6 excellent charting libraries for php


ico_stackedCharts are an indispensable part of any data visualization work. People can grok visual representation of data easily than a textual variety. Today there are a huge number of free chart libraries available to display visualizations on websites. Below is a small list of  some of the libraries available for displaying charts using php.

visifire

1. Visifire
output format: Silverlight
license: GPL 3.0 / Commercial

Visifire is a set of open source data visualization components – powered by Microsofts Silverlight technology. Visifire  can be used in both WPF & Silverlight applications. Using the same API, charts in both Silverlight & WPF environments can be created within minutes. Visifire is independent of server side technology. It can be used with ASP, ASP.Net, PHP, JSP, ColdFusion, Ruby on Rails or just simple HTML. The website also includes a chart designer for you yo play with. The components also support excellent animations.

Features:

  • Visually Stunning Animated Charts
  • Single API to both Silverlight & WPF
  • Embed into Desktop or Web Applications in minutes
  • Real time Charts / Live Update
  • Tiny footprint
  • Enterprise grade features
  • Microsoft Expression Blend compatible
  • Dual License – Open Source & Commercial

FusionCharts PHP Charts

2. FusionCharts – PHP Charts
Output Format:Interactive Chart / Image / PDF
License:Free / Commercial

FusionCharts is a client side charting solution. Most of PHP charting components are server-side charting libraries that generate only static images of charts and gauges without any interactivity but FusionCharts Suite XT isa good client-side solution that uses JavaScript to generate interactive charts, gauges and mapsin your PHP application or website.

Using FusionCharts PHP Classyou can connect to dynamic data sources (like JSON, XML, MySQL), produce the chart data, and generate the required HTML and JavaScript code, which can be easily embedded in any web page.

FusionChartsSuite XT can also connect to dynamic sources of data using server side scripts like ASP, ASP.NET C#, ASP.NET VB.NET, PHP, J2EE, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion etc.

Key Features:

  • The most comprehensive charting library with over 90 charts and 900 maps.Loved by 23,000 customers in 120 countries.
  • Rich interactivity – Tooltips, clickable legend keys, easy drill-down, effortless zooming and scrolling, and one-click chart export to JPG, PNG and PDF.
  • It works with all your web and mobile browsers, including even IE6.PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones or Android devices.

phpswf3. PHP/SWF Charts
output format: Flash
license:Free / Commercial

PHP/SWF Charts is a simple, yet powerful PHP tool to create attractive web charts and graphs from dynamic data.

Use PHP scripts to generate or gather the data from databases, then pass it to this tool to generate Flash (swf) charts and graphs. Any other scripting language (ASP, CFML, Perl, etc.) can be used with XML/SWF Charts (the XML version of the same tool.)

Some features:

  • Web charts and graphs from dynamic data
  • Live and interactive chart updates without reloading the web page
  • Clickable charts, and drill-down
  • Animated transitions
  • Printable charts
  • Simple and flexible chart generation
  • Quality Flash graphics
  • Supports PHP 3, 4, and 5
  • Supports unicode text to display special characters and any language

pchart4. pChart
output format: Image
license:GNU General Public License

pChart is a PHP class oriented framework designed to create visually appealing charts.  Data can be retrieved from SQL queries, CSV files, or manually provided. This project is still under development and new features or fix are made every week.

amcharts5. amCharts
output format: Flash / Image
license:Free / Commercial

One of my favorites. AmCharts is a toolbox of Flash charts for your websites. AmCharts can automatically extract data from simple CSV or XML files, or they can read dynamic data generated with PHP, .NET, Java, Ruby on Rails, Perl, ColdFusion, and many other programming languages.

Key features:

  • Animated or static
  • Value axis can be reversed
  • Linear or logarithmic value axis scale
  • Predefined or custom bullets
  • Custom description for any data point
  • Clickable columns/bars (can be used for drill-down charts)
  • Values can be converted to formatted durations
  • Gradient fills
  • Value indicator plug-in
  • Axis values inside the plot area

Common amCharts features:

  • Platform-independent
  • Can be exported as an image
  • Can be controlled via JavaScript
  • Settings and data can be passed directly from an HTML file
  • Custom image or Flash (animated) backgrounds
  • Unlimited labels
  • Rotated labels and axis values
  • Data can be automatically reloaded with a preset frequency
  • Format any balloon text

ezcomponent6. ezGraph component
output format: SVG / Image
license:BSD license

eZ components are an enterprise ready general purpose PHP components library by eZ systems. As a set of quality independent building blocks for PHP application development, eZ components help you speed up your php development.
The Graph component  enables you to create line, pie and bar charts. The output driver mechanism allows you to create different image types from each chart, and the available renderers make the chart output customizable from simple two-dimensional charts to beautiful three-dimensional data projections.

Update: 2014
Some recent additions include ChartLogix, a commercial PHP charting library that includes many commonly used data visualizations. The charting library is included in one self-contained PHP file, which makes it easier to use and embed in your applications.

This site is a digital habitat of Sameer Borate, a freelance web developer working in PHP, MySQL and WordPress. I also provide web scraping services, website design and development and integration of various Open Source API's. Contact me at metapix[at]gmail.com for any new project requirements and price quotes.

29 Responses

1

Anton

March 16th, 2009 at 4:11 am

Have you seen AnyChart? http://www.anychart.com
it works with PHP also
http://www.anychart.com/products/anychart/docs/platforms/php/

What do you think about it?

2

Jani Hartikainen

March 16th, 2009 at 4:48 am

Thanks for the list, I have a project coming which may require charting, so this comes in handy =)

sameer

March 16th, 2009 at 5:13 am

AnyChart does not provide a free version (Trial is available though), so it was not included.

4

Brent Wong

March 16th, 2009 at 10:58 am

Thanks. I will refer back to this list when I need charting tools.

5

Sameer Borate’s Blog: 6 excellent charting libraries for php : WebNetiques, LLC : Website Developers in Minneapolis, MN

March 16th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

[...] Borate has a new post today looking at six charting libraries he thinks are some of the most excellent offered [...]

6

Sameer Borate’s Blog: 6 excellent charting libraries for php : Dragonfly Networks

March 16th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

[...] Borate has a new post today looking at six charting libraries he thinks are some of the most excellent offered [...]

7

Dready92

March 17th, 2009 at 2:25 am

A charting library that is fun too, but client-side (javascript) : http://code.google.com/p/flot/
.

8

Brendon Kozlowski

March 17th, 2009 at 8:10 am

Out of curiosity, the bullet point that PHP/SWF Charts can support “printable charts” got me curious – where is this functionality, exactly? I was unable to find it on their site’s documentation. I prefer the fluidity of the Flash charts, but printing might be a requirement that would be necessary at a later time.

sameer

March 17th, 2009 at 8:56 am

10

Robert H

March 17th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Worth bookmarking. Tried all, would settle for Visifire. Not because it is mentioned first in the list. It’s very simple to use, even has advanced features that a chart seeker craves for.

11

steve

March 18th, 2009 at 7:55 am

There is a new, advanced free charting engine called Style Chart. Maybe you can take a look.

12

Christian Land

March 18th, 2009 at 9:15 am

Nice list but I won’t call most of them “charting libraries for PHP”. amCharts, Open Flash Charts, etc. are “just” Flash-Charting libraries that are useable with PHP. Otherwise you could add google Charts, Flot, etc., too as for most of them there are wrappers available for PHP.

But none the less thanks for compiling the list.

13

Stephen

March 18th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Have you looked at libchart, http://naku.dohcrew.com/libchart , I found it easier than Google Charts, JChart, etc.

The API and setup are so easy and excellent. It generates charts as png images hence you can export and save them

14

Kris

March 19th, 2009 at 3:45 am

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Its just started and we are collecting the best found on the net! We will be delighted to have you in the sweebs listings.

Regards
Kris

15

Kim Steinhaug

March 22nd, 2009 at 6:11 am

Great list, however I am surprised you missed php Chart Director, http://www.advsofteng.com/. Ive tried many different ones however this one is really great. It works on your backend and creates images so that you do not require JS or Flash to see the charts (and also makes caching of images possible). It has a comprehensive list of charts aswell, look at their demopage for full list. Did I mention the multi charts, you may mix all charts into one super-chart!

16

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March 27th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

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March 28th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

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18

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April 1st, 2009 at 1:17 pm

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19

Mouring

April 18th, 2009 at 8:45 am

You forgot http://www.fusioncharts.com/free/ which is a nice charting system as well. It is XML driven flash. And works well either standalone or via php or a bunch of other languages.

20

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22

Travver

May 25th, 2009 at 8:46 am

What do you think about Flycharts from http://flycharts.net? It works with php too. It also has version which is free for non-commercial use.

sameer

May 25th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Thanks for the update. Its a nice addition to the already listed packages.

24

benivolent

June 11th, 2009 at 2:41 am

This is very useful for php website development

25

Jonny

August 5th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Thanks, this is really useful. Another one I’m surprised you haven;t mentioned is ChartLogix at http://www.phpcharting.com

I used this on a project recently and it worked great. The learning curve is almost nil. It does not have all the features and different types of charts but what it does it does really well.

26

nadim

August 6th, 2009 at 2:56 am

Hello Sameer,

How could you miss jpGraph ? It’s among the oldest…

http://www.aditus.nu/jpgraph/

mohammad nadim attari

27

jozef

November 5th, 2009 at 8:27 am

+1 to nadim. IMHO jpgraph is the oldest and most famous one.

28

Izmir

April 20th, 2010 at 4:33 am

Thanks! And one more GREAT API, which runs under different platforms and is free for private use here (http://www.flycharts.net/)

29

Ten Links

November 30th, 2011 at 11:31 am

Great post, but what is the best non-flash version?

TL

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