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2D/3D Line Graph Documentation

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Direct Database Connection

The servlet form of the graphing software provides a method by which the graphing function can bind directly to a database.

Method Outline
The graphing <IMG> tag is added to an html page but rather than supplying a "data" parameter for the servlet a "dataDB" parameter is specified. The dataDB parameter points to a file which contains the database connection details (DB name, Username and Password) and an SQL Statement for each series of data.

At page view time the Servlet reads the database file info, connects to the database, extracts the data, constructs the graph image and incorporates into the HTML page - thus a real-time graph is generated at page view time.

Note: This method may only be applied to the Servlet form of the graphing software.

To implement this method perform the following 5 steps,

  1. Construct the Database info file
  2. Set Up the Configuration Data
  3. Construct the HTML Page
  4. Upload the Database Info file, HTML page to your web server
  5. Add the graphing class files to your Servlet Engine


Step 1 - Construct the Database info file
The database info file contains both the information necessary to create a connection to the database and the SQL statements to execute in order to retrieve the data values.

Database Connection Info
There are 4 pieces of info required to make the Database Connection which are specified by the following parameters,


Database: - This is the database connection path and name.
eg. If you have a MySQL database called Sales you may have,

Database: jdbc:mysql://localhost/Sales

Driver: This is the location of the JDBC Driver for your database system. In order for the graphing servlet to connect to your database it is vital that you have the correct JDBC driver set up and configured for you system. For further information on JDBC database drivers please click here.

User: The username which the graphing servlet will use to connect to the database

Password: The database password for the Username specified.


Series SQL Statements
For each series of data an SQL Statement should be specified. The graph servlet will execute each statement and take the first data item of each record returned as the value for that data item. For instance if you have a table which holds monthly sales figures for 2 products X and Y then your statements may look like,

series1: Select Value from SalesBar where Year=2004 and Product='X' ORDER BY Month

series2: Select Value from SalesBar where Year=2004 and Product='Y' ORDER BY Month

If 6 records are returned for each record set this would mean that there are 6 bars for each series of data.


For a template Database Info file please click here.


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Step 2 - Set up the Configuration data.

The servlet will read all the configuration parameters from a specified file.

The "../../line_graph/Documentation/lineprops.txt" file contained in the Documentation directory is an example file containing the configuration data ( click here to view the example file ). As you will see from the example file each property is specified on a name, value basis.

Adjust the property values to specify the characteristics of the line graph and then place this file in the same directory as your web page.

For a full description of each property please see the "Configuration Options and Parameters".


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Step 3- Construct the HTML Page

The next step is to incorporate the graph into your HTML page. This is done via the standard html <IMG> tag.

<img src="[ServletEngineURL]/LineGraphServlet?
dataDB=[DBinfo file path]"
width="500" height="420">


[ServletEngineURL] should be replaced with the url for your servlet engine. If running ServletRunner on your local machine this would be, http://localhost:8080/servlet/

[URLconfigFile] should be replaced with the URL to either a Configuration file or server side process.

[DBinfo file path] should be replaced with the file path to the location Database info file. The database info file should be placed in a secure directory on your web server. ie. one which isn't accessible by the general user population.
(Remember this file contains your database logon details !)


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Step 4- Upload the Database Info file, config file and HTML Page to your web server.
Upload both the HTML Page (step 3) and Config File (Step 2) to your web server

Upload the Database Info file (created in Step 1) to the directory specified in the "dataDB" parameter of the <IMG> tag created in step 2.

For reasons of Database security it is important that the directory in which you place the database info file is not a Web Directory - but rather a secure directory of which only system administrators etc have access.
(Remember this file contains your database logon details !)

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Step 5 - Add the graphing class files to your Servlet Engine.
The final step is to install the graphing class files in your Servlet Engine.

Place the following class files and the 'encoder' directory in your Servlet Engine's class file directory. For Tomcat this is usually /WEB-INF/classes/ and for the default setup of the JSDK environment this is the /examples/ directory.


(these classes & directory can be found in the Servlet directory ).

For further Information on this please see the following section in the Documentation

Implementing the Servlet

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