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DataBind Charts to FreshBooks Data

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

    Below is a typical connection string:

    CompanyName=CData;Token=token;

    To connect to FreshBooks, you can set the CompanyName and Token connection properties. Alternatively, you can use the OAuth authentication standard.

    OAuth can be used to enable other users to access their own company data. To authenticate using OAuth, you will need to obtain the OAuthClientId and OAuthClientSecret by registering an app. See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

    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 Clients 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 Username and the y-axis to Credit.

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

Code Walk-through

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

  1. Connect to FreshBooks.
  2. Create the FreshBooksDataAdapter 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:

FreshBooksConnection conn = new FreshBooksConnection("CompanyName=CData;Token=token;"); FreshBooksCommand comm = new FreshBooksCommand("SELECT Username, Credit FROM Clients", conn); FreshBooksDataAdapter da = new FreshBooksDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "Username"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "Credit"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();