As we already discussed, Flex has a lot of great controls baked right into it, including a chart control, an advanced grid control, accordions, layout managers, and a full set of basic controls. But even all of these might not satisfy your requirements. The good news is that there is a thriving community of open source and commercial groups building great components for Flex applications. This means you can build amazing applications without spending your time writing controls. This chapter provides a brief tour of some of these off-the-shelf controls.
ILOG Visualization Products has developed a set of extremely powerful data visualization controls designed specifically for Flex. The ILOG Elixir toolkit (http://www.ilog.com/products/elixir/) contains a complete set of 2D and 3D graph types, all of which allow you to create effects-based transitions that will make you look like a superstar. Included in the toolkit are ready-to-use schedule displays, map displays, dials, gauges, 3D and radar charts, Gantt charts, a treemap chart, and organization charts.
Figure 7-1 shows a 3D graph built using ILOG Elixir.
You can use the Flex controls on the right to adjust the ILOG graph to your taste. Source code is provided so that you can copy and paste the graphing code directly into your application.