sqlCharts is part of the admin and teacher portal versions of sqlReports Premium, which means it's only available as part of the sqlReports Subscription. It was added to sqlReports by Matt Freund and allows one to turn a sqlReport into a variety of charts without having to do any chart coding. Examples of the 25+ chart types available can be found here. The information below is based on a free chart report called Gender Breakdown by Grade Levels in the Enrollment Reports area of this site. The data is the screenshots below is fictional.
Creating a Chart
To create a chart, one just needs to have a sqlReport that has labels in the first column, and numbers in the second or third or more columns. A report with only two columns can create a single series chart, such as a pie chart, while a report with more than two columns can create multi-series charts. Below is the SQL for a report - it's doing a count of gender by grade level:
Here's the output as a regular sqlReport:
Once you know the report is returning valid data as a regular report like above, you can turn it into a chart by just checking a box in the setup area of the report:
Once the box is checked, the user will see the chart parameters page when they run the report. They will still see the page where they enter report parameters first, but once they click submit, instead of seeing a tabular report like in the second screenshot above, a page with chart parameters will appear:
The user can choose a chart type and change any of the other parameters. A chart will appear below those parameters once the Submit button is clicked. Here's an example of the MS Bar 2D chart:
The user could choose a different chart or change some parameters, and then click the Submit button again to get an updated chart. Below is an example of the MS Column 2D chart:
Once the user has the chart they want, they can copy the chart to the clipboard for use elsewhere. sqlCharts will check to see how many columns are being used, and if only two are being used, only show single series chart types:
The other parameters remain the same, but the charts to choose from will be just single series ones. If there are more than two columns, both multi and single series charts will be available, although the single series charts will only chart the first two columns. Here's an example of the SQL for just a count by grade level:
Here's the output as a Pie Chart:
Advantages to Using sqlCharts:
- No Need to Know How to Code Charts - once you have the working SQL in place, there's just a box to check to turn the output into a chart. All the user running the report has to do is pick the chart type and other parameters in order to create a chart.
- It's Available for Admins or Teachers - you can create charts for admins or teachers to use. Since it's part of sqlReports, it's available for them to view right in the portal - no need to install other programs for them to use or set up things like ODBC connections.