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DataBind Charts to Active Directory Data

Use the standard ADO.NET procedures for databinding to provide bidirectional access to Active Directory data from controls in the Visual Studio toolbox. This article demonstrates a graphical approach using wizards in Visual Studio, as well as how to databind with only a few lines of code.

DataBinding enables bidirectional access to data from UI controls. You can use the CData ADO.NET Provider for Active Directory to easily databind Active Directory data to Windows Forms and Web controls in Visual Studio. This article shows how to use wizards to databind Active Directory data to a chart that reflects any changes. The code walk-through section shows how to create a chart in 10 lines of code.

DataBind to a Chart

DataBinding consists of three steps: Instantiate the control, configure the data source, and databind.

Configure the Connection and Select Database Objects

Follow the procedure below to use the Data Source Configuration Wizard to create a chart control and the connection to Active Directory. In the wizard, you can select the Active Directory entities you want to databind.

  1. In a Windows Forms project, drag and drop a Chart control from the toolbox to the form. In the Data section of the Chart properties, select DataSource and then select Add Project Data Source from the menu.
  2. In the Data Source Configuration Wizard that appears, select Database -> Dataset.
  3. In the Choose Your Data Connection step, click New Connection.
  4. In the Add Connection dialog, click Change to select the CData Active Directory Data Source.

    Below is a typical connection string:

    User=cn=Bob F,ou=Employees,dc=Domain;Password=bob123;Server=10.0.1.2;Port=389;

    To establish a connection, set the following properties:

    • Valid User and Password credentials (e.g., Domain\BobF or cn=Bob F,ou=Employees,dc=Domain).
    • Server information, including the IP or host name of the Server, as well as the Port.
    • BaseDN: This will limit the scope of LDAP searches to the height of the distinguished name provided.

      Note: Specifying a narrow BaseDN may greatly increase performance; for example, cn=users,dc=domain will only return results contained within cn=users and its children.

    When you configure the connection, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  5. Choose the database objects you want to work with. This example uses the User table.

DataBind

After adding the data source and selecting database objects, you can bind the objects to the chart. This example assigns the x-axis to Id and the y-axis to LogonCount.

  1. In the Chart properties, click the button in the Series property to open the Series Collection Editor.
  2. In the Series properties, select the columns you want for the x- and y-axes: Select columns from the menu in the XValueMember and YValueMember properties.

The chart is now databound to the Active Directory data. Run the chart to display the current data.

Code Walk-through

DataBinding to Active Directory data requires only a few lines of code and can be completed in three easy steps.

  1. Connect to Active Directory.
  2. Create the ActiveDirectoryDataAdapter to execute the query and create a DataSet to be filled with its results.
  3. DataBind the result set to the chart.

Below is the complete code:

ActiveDirectoryConnection conn = new ActiveDirectoryConnection("User=cn=Bob F,ou=Employees,dc=Domain;Password=bob123;Server=10.0.1.2;Port=389;"); ActiveDirectoryCommand comm = new ActiveDirectoryCommand("SELECT Id, LogonCount FROM User", conn); ActiveDirectoryDataAdapter da = new ActiveDirectoryDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "Id"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "LogonCount"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();