This tutorial will show you how to successfully install and begin using Microsoft Chart Controls in Visual Studio.NET 2008 and .NET 3.5

Microsoft Chart Controls is a new implementation to the .NET Framework which allows us to easily render data in graphical form. Previously, we had to use third-party plug-ins to implement graphs and charts into our ASP.NET Web Applications, but now, Microsoft have introduced a native method. MSChart is not compatible with .NET 1.1 nor 2.0, and can only be used with .NET 3.5 and above.
To get started with MS Chart, you can download it free directly from Microsoft at the following web address:…lang=en

If you’ll be using Visual Studio also, you can download the free add-on directly from the following address:…lang=en
This add-on will allow us to add the MSChart control to our toolbox, and also provide the intellisense for MSChart.

Another useful link is for Samples of the Chart Controls:

Once you have downloaded the files above, install the first one (MSChart.exe) and then install the VS add-on second. This is because the add-on requires MSChart to be installed. Installations should be completed whilst Visual Studio.NET is not running.

Once installations are complete, you can start up Visual Studio and open or create a new project.
To add MSChart to the toolbox, right-click on any blank area and select Add Tab. Name it MS Chart, or something similar. Then right-click inside the new tab, and select Choose Items. After a few seconds, you will be prompted with the Choose Toolbox Items dialog box. Hit the Browse button and navigate to Program Files\Microsoft Chart Controls\Assemblies. We want to select the DataVisualization DLLs – there is one for Web Forms, and one for Windows Forms.

Once these have been added, you should see there is a Pointer and a Chart option, that was added. Now we are all set to start using Chart Controls from Microsoft.

However, before we can implement Charts in our applications, we need to prepare them. Because .NET 3.5 does not natively support MSChart (it was an add-on), we need to add two references to our Web.config file. The first, we will add inside the tags. Locate these tags and add the following reference:

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The second reference we need to add to the Web.config is within the tags. Locate this and add the following:

When adding a Chart Control to an ASPX page by dragging from the toolbox, you should notice the following assembly reference is added to the top of the page:

Finally, when referencing the Chart Controls in the codebehind, you should add the following using directive:

using System.Web.UI.DataVisualization.Charting;

Imports System.Web.UI.DataVisualization.Charting

Now you have the basis to implement MSChart into your Web Applications. Explore the easy way to add beautiful graphics to your data output.