Jason Beres from Infragistics stopped by Bank of America the other day to discuss our use of Infragistics. We discussed pain points, usage and adoption of WPF. During our discussion of WPF we shifted to Data Visualization within business applications. An interesting observation is that most business users want to see their data in Excel. Typically, internal LOB applications are similar to Outlook with navigation on the left and grids on the right. Double-click on a line in the grid and open the detail. What value does WPF bring to internal LOB applications if users are calcified with an Excel mindset?
One area we believed WPF will bring immediate benefit to LOB applications is visualizing data (a.k.a Reporting). As we discussed during the visit most reports are summaries, roll-ups, etc. and users eventually want the data in Excel. Instead of boring flat data in reports we could use WPF to easily provide a unique perspective to the data. Of course there are more interesting reports but I'm intentially being generic.
One example is a bubble chart. I couldn’t find a WPF example of a bubble chart. However, below are two examples of visualizing data in a non-column, non-Excel format. Yes, I know you don’t need WPF to do bubble charts. Yet, it would be a good demonstration of WPF’s capabilities.
Visio Insights blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/visio/archive/2007/02/09/make-your-own-bubble-chart-part-1.aspx
Video Google: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4237353244338529080&sourceid=searchfeed