "shortcut" tag such as <name/>.
  • XML tags are case-sensitive. So <name> should be closed with </name> and not </Name> or </NAME> or any other variant of the same.
  • You can define attributes for a tag to render more details, for example, <name isPetName='1'>John Doe</name>. Here isPetName is an attribute of the name element. In FusionCharts XT, we've four types of attributes:
    • Boolean - Attributes which can take a 0 or 1 value. Like <chart showLabels='1' >
    • Number - Attributes which take a numeric value. Like <chart yAxisMaxValue='200' >
    • String - Attributes which take a string value. Like <chart caption='My Chart' >
    • Hex Color Code - Attributes that take a hex color code (without #). Like <chart bgColor='FFFFDD' >
  • Special characters like ' (quote), " (double quote), % (percentage) etc are to be replaced by the XML converts. Like, the character " (double quote) in a string constant must be denoted as &quot;

There are a lot of properties that you can define for each chart type. However, it is not necessary to define all the attributes for a given chart. For example, if you do not want to change the default setting of the canvas (color, alpha, etc.), you do not need to define any attributes for the canvas - the default values will be assumed. Thus, each chart can be generated using minimal attributes without concern for finer details.

FusionCharts XT has a specific XML structure for each chart. Broadly, we define the XML structure into following types, depending on the chart type:

  • Single Series Charts
    Single Series Charts are those which depict only one set of data on the chart. Like, our previous example of Monthly sales summary was a single series chart, as we had just one dataset (that is, data for 1 year). In that chart, we were not comparing data between two datasets (e.g., monthly sales comparison between two or more years).
    Single series charts include Column 2D, Column 3D, Bar 2D, Line, Area 2D, Pie 2D, Pie 3D, Doughnut 2D, Doughnut 3D, Pareto 2D and Pareto 3D.
    XML for the single series chart is the simplest to understand, as you've already seen in the previous examples.
  • Multi-Series Charts
    Multi-series charts are used to compare two or more datasets like monthly comparison for two or more years. Under multi-series charts, we can define the following subcategories:
    • Standard Multi-series Charts
      The standard multi-series charts, like multi-series column, line, area etc., are used for straightforward comparison of various datasets on the chart.
    • Stacked Charts
      Stacked charts, like stacked column, area etc., are used to compare cumulative or grouped data, for example, monthly summary of sales on a chart. Say if we wanted to show which part of revenue came from products and which part from services, we can use the stacked column chart easily to depict the data. Each month will represent a data column and the column will be divided into two parts - one representing service and the other product.
    • Combination Charts
      Combination Charts are a combination of two or more charts or y-axes. There are two sub-types of combination charts:
      • Single Y-Axis Combination Chart - A single y-axis (called primary axis) is drawn on the chart, against which all data is plotted.
      • Dual Y-Axis Combination Chart - The chart assumes two y-axes (primary and secondary). Each axis can then plot multiple data-series against it.
    • Scroll charts
      Scroll charts are standard multi-series, combination, stacked charts with additional scrolling capabilities.

  • XY Plot Charts (Multi-series data)
    XY Plot Charts are charts where both the axes are numeric, like bubble and scatter chart. In bubble chart, a third dimension of data (size of bubble) is also represented.
  • Multi-series Stacked Charts
    In charts like multi-series stacked column and multi-series stacked column line combination charts, you have nested datasets which allow you to create multi-series stacked charts (i.e., cluster of stacked columns).
  • Zoom Line chart
    Zoom Line chart is an advanced chart that allows zooming, scrolling and pinning of data in the same chart. This chart can handle large sets of data including tens of thousands of points.