## MicroBoxPlot Part 1: Introduction

by Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 10:41am

In the previous post for our Micro Charts product (currently available for WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT XAML), we looked at various features of the MicroBulletGraph control. In today's post, we'll introduce a different type of chart with the new MicroBoxPlot control.

### Introduction

Box plots are excellent tools for creating charts that show statistical distribution in datasets. They are particularly useful for displaying distributions of a group in a compact way. This is good for creating charts that compare a group of data such as the performance of salespeople, heights of a group of people, temperatures along a latitude, and more.

This example shows how box plots can illustrate the distributions of salaries paid to employees based on how long the employee has been with the company.

### Box Plot Parts

Box plots are designed to display the statistical distribution of a dataset. They display a set of data through five major values: the lower whisker value, the lower quartile value, the median, the upper quartile, and the upper whisker value.

The median is the value found directly in the center of the data when it is sorted, meaning half of the data lies above it, and half lies below it. The median is displayed as a perpendicular line to the chart. The lower quartile is the median of the lower half of data, resulting in a quarter of the data being less than it, and three-quarters being greater. The upper quartile is the median of the higher half of data, resulting in three-quarters of the data being less than it, and a quarter being greater. The upper and lower quartiles define the edges of a box drawn on the chart, resulting in the middle half of the data being contained within the box. The whiskers are displayed as "T" bars that extend from the edges of the box to their respective values and are designed to hold the majority of the remaining data, leaving only the outliers outside.

In the example above all the parts of the control are displayed and labeled. The spacing between the different parts of the box plot help indicate the degree of spread in the data.

### Inter-Quartile Range Calculation Logic

The difference between the upper and lower quartiles is known as the Interquartile Range (IQR). The product of the IQR and the IQR multiplier (normally a value of 1.5) is then subtracted from the lower quartile value to get the lower whisker value and added to the upper quartile value to get the upper whisker value. The IQR multiplier can be set to any value greater than or equal to zero to customize the extent of the whiskers.

### Summary

The MicroBoxPlot control is currently available in the Micro Charts product, which ships in our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT XAML control sets.

In our next post of this series, we'll take a look at the minimum and maximum display values.

## Actipro Blog 2012 Q3 Posting Summary

by Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, October 1, 2012 at 8:15am

### What We Accomplished

This quarter featured several major releases, including 2012.2 versions of our WPF controls and Silverlight controls, along with our first set of UI controls for the WinRT/XAML (Windows 8 app) platform.

The WPF and Silverlight controls received new SyntaxEditor features like a navigable symbol selector control (similar to a type/member list), code snippet selection sessions, structure matching (bracket highlighting), and support for the latest C#/VB specs and improved resolver functionality in the .NET Languages Add-on.  Micro Charts on those platforms received new heat map, bullet graph, candlestick chart, and box plot controls.  WPF also gained a new Metro Light theme that is inspired from the latest Visual Studio and Office version appearances.

Our first offering of UI controls for .NET Windows 8 apps contains a full-featured version of our Micro Charts product.  We've put together a great sample project to show the charts' use in building dashboards, reports, and grids.  If you have Windows 8, download a free evaluation and check them out.

### What’s Coming Next

We are currently working in several areas.  First, we are developing another brand new product that will target WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML.  Second, we are adding more SyntaxEditor features and enhancements to other existing products.  Third, we are working on some more ports of our controls to WinRT/XAML.

### Blog Post List

Here is a quick categorized list of useful blog postings made in this quarter.

## Customer Showcase - Test Design Studio

by Bill Henning (Actipro) -
Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 2:06pm

Today I'd like to take some time to take a glimpse at an excellent product that is being constructed by Patterson Consulting, one of our long-time customers.  This application really shows off what kind of top-notch user interfaces you can create with Actipro's WPF controls and themes.

### Actipro Product and Feature Usage

Test Design Studio is currently written in WinForms and utilizes Actipro's WinForms controls.  The screenshot above shows their next major version, which is a WPF rewrite of the application with an updated appearance and new features.

Our Docking/MDI product implements the docking tool window and tabbed MDI interface, and our Ribbon product is used as the primary toolbar interface.  SyntaxEditor is used to provide a Visual Studio-like code editing experience.  Patterson even wrote custom syntax languages that have fully-automated IntelliPrompt, code outlining, and more.

And the theme is spectacular.  They took our new Metro theme (recently shipped in the 2012.2 version of our WPF Controls), tinted it a bit, and voila… the result is a modern-looking app that blends perfectly with Windows 8, and other tools like VS 2012 and Office 2013.

From Boyd Patterson, owner of Patterson Consulting:

Test Design Studio is an IDE for QuickTest® Professional scripts, VBScript files, Quality Center workflow scripts, WinRunner® scripts, and GUI Map files.

Our product focusing on bringing a rich development environment to our customers.  The challenges of achieving this product are great enough on their own, that we do not need to be burdened with core UI development.  Fortunately, Actipro Software provides many of the controls we need, so we can focus on building our product and not designing UI controls.

We have been working on a complete rewrite of the UI to use WPF technology, and Actipro Software controls have helped ease that burden.  Their Ribbon control provides a great replication of the infamous controls, and SyntaxEditor provides the editing horsepower we need to match the experience our customers demand.  Thanks to their application wide theme support, even the use of native controls look consistent with the rest of the UI.  Our new application is not yet complete, but we already have a great foundation and are excited to release this to our customers.

Details about the product (including the current WinForms version also powered by Actipro controls) are available at:  http://www.patterson-consulting.net/tds

Do you have an application powered by Actipro UI controls that you'd like to showcase on our blog?  Please contact us with a couple screens and a brief description so that we can discuss it.  We always love to see our customers' creations!

## WPF Controls 2012.2 Released

by Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:24am

WPF Controls 2012.2 has been released and is now available for download!  This version adds a number of new controls, some great new SyntaxEditor functionality, a new Metro light theme, and other theme updates.

Major new features are described below.  See the announcement post for the detailed list of enhancements and updates.

#### Bullet Graph

A bullet graph is a special kind of bar chart used to display a single value and make comparisons to one or more related values, such as last year's mark, a goal or target, or a projected future value.

Examples could include annual income or expenses data, sales data, and performance ratings data.

#### Box Plot

A box plot is a chart used to visualize major statistical values, such as the mean, median, and quartile values, of a data set. The mean and median can be shown as bars perpendicular to the chart. The upper and lower quartile values form the edges of a box that contains the middle half of the data.

The spacing between the different parts of the box plot help indicate the degree of spread in the data. Box Plots are particularly useful for displaying distributions of a group in a compact way. This is good for creating charts that compare a group of data such as the performance of salespeople, heights of a group of people, temperatures along a latitude, and more.

#### Candlestick Chart

Candlestick charts are used to visualize price movements over time, such as changing stock or currency values.  The edges of the box define the opening and closing values, with the wicks extending to the highest and lowest values reached.

The box is shaded differently depending on if the close was higher than the open.

#### IntelliPrompt Code Snippet Selection Session

In the 2011.2 version, we added code snippet template session functionality where snippets of code can be inserted into the editor.  The snippets may contain editable fields that the end user can tab between and modify.

In 2012.2, we've added a new code snippet selection session that allows an end user to display a popup containing all the available code snippets.

They can type in what they are looking for or can use the completion list as appropriate to locate a snippet.  Once a snippet is selected, a template session begins for it.

#### Structure Matchers

Structure matchers are a new language service added that allows a language to locate matching delimiter sets.  This is a feature that is harnessed by other SyntaxEditor editing functionality such as move/select to matching bracket and delimiter highlighting.  A built-in implementation is included that makes it easy to match common bracket pairs for a language.

#### Move/Select to Matching Bracket

When the caret is next to a delimiter that is part of a delimiter set (as identified by a structure matcher), the end user can choose to move or select the caret to the matching bracket via built-in edit actions.

#### Delimiter Highlighting

Delimiter highlighting checks the text next to the caret to see if it is part of a delimiter set (as identified by a structure matcher).  In cases where a delimiter is found, it and its related delimiters can be highlighted so that the end user can easily identify the code block.

This highlighting commonly includes brackets (parentheses, curly braces, etc.) but can also include more advanced highlights such as #if…#else…#endif blocks.

#### .NET Languages Add-on Support for C# 5.0 / VB 11.0 Syntax

The latest official C# 5.0 and Visual Basic 11.0 language specifications have added some new keywords and functionality to the languages.  Both languages add asynchronous procedure support (via async/await) and VB adds iterators.

The latest .NET Languages Add-on parser is set up to properly parse the new syntax, and the resolver is able to work with async results for supporting automated IntelliPrompt.

#### .NET Languages Add-on Resolver Improvements for Anonymous Function Results

The .NET Languages Add-on's resolver can now examine anonymous functions to try and derive the Type of their result.

This helps further improve the resolver's ability to provide accurate automated IntelliPrompt when working with LINQ and other scenarios.

#### New Metro Light Theme

A complete new theme for the Metro style appearance, inspired by the latest Visual Studio and Office versions, is included in 2012.2.  It is optional and is shipped in its own assembly, similar to our Office themes.

As with our other themes, you can activate native control theming so that all the controls in your app, whether they are the built-in Microsoft controls or Actipro controls, will render consistently and with a great new Metro-like appearance.

#### WindowChrome Class

We have a new chrome class that can be used to alter the appearance of any normal WPF window.  At the moment it's designed for use only when the new Metro Light theme is active, and has these features:

• Ability to convert any Window to use a custom chrome like above when the Metro theme is active.
• Window border color (when active) that matches the StatusBar color.
• Semi-transparent outer glow effect for window border.
• Window resizing via the outer glow effect area.
• StatusBar background, window border, and glow effect colors can all be changed based on app state.
• Full Aero snap support.
• Ability to render interop (WinForms, etc.) controls properly, even though transparency is used.

We plan on expanding the chrome class with more features in the future too.

#### Assets Added for Making Rounded Editors

We've added several new resource assets and updated all our themes so that it's possible to achieve rounded corners on any edit-related control, such as TextBox, SyntaxEditor, DateTimeEditBox, etc.

## Silverlight Controls 2012.2 Released

by Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:22am

Silverlight Studio 2012.2 has been released and is now available for download. This version adds a number of new controls and some great new SyntaxEditor functionality.

Major new features are described below.  See the announcement post for the detailed list of enhancements and updates.

#### Bullet Graph

A bullet graph is a special kind of bar chart used to display a single value and make comparisons to one or more related values, such as last year's mark, a goal or target, or a projected future value.

Examples could include annual income or expenses data, sales data, and performance ratings data.

#### Box Plot

A box plot is a chart used to visualize major statistical values, such as the mean, median, and quartile values, of a data set. The mean and median can be shown as bars perpendicular to the chart. The upper and lower quartile values form the edges of a box that contains the middle half of the data.

The spacing between the different parts of the box plot help indicate the degree of spread in the data. Box Plots are particularly useful for displaying distributions of a group in a compact way. This is good for creating charts that compare a group of data such as the performance of salespeople, heights of a group of people, temperatures along a latitude, and more.

#### Candlestick Chart

Candlestick charts are used to visualize price movements over time, such as changing stock or currency values.  The edges of the box define the opening and closing values, with the wicks extending to the highest and lowest values reached.

The box is shaded differently depending on if the close was higher than the open.

#### IntelliPrompt Code Snippet Selection Session

In the 2011.2 version, we added code snippet template session functionality where snippets of code can be inserted into the editor.  The snippets may contain editable fields that the end user can tab between and modify.

In 2012.2, we've added a new code snippet selection session that allows an end user to display a popup containing all the available code snippets.

They can type in what they are looking for or can use the completion list as appropriate to locate a snippet.  Once a snippet is selected, a template session begins for it.

#### Structure Matchers

Structure matchers are a new language service added that allows a language to locate matching delimiter sets.  This is a feature that is harnessed by other SyntaxEditor editing functionality such as move/select to matching bracket and delimiter highlighting.  A built-in implementation is included that makes it easy to match common bracket pairs for a language.

#### Move/Select to Matching Bracket

When the caret is next to a delimiter that is part of a delimiter set (as identified by a structure matcher), the end user can choose to move or select the caret to the matching bracket via built-in edit actions.

#### Delimiter Highlighting

Delimiter highlighting checks the text next to the caret to see if it is part of a delimiter set (as identified by a structure matcher).  In cases where a delimiter is found, it and its related delimiters can be highlighted so that the end user can easily identify the code block.

This highlighting commonly includes brackets (parentheses, curly braces, etc.) but can also include more advanced highlights such as #if…#else…#endif blocks.

#### .NET Languages Add-on Support for C# 5.0 / VB 11.0 Syntax

The latest official C# 5.0 and Visual Basic 11.0 language specifications have added some new keywords and functionality to the languages.  Both languages add asynchronous procedure support (via async/await) and VB adds iterators.

The latest .NET Languages Add-on parser is set up to properly parse the new syntax, and the resolver is able to work with async results for supporting automated IntelliPrompt.

#### .NET Languages Add-on Resolver Improvements for Anonymous Function Results

The .NET Languages Add-on's resolver can now examine anonymous functions to try and derive the Type of their result.

This helps further improve the resolver's ability to provide accurate automated IntelliPrompt when working with LINQ and other scenarios.