When an organization starts to develop a software application, the development team will always be tempted to create as much of the application as possible on their own. Frameworks such as AngularJS that provide great environments to build custom web applications encourage developers to create every aspect of an app on their own.
A logical next step after choosing a framework is to create good-looking graphs. By using libraries such as D3 or Highcharts, developers can now produce apps that are really gorgeous in a single day – apps that can create data visualizations like this beauty:
That’s nice, but hold on a moment.
You’ll eventually need to deploy your app, and that’s when you may find that doing it yourself is not the best idea.
Instead, it makes a lot of sense to use a dedicated visualization server.
Here are three reasons why.
1. You Need to Bind Data to a Chart
If you develop straight with graphic libraries, you need to manage the connection to your data for every single graph. This can quickly become difficult to manage, especially when you are using multiple data sources.
A dedicated visualization server manages the access to data for both on-demand and pre-generated viewing. It sounds obvious, but managed data access does have a huge impact on time to market, and brings you also flexibility and security.
2. You Want to Scale: The Next 50 Graphs
Imagine you made an application with 50 graphs and it’s a roaring success. Your boss walks in and tells you to add another 50 graphs. Now calculate how much effort that will take. Internal development will roughly double the time. A visualization server cuts the time by over 80% because you’ve already created a set of libraries to connect to data, apply a color theme, and/or set a master page.
Thinking ahead about how costs will evolve over time is never easy, but it’s important to do.
3. You Need to “Industrialize” Dynamic Charts
HTML5 charts bring some native interactivity, but you’ll find out pretty quickly that end-users expect a more personalized and interactive experience than they deliver. Interactivity can include anything from filtering to aggregation to drill-down functionality.
You can build that interactivity yourself, of course, but the more complex it gets, the more it makes sense to use a visualization server. You may not need a visualization server for that single graph you develop, but you need it to “industrialize” your processes and make those complex visualizations available to all of the users of your applications. Using an Off the Shelf visualization server lets you add features faster and spend less time on infrastructure, as illustrated in this chart.
That makes sense, doesn’t it?
And you might be surprised to discover how many APIs are available on a visualization server to truly embed with your application.
Look for a visualization server that fully supports white label applications, and is secure and ready to scale.