Gantt controls reduce the developing effort and hence are mainly used when it comes to developing complex B2B planning and scheduling applications. Although the general concept of a Gantt chart is fairly simple, developing “industry-proof” Gantt chart functionality bears a relevant amount of complexity and sophistication. Hence, when evaluating various Gantt chart controls, developers should not only look for the obvious aspects of the Gantt chart. Questions like ease-of-use, scalability with ever growing user requirements, flexibility, calendar management etc. should get taken into account.
With this post, we share with you what our clients find very helpful when working with our Java Gantt control VARCHART JGantt. Maybe you will get some ideas about what functionality a control should offer when you are looking for a powerful Gantt component.
Bar Definition with Great Flexibility
The bars of the Gantt graph are the eye-catchers of the Java chart. The more flexible bars can be defined in terms of colors, forms, height, labelling etc., the more truly relevant information can be passed from application developer to planner by means of bars. Our customers appreciate the nearly unlimited ways of designing bars in VARCHART JGantt. The example shows three combined bars. An activity’s degree of completion is illustrated by a pre-set color as bar in the bar. A higher bar in the background illustrates the comparison between planned and real data.
Powerful Layout Functions for the Table Area
The table of a Gantt chart is an important information source for the planner as it visualizes, e.g., hierarchies with the help of tree views. Table fields are used to display relevant information such as start/end date, degree of completion, missed delivery dates by flag symbols and much more. However, the more fields and hierarchy levels are displayed in a table, the harder it will become for the user to grasp all information details at once. Flexible field definitions are hence essential for the Java Gantt application. Coloring, font types and flexible field attributes as are offered by VARCHART JGantt, allow creating a clear-cut overview even in the table area. The following example shows different hierarchy levels being optically separated by different colors. The group line is completed by two-colored fields to indicate actual start/end dates.
Individual Calendars for Different Groups
Planners often use different calendars. Machines, for instance, may work in different shifts or service intervals. Java Gantt controls should hence be able to take into account different work free periods in the Gantt application. In the example, calendars are assigned to certain groups. Machine 002 and presses 403 are shut down from Saturday to Sunday; machine 003 and presses 404 on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Gantt Below Gantt – if One Gantt is Not Enough
Find below a typical example of two Gantt charts positioned one below the other: The first Gantt visualizes orders that are not assigned, the second one shows machines and their planned orders. So the planner recognizes the free capacities of the machines and only has to drag and drop the not-assigned orders to the machines. The technology behind this is anything but simple. You have to be able to synchronously scroll both Gantts horizontally. The below is a great example of the value of a Gantt chart for visual production scheduling.
Want to learn more about important features of a Java Gantt Control when it comes to complex B2B scheduling applications? Please download our free eBook which highlighs 9 key features that a Gantt chart control should have when being used in mission-critical applications.