Dundas Gauge for .NET is a nicely-implemented, feature-rich, and easy to use set of visual tools for tracking all kinds of data in real-time or on demand. At first glance, these might not look like much but they come with some very nice features. Pointers on the outside of the dial on a circular gauge may, for example, report min and max values for each sampling interval. Linear gauges can also sport some nice features, including a time stamp (as shown at lower right on image below), number of samples taken (again see bar gauge at bottom on image below), with historical min/max values showing. In addition to circular and linear gauges, the Dundas package also makes it easy to define and use various other types of indicators and gauges, including numeric read-outs that use standard text for output, or that simulate 7 or 14 segment LEDs.
There's even a Gauge Wizard that lets designers set style, appearance, layout and functionality for custom-built gauges without having to dig into the underlying code. The package permits all kinds of dashboards and combination gauges to be set up easily and integrated quickly into .NET projects; there's even a set of statistical analysis and data-driven functions that developers can call on including moving averages, min/max, value conversion, and event notification when thresholds are exceeded, or specific values encountered in an ongoing data stream.
Those who build applications that must report on real-time or period based measurements won't balk for a minute at the package pricing (which isn't cheap, but is a solid value for the functionality delivered). A version of Dundas Gauge for Windows Forms or ASP.NET costs $699 (covers a single developer for Forms, and one each developer, test server, and production server for ASP.NET). Annual support comes in the form of a yearly subscription that costs $349, if purchased separately (or renewed after initial purchase). Initial acquisition plus one year of support, if purchased as a bundle, costs $943, for a net savings of $105. Additional developer and server licenses (where applicable) cost more (contact the company through its Web site for more information).
To learn more about Dundas Gauge, to see some cool demos, or to grab an eval version, visit its product page.
Ed Tittel is a full-time writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security topics. E-mail Ed at email@example.com with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review.
This was first published in June 2005