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Saturday
Mar082008

Google Charts API & Lotus Notes

If you havn't seen the Google Charts API then you should have a look. It really is a clever service that enables you for form a simple URL and the service will return a PNG image of the according chart. In forming the URL you simply add a series of parameters to define the chart format, colours, axis titles etc. You also pass your data set in the URL and wammo a cool looking chart is returned.

So I thought this was pretty neat as I was planning on implementing a Performance Scorecard type application in a Lotus Notes database. Basically I wanted to create a chart that a user could use to visually represent a KPI of billable hours vs hours available in a month. I was going to extend this to many more charts for different KPI's and was pretty excited at how easy to use the google charts api is.

However my plan has been thwarted!. Lotus Notes clients do not support png images! Yes I know amazing. You can import a PNG but this seems to convert it to a bmp. You can't refer to a png in an image tag to be viewed in a form or page for instance.

There seems to be a few SPR's logged with IBM on this topic:
SPR KSOA4CVSQG states that the Notes Browser does not support PNG files.
SPR MLAT5GSUAK states that a PNG does not display and has been closed as "not a bug".
SPR PBAO65AKFU is an enhancement request asking for future support of the PNG image format. Whenever opening a PMR to ask for PNG support refer to this SPR.

however it seems there is no immediate plan to support PNG.

So I thought I would post an idea on IdeaJam but found it is already there. So if you agree that this would be a good enhancement then please go vote for it.

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