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Professional Adobe® Flex® 3 by Joe Berkovitz, David Hassoun, Andrew Trice, Tom Sugden, Todd Prekaski, Jun Heider, Peter Ent, Joseph Balderson

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Chapter 36. Using the Charting Components

Most of us have heard the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words." Expressing complex data stories can be difficult, verbose, or even ineffective. The goal of data visualization is to negate that difficulty by describing the data story with graphics rather than words. Data visualization in the Flex framework is handled by the Flex charting components.

Although you can practice using the Flex charting components with the watermarked components available in Flex Builder Standard, you will need Flex Builder Professional if you want access to nonwatermarked charting components.

Understanding Charting

Before you can start using the charting components effectively, you need to understand the building blocks that make up the Flex charting components. Let's start by taking a look at how you can assign data to a chart.

Assigning Data to a Chart

Flex charting components work like many of the other Flex framework components when it comes to assigning data. The Flex charting components have a standard dataProvider property, which is meant to be bound to an ArrayCollection. We'll be discussing chart types in the next portion of this chapter, but long story short, there are different types of charts and they may require different data structures for the objects within the ArrayCollection.

The first chart type that we'll be discussing is an area chart. This type of chart uses a data structure similar to the majority of the chart types. Here is an example ...

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