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.



30 thoughts on “6 excellent charting libraries for php

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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