Does the following scenario sound familiar to you? You are a software developer and you are tasked with developing interactive (Gantt) charts to help your users better understand and work with your time-related, resource-oriented planning and scheduling data. You have already screened the market for some Gantt chart controls and finally have decided to test one or two. You have chosen one for downloading a trial version ... and now you are wondering how to start and how to achieve a meaningful Gantt chart as soon as possible. Of course, time is an issue and your boss is pushing for fast results.
This blog post is the first of a series of articles addressing software developers who are facing this challenge and who have decided on also testing our Gantt chart control VARCHART XGantt (either as .NET, ASP.NET or ActiveX version). Of course, we start with the obvious: how to install our component and get started with XGantt.
Case 1 - .NET or ASP.NET Edition of Gantt chart control VARCHART XGantt
To develop an application on the basis of .NET you need a development environment such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 upwards supporting the .NET framework 2.0 at least and being compatible with mixed-mode .NET components. Only the 32bit or 64bit (x64) editions of Windows from XP Service Pack 3 upwards can be used as operating system.
Case 2 - ActiveX Edition of Gantt chart control VARCHART XGantt
To develop an application using the VARCHART ActiveX control you will need a development environment that supports the integration of ActiveX controls such as Visual C++, Visual Basic, Visual Fox Pro, Delphi, Centura, Oracle Forms, Progress, and as operating system Microsoft Windows
Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.
If not done yet, download the Gantt chart control VARCHART XGantt from our website.Then please start the setup program and follow the instructions given there.
Case 1 - .NET or ASP.NET Edition
By default, the control and its associated files will be stored below the folder
c:\Program Files\NETRONIC (32bit-Windows) or
c:\Program Files (x86)\NETRONIC (64bit-Windows).
After the installation you should add the control to the toolbox of your respective developing environment.
See below how to proceed in Microsoft Visual Studio; other programming environments require similar procedures:
- In Visual Studio create a new project of the type Windows Application or ASP.NET Web Application. It doesn't matter which language you choose but please mind that the toolbox be visible. If it is not, click on View Toolbox.
- Open the context menu by a right mouse click on the toolbox and select Choose Items.
- By clicking on Browse of the .NET Framework Components tab you can choose the assembly NETRONIC.XGantt.dll from the installation directory. After confirming by OK the icon of VARCHART XGantt .NET / VARCHART XGantt ASP.NET will be added to the toolbox.
- Important for the users of Visual Studio 2010: Before dragging the control to the form, you have to change the target framework from .NET Framework Client Profile to .NET Framework 4 in the Application Settings (C#) or Advanced Compiler Settings (VB) since the former lacks the System.Design.dll, which is required by the property pages at design-time. If you don't change the framework, the following error message will pop up when you try to drag the control onto the form:
Case 2: ActiveX Gantt chart component
During the installation procedure, a reference of the VARCHART ActiveX component is registered in the Windows registry. You can run the registration yourself using the Windows system file regsvr32.exe:
c:\windows\system32\regsvr32 "c:\program files\varchart\xgantt\-vcgantt.ocx"
The specified paths certainly depend on the settings of your computer.
The installation procedure is logged to the file install.log allowing for tracing where files were copied.
The same file will be used for uninstalling. You can start the uninstalling procedure by selecting Start -> Settings -> Control Panel and then Add/Remove Programs.
You can remove the registration entry yourself by using the command
c:\windows\system32\regsvr32 -u "c:\program files\varchart\xgantt\-vcgantt.ocx"
For all XGantt installations: unattended installation
Alternatively, you can carry out an unattended installation of VARCHART XGantt. For this, please enter:
start/wait (NameOfTheSetupFile).exe /L1033 /s /V"/qn ADDLOCAL=ALL"
This call will start an installation running without user interactions and without status information being displayed on the screen. Please note:
- The invoking procedure, like a DOS box for instance, needs to be run with administrator privileges; otherwise a UAC message may appear requesting a user entry.
- Language parameters: /L1033: installation in English; /L1031: installation in German.
- Progress information: /qb: progress information will be displayed; /qn: no progress information will appear; in other words, you won't see anything on the screen.
‘Start/wait’ should be used in case the installation is run by a batch file or else the batch file will run on parallel to the installation.
The sample collection
Together with the VARCHART XGantt control, our "sample collection" will be installed. This happens automatically when installing the .NET and ActiveX Edition.
Please note: The sample collection has to get installed separately for the ASP.NET Edition
This sample collection provides a very good starting point for developers as it consists of some Gantt chart application templates including their source code. This means: You can take one of these templates, open the code and start from there. You can access the sample collection by clicking on the respective symbol on your desktop.
To run a sample, mark it in the list and click the according button . To view the source code or the current configuration of XGantt on the property pages, click . The source code can, however, always be viewed in text mode on the Source Code tab.
The samples are grouped. The first group Application Templates contains some Gantt chart templates for various use cases:
- Car Rental: Leasing orders for vehicles are scheduled and managed.
- Control Center 2: You can allocate production orders to grouped machines. The orders are stored in a Microsoft Access data base.
- Production Planning: A classic production planning template.
- Reservation Planner 2. Manage training rooms and trainers for seminars and have conflicts visualized graphically.
- Shift Plan: Assign different shifts to your employees.
The group Feature Samples presents some showcase features of XGantt.
The examples of the Live Update Samples illustrate how the consequences of a mouse interaction are being visualized immediately during the action and not only upon ending it.
Your next steps
Once you have identified the appropriate Gantt chart template to start with, you will need to begin coding on your own. We support you by providing a very comprehensive developer's manual, which we highly recommend to use. In addition to this, you can also download our free whitepaper offering 11 best practice tips including code snippets: