Charting Xcelsius

* Infommersion Xcelsius charting tool

A couple of issues ago I discussed a powerful charting tool for enhancing Web applications. Reader Adam Barry dropped me a note about another similar product: Xcelsius from Infommersion (see link below).

"I just recently came across [Xcelsius] ... Talk about nice graphs. Basically, Excel and XML data to interactive Flash graphs and widgets. Demos are really something. The price couldn't be better for a commercial app. It's absolutely perfect for an Executive Dashboard I'm building," Barry enthused.

He is exactly right. Xcelsius is really impressive. It is a stand-alone Windows application that requires a PC with at least a Pentium III processor, 128M bytes of RAM, Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP, and Microsoft Office 2000 or Office XP.

Xcelsius creates what Infommersion calls interactive reports in Flash format based on your Excel spreadsheets without programming. The tool provides 28 components including:

* Six chart types.

* Alerts so that charts and gauge colors can be changed according to data values.

* "One-click" export to PowerPoint and Outlook.

* The ability to import images as well as Macromedia Flash (SWF) files.

* The ability to save results of what-if analysis back to Excel.

The Professional Edition adds Dynamic Web Query - the ability to refresh the data presented from a URL that specifies a remote XML data source. Xcelsius helps you by generating a sample XML file that contains the XML structure, which the Flash file needs to properly refresh the data. However, you will need to do some Web development to build server-side code to create the XML content stream.

But check out the demos. They are awesome, and the concept of creating corporate business dashboards is definitely within the scope of Xcelsius.

Xcelsius Standard costs $195 and Xcelsius Professional $495.

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Infommersion

Xcelsius

User Guide and Reference

Xcelsius demos

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