With Q3 2011 release of RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX, a new data visualization control becomes part of the suite – RadOrgChart.

As the name suggests, RadOrgChart’s purpose is to visualize hierarchical structures of organizations in a nice graphical chart.

Here is a quick peek in the First Look demo (It’s pretty nice with the Transparent skin, isn’t it?):

Main Features

Let us see what is under the hood – what are the major features this control brings with its first version.

Data Binding

All the standard Data Sources, used with other RadControls (or WebForms server controls in general) are available for RadOrgChart as well.

Supported are:

 XML Export & Import

Aside from the multiple supported Data Source types, RadOrgChart already provides (in ver. 1.0) Xml Export & Import. The scheme used aims at minimalistic serial representation of the structure and the data of the control.

Here are few helpful pages that you might want to browse-through:

Group-Enabled Binding

While the default binding (also called Simple) successfully manages to display a source of self-referenced data (every node in the hierarchical tree represents only 1 item of the structure), we have decided that this is not enough.

Behold, Group-Enabled Binding has arrived!

While the feature was originally planned for Q1 2012, we have put an extra effort to bring this option to our customers as early as possible.

The basic idea behind it, is simply binding to data which includes Groups of Items in the hierarchy.

The resources you can check, for this feature, are:

Smart & Flexible Rendering

We have aimed at designing a Semantic Rendering - RadOrgChart’s server-side object model perfectly maps to the rendered HTML.

Our team tried to make as many cases of using images, out-of-the-box for the users. Here is an article on managing images.

Grouping of Items is not sufficient enough when trying to make the chart a more compact presentation of a big structure – this is where the Column Count feature comes to play, giving the ability to break group representation on multiple lines. Here are the resources available for Column Count:

We took the time to make the rendering readable (and the hierarchy visible), even without loaded styles.

Although part of the rendering engine, there are a couple of features that deserve their own presentation section.

Three-Level Templates

The server-side object model of RadOrgChart roughly is OrgChart -> Node -> GroupItem (see the article on Nodes and Items). And these exactly are the different levels on which the OrgChart can be templated. Here is a nice article that explains how to make proper use of Templates. And this is how the Templates demo looks like:

RadOrgChart Templates Demo

Rendered Fields

We wanted to provide our customers with the ability to get more than a single line of text in the default rendering. That is why we designed an approach which enables you to dynamically specify fields to be rendered. This way data which cannot be a direct property of GroupItems such as Phone, Address, E-mail etc., can be automatically rendered only by specifying the custom Rendered Fields. The resources currently available regarding that are:

So, dear readers…

Please, keep in mind that this is only ver. 1.0 of RadOrgChart and there are many features and improvements to come.

Also, Q3 2011 brings another new exciting control you might want to check on - RadSocialShare.

We – the ASP.NET AJAX team, here at Telerik, hope, that you will be pleased and happy with Q3 2011 release.

About the Author

Iana Tsolova

is Product Manager at Telerik’s DevTools division. She joined the company back in the beginning of 2008 as a Support Officer and has since occupied various positions at Telerik, including Senior Support Officer, Team Lead at one of the ASP.NET AJAX teams and Technical Support Director. Iana’s main interests are web development, reading articles related to geography, wild nature and latest renewable energy technologies.

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