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DataBind Charts to BigCommerce Data

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

    Below is a typical connection string:

    OAuthClientId=YourClientId; OAuthClientSecret=YourClientSecret; StoreId='YourStoreID'; CallbackURL='http://localhost:33333'InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH

    BigCommerce authentication is based on the standard OAuth flow. To authenticate, you must initially create an app via the Big Commerce developer platform where you can obtain an OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL. These three parameters will be set as connection properties to your driver.

    Additionally, in order to connect to your BigCommerce Store, you will need your StoreId. To find your Store Id please follow these steps:

    1. Log in to your BigCommerce account.
    2. From the Home Page, select Advanced Settings > API Accounts.
    3. Click Create API Account.
    4. A text box named API Path will appear on your screen.
    5. Inside you can see a URL of the following structure: https://api.bigcommerce.com/stores/{Store Id}/v3.
    6. As demonstrated above, your Store Id will be between the 'stores/' and '/v3' path paramters.
    7. Once you have retrieved your Store Id you can either click Cancel or proceed in creating an API Account in case you do not have one already.

    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 Customers 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 FirstName and the y-axis to LastName.

  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 BigCommerce data. Run the chart to display the current data.

Code Walk-through

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

  1. Connect to BigCommerce.
  2. Create the BigCommerceDataAdapter 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:

BigCommerceConnection conn = new BigCommerceConnection("OAuthClientId=YourClientId; OAuthClientSecret=YourClientSecret; StoreId='YourStoreID'; CallbackURL='http://localhost:33333'InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH"); BigCommerceCommand comm = new BigCommerceCommand("SELECT FirstName, LastName FROM Customers WHERE FirstName = 'Bob'", conn); BigCommerceDataAdapter da = new BigCommerceDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "FirstName"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "LastName"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();