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Beautiful Interactive Custom Charts

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By Matt Petrowsky

FileMaker does data, and it does it well - and easily. What FileMaker doesn't do "as" well is data visualization. This isn't because it couldn't. It's because they just haven't been able to focus on it as much. Sure, you can format portals, use repeating fields and use conditional formatting for all kinds of display magic, but you won't realize the same results as you could with a tool or language built specifically for data visualization.

In my humble opinion, they shouldn't work too hard on this either. This is because we have access to technology which provides far more than FileMaker ever can. FileMaker took ages before it had an integrated charting feature. Before that, you had to use a plugin and eventually you could use a remote API through a web viewer.

FileMaker has made a lot of progress with regards to the usability of its charting tool too. It's a great tool for basic data display.

However, when you need to go beyond the constraints of FileMaker's charting tool, the place you'll end up is within the web viewer. Granted, you'll need to shrug off any fear of learning HTML/CSS/JavaScript, but the benefits are well worth the journey.

In this video, I showcase how easy it is to integrate the very powerful JavaScript library D3. It's a power-user's tool which takes full advantage of everything that HTML/CSS/SVG has to offer. Within a world where data visualization is becoming a common form of data communication, this one video provides the first step of many towards taking advantage of some very powerful tools!



External links

D3 JavaScript Library D3 Examples by Mike Bostock

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