Speaking the language of business intelligence with an Australian accent

Monday, December 1, 2008

Microcharts Visualizations Supported in SSRS 2005

Kudos to the Microcharts team who have just released a product fully supporting sparklines, bullet graphs and more within SSRS 2005. If you're a fan of Stephen Few's work and are longing for more efficient and effective data visualization options in SSRS (yes, including Dundas) then you might want to have a serious look at this technology. Naturally I'm wondering when they're going to support SSRS 2008. I'm sure they're working on it.

Early last year I managed to get some sparklines into a BSM and PPS CTP2 scorecard using one of the earlier versions of Microcharts. Since that time BonaVista Systems (the makers of Microcharts) was acquired by XLCubed. The original Microcharts used custom fonts to render its objects and hence I was able embed the resultant "text" in a scorecard to display the sparklines. As a result of some architectural changes Microcharts now uses images to produce their visualizations hence our ability to use them in a scorecard is not possible. Nonetheless, this image-based architecture now enables quite a few other potential opportunities that I hope to explore (and blog about) in the near future.

As a side note, the MC lead developer / architect, Andreas Lipphardt, maintains a data visualization blog that is well worth a subscription.

UPDATE (2 Dec 2008): Andreas has confirmed that they are working on a SSRS 2008 version (see comments). Apparently there is quite of lot of rework that needs to be done because of changes made to custom report items in the new release.

1 comment:

Andreas said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks for blogging about MicroCharts for SSRS 2005. Yes, you are right we are working on a version to support SSRS 2008. Unfortunately Custom Report Items for SSRS 2005 do not work on SSRS 2008 and we have to rewrite a lot of code to support SSRS 2008 Custom Report Items.

I will keep you posted on


Andreas Lipphardt