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DataBind Charts to Azure Table Data

Use the standard ADO.NET procedures for databinding to provide bidirectional access to Azure Table 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 Azure Table to easily databind Azure Table data to Windows Forms and Web controls in Visual Studio. This article shows how to use wizards to databind Azure Table 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 Azure Table. In the wizard, you can select the Azure Table 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 Azure Table Data Source.

    Below is a typical connection string:

    AccessKey=myAccessKey;Account=myAccountName;

    Specify your AccessKey and your Account to connect. Set the Account property to the Storage Account Name and set AccessKey to one of the Access Keys. Either the Primary or Secondary Access Keys can be used. To obtain these values, navigate to the Storage Accounts blade in the Azure portal. You can obtain the access key by selecting your account and clicking Access Keys in the Settings section.

    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 NorthwindProducts 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 Name and the y-axis to Price.

  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 Azure Table data. Run the chart to display the current data.

Code Walk-through

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

  1. Connect to Azure Table.
  2. Create the AzureTablesDataAdapter 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:

AzureTablesConnection conn = new AzureTablesConnection("AccessKey=myAccessKey;Account=myAccountName;"); AzureTablesCommand comm = new AzureTablesCommand("SELECT Name, Price FROM NorthwindProducts", conn); AzureTablesDataAdapter da = new AzureTablesDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "Name"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "Price"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();