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Best Practices: Display Large Data

A chart's performance directly relates to how many points and elements it displays: fewer elements result in higher performance. This topic explains how to reduce the number of data points and enhance the chart's performance.

Expanded Data Aggregation

Data Aggregation groups raw data points into points with a larger argument measurement unit. When the Aggregation is enabled, the chart splits the x-axis into intervals (that the measurement unit value defines), and uses an aggregation function to automatically aggregate data for each interval:

Non-aggregated data Data aggregated by month

Expanded Loading Data

The following approaches reduce the time the chart control takes to load data:

  • Store all data points in as few series as possible. The Chart control is optimized to render a small number of series with many points, rather than a large number of series with a few points. For example, a single series with a million points is processed faster than 10 series with 100000 points each.

  • You can enclose the code that adds points in the ChartControlBase.BeginInit and ChartControlBase.EndInit methods' calls to avoid frequent chart updates:

  • The best way to add points to the series is to use a single operation instead of adding each point separately:

Expanded Automatic Calculations

The range, scale type, and layout's automatic calculations require additional resources.

  • Use the Range.SetMinMaxValues method to define an Axis.WholeRange's limits for x- and y-axes if the points' argument and value range are known. Refer to the Whole and Visual Ranges document for more information on axis ranges.

  • Set the ChartControlBase.AutoLayout property to false.

  • Define a scale type for series points' arguments if possible. For this, set the Series.ArgumentScaleType property to the ScaleType, ScaleType or ScaleType value depending on your data type. A chart should perform additional calculations to determine the actual scale type when ScaleType is used. Note that a chart achieves the best possible performance when it has the Numerical arguments' axis scale type. However, the DateTime scale type does not suffer from significant performance degradation. In comparison with them, the Qualitative scale type requires more resources to process data values.

Expanded Visual Elements

Follow the steps below to decrease the time needed to render a chart's visual elements:

Expanded Interactivity Optimization

The Selection and tooltips features require additional CPU and RAM resources and may decrease performance.

Expanded Changeable Data

This section contains tips to enhance performance when a chart shows a dataset that changes frequently.

  • Remove an existing point and add a new one instead to update the chart's data. The existing SeriesPoint (see SeriesPoint) argument/value change results in unnecessary calculations. For example, the SeriesPoint.Value property's change entails the chart content's update.

  • The Chart Control handles the following events to avoid to reload all data when the chart is bound to a dataset that updates frequently:

    • System.ComponentModel.IBindingList.ListChanged;

    • System.Collections.Specialized.INotifyCollectionChanged.CollectionChanged.

For this reason, use the IBindingList (see System.ComponentModel.IBindingList) and ObservableCollection<T> (see System.Collections.ObjectModel.ObservableCollection<T>) objects to provide data to the chart control when it should display data that updates frequently.

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