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DataBind Charts to Twitter Data

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

    All tables require authentication. You can connect using your User and Password or OAuth. To authenticate using OAuth, you can use the embedded OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL or you can register an app to obtain your own.

    If you intend to communicate with Twitter only as the currently authenticated user, then you can obtain the OAuthAccessToken and OAuthAccessTokenSecret directly by registering an app.

    See the Getting Started chapter in 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 Tweets 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 From_User_Name and the y-axis to Retweet_Count.

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

Code Walk-through

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

  1. Connect to Twitter.
  2. Create the TwitterDataAdapter 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:

TwitterConnection conn = new TwitterConnection("InitiateOAuth=GETANDREFRESH"); TwitterCommand comm = new TwitterCommand("SELECT From_User_Name, Retweet_Count FROM Tweets", conn); TwitterDataAdapter da = new TwitterDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "From_User_Name"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "Retweet_Count"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();