Recently, I had to compare several charting toolkits. Amongst the charting toolkits out there, I found three different ones that suited my needs, so I put them through their paces. They were: JpGraph, OpenFlashChart and RaphealJS. Just to be clear why I left some toolkits out, here is a list of the requirements I used. The toolkit we end up using must be:
- freely redistributable. This will be incorporated into the GPLed iHRIS Suite so a proprietary license means we can’t ship charting with the software.
- look good. Who wants ugly charts?
- work on Internet Explorer 6 and above. There are a few toolkits out there that require <canvas< support and at least one does not support excanvas.
- currently maintained. Many nice charting projects haven’t been touched in two or more years. I’m willing to fix bugs if I need to, but I’d like to know that I’m not alone.
All three of the charting libraries that I tried fit this criteria. After putting the three toolkits through their paces (source included), which one did we ultimately choose? Right now, we’re going with RaphaelJS — we were using a Flash-based toolkit before and wanted to rid ourselves of that dependency, and, since our primary server target is Ubuntu, JpGraph’s lack of anti-aliasing with Ubuntu’s PHP GD library knocked it out. I’ll try to post an update if I come across anything new.