php-RGraph - Howto Guide
This guide is should help to understand the structure of php-RGraph and give you some
advice howto use php-RGraph on your website.
This Guide has three sections
- structure of php-RGraph (this page)
- Using templates
- Using php-RGraph on your website
php-Graph you code your chart objects purely with php. We will now go
step by step showing what to do to make php-RGraph run on your site.
Installation of php-RGraph
Installation is straight forward. Once you have downloaded
installation file "php-rgraph.zip", unzip it and upload all folders and
files to your website into an accessible directory (or if you are using
XAMPP, copy the folders and files into accessible directory). "Accessible" means that you may
access all files via webserver (e.g. Apache) and browser. Please keep directory structure and naming
of php-RGraph (do not rename any folders).
Then check if you can access php-RGraph's documentation using url:
this is OK, you may read RGraph's reference and try out the provided
Structure of php-RGraph chart scripts
To give you an idea how all works, you should check some of the provided samples.
(please use url "http://your-host/your-install-directory/RGraph/doc/samples.html").
The samples page gives you the option to display a sample and see the php-code for
creating the sample. This code illustrates the structur of php-RGraph. A php chart script
always has this components:
- Define environment
- Define chart layout
- Define chart's data
- Define RGraph chart properties
- Build json object for RGraph
- Use template for rendering the chart (html creation)
Every chart script must know, where resources for charts are located. This is done
with embedding (including) script "environment.php". If this script does not work correctly
charts cannot be created. See the layout of "environment.php",
which shows what information is needed:
Note: Variable naming is important for using templates (...more about templates).
// php-Rgraph root directory
$rgraph_root = "/your-install-directory/RGraph";
// php-Rgraph library
$lib = $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . $rgraph_root . "/lib/rgraph_chart.php";
die ("Error: $lib not found");
// directory for templates
$templates = $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . $rgraph_root . "/templates/";
die ("Error: $templates not found");
$rgraph_libraries = $rgraph_root . "/libraries/";
// (optional) directory for Utilities
$utility = $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . $rgraph_root . '/lib/util.php';
Since version 2.1.1 of php-RGraph, all classes are integrated in namespaces, so it is necessary to define the namespaced classes in addition to include file "environment.php" with "use" instructions:
Define chart layout
With four lines of code you define major layout of you chart:
You define width ("$width") and ("height") of the canvas and what method
RGraph should use to draw the chart ("$draw_option"). And you must
specify what template is used for rendering the chart.
$template = "default.php";
$draw_option = "draw();";
$width = "500";
$height = "350";
Define chart's data
You may define chart's data coming from various sources:
php-class rgraph_chart has various methods to support you in providing data
for your chart. For more information see the reference guide or
have a look at the samples.
- define an array of numerical data direcly within your chart script
- retrieve data from file
- retrieve data from local or remote server
- retrieve data from MySql database
- retrieve data from csv file
- retrieve data from Google sheets
- generate data via math formula
Define RGraph chart properties
First step is to define a rgraph_chart object:
$chart = new rgraph_chart($id, $data, $type );
Once you have created a rgraph_chart object you may create a rgraph_options object and define chart properties.
- "$id" is required and will define the canvas id (e.g. "cvs").
- "$data" defines the data to be used for charts
- "$chart_type" sets the desired chart type (e.g. "Pie")
valid types are:
With optional parameter "$ini_file" you may specify an ini-file with pre-defined properties (e.g.
font-sizes, colors, font-families, ...etc).
$options = new rgraph_options($ini-file);
$options->set_option("title", "My first chart);
php-RGraph "knows" more than 500 different chart properties for almost all charts RGraph has offered.
php-class rgraph_options has various methods to support you in providing chart properties, for more information see the reference guide, have a look at the samples or
or visit the home of RGraph.
Build json object for RGraph
Once you have created the chart object and its properties you first
define the properties ($options object) to the chart object and then
create a json object to be used with RGraph:
$rgraph_json = $chart->toPrettyString();
Use template for rendering the chart
This is an easy task as the template's directory has been defined
with "environment.php" and the template name has been defined already.
So your code looks like:
Now you are ready to read more about templates...
include_once ($templates . $template);