DataBind Charts to SAP Data

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Use the standard ADO.NET procedures for databinding to provide bidirectional access to SAP 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 facilitates two-way interaction with data through UI controls. Using the CData ADO.NET Provider for SAP streamlines the process of binding SAP data to Windows Forms and Web controls within Visual Studio. In this article, we will demonstrate using wizards to establish a binding between SAP data and a chart that dynamically updates. Additionally, the code walk-through section will guide you through the creation of a chart using just 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

To create a chart control and establish a connection to SAP, follow the steps outlined below using the Data Source Configuration Wizard. Within the wizard, you'll have the option to choose the specific SAP entities you wish to bind to.

  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 SAP Data Source.

    Below is a typical connection string:

    Host=sap.mydomain.com;User=EXT90033;Password=xxx;Client=800;System Number=09;ConnectionType=Classic;Location=C:/mysapschemafolder;

    You can connect to SAP systems using either librfc32.dll, librfc32u.dll, NetWeaver, or Web Services (SOAP). Set the ConnectionType connection property to CLASSIC (librfc32.dll), CLASSIC_UNICODE (librfc32u.dll), NETWEAVER, or SOAP.

    If you are using the SOAP interface, set the Client, RFCUrl, SystemNumber, User, and Password properties, under the Authentication section.

    Otherwise, set Host, User, Password, Client, and SystemNumber.

    Note: We do not distribute the librfc32.dll or other SAP assemblies. You must find them from your SAP installation and install them on your machine.

    For more information, see this guide on obtaining the connection properties needed to connect to any SAP system.

    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 MARA 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 MANDT and the y-axis to MBRSH.

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

Code Walk-through

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

  1. Connect to SAP.
  2. Create the SAPERPDataAdapter 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:

SAPERPConnection conn = new SAPERPConnection("Host=sap.mydomain.com;User=EXT90033;Password=xxx;Client=800;System Number=09;ConnectionType=Classic;Location=C:/mysapschemafolder;"); SAPERPCommand comm = new SAPERPCommand("SELECT MANDT, MBRSH FROM MARA", conn); SAPERPDataAdapter da = new SAPERPDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "MANDT"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "MBRSH"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();