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DataBind Charts to SuiteCRM Data

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

    Below is a typical connection string:

    URL=http://mySuiteCRM.com;User=myUser;Password=myPassword;

    The User and Password properties must be set to valid SuiteCRM user credentials. Additionally, specify the URL to the SuiteCRM application, for example http://suite.crm.com.

    Note that retrieving SuiteCRM metadata can be expensive. It is advised that you store the metadata locally as described in the Caching Metadata section of the data provider help documentation.

    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 Accounts 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 Industry.

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

Code Walk-through

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

  1. Connect to SuiteCRM.
  2. Create the SuiteCRMDataAdapter 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:

SuiteCRMConnection conn = new SuiteCRMConnection("URL=http://mySuiteCRM.com;User=myUser;Password=myPassword;"); SuiteCRMCommand comm = new SuiteCRMCommand("SELECT Name, Industry FROM Accounts", conn); SuiteCRMDataAdapter da = new SuiteCRMDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "Name"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "Industry"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();