Scott Guthrie recently announced a *new* charting library for .Net 3.5 called Microsoft Charting Controls. These are currently available for both web and winforms. For those of you familiar with Dundas charting, you’ll notice that this looks strikingly similar to what they’ve been selling at premium prices for the last few years. Turns out that Microsoft has aquired Dundas’ data visualization technology and is including the toolkit as part of the framework! Having worked with the Dundas’ charting controls on past projects, I’m excited to see that it’s going to become more accessible. The hefty price tag Dundas was asking put it out of budget on some smaller projects but now it will become a first choice on many future projects.

From this press release, it sounds like the aquisition started last year and they’re just now starting to roll out the products, branded as Microsoft Chart Controls. For now, you can download the ASP.Net and Winforms charting controls for .Net 3.5 SP1, and they will be included in .Net 4.0. SQL Server 2008 will also be including the Dundas based charts in the new version of Reporting Services. Alex Gorev also mentioned that Microsoft will also be including the Gauges and Map controls eventually but does yet have a release date.

Judging from this post, you *should* be able to use the new Charting controls in ASP.Net MVC as well. But keep in mind that you may need to toy around with the charts to get them to work in an world without viewstate. From past experiences, running Dundas Charts without viewstate hasn’t been a big issue, but I’ve run into a few problems on complex charts where it took some creative workarounds.

For you Sharepoint folks, there’s a web part available on CodePlex.

kick it on