Google graphing tool outgrows sheltered childhood

Previously, the Visualization API could create graphs only from data stored on Google Spreadsheets. Now it can use any online data source, including Excel.

A Google visualization tool that converts raw numeric data into charts, graphs, tables, maps, and plots has outgrown its initial ties to the company's online spreadsheet application.

The Google Visualization API (application programming interface) previously could construct the graphics only from data stored on Google Spreadsheets. Now any Web-based data source, including databases and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, can be used, Google said.

Google made the announcement in conjunction with Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference Monday. Salesforce.com is adding its own new tools and technology atop the interface so its customers can more easily employ the visualization feature. For example, the tools can be used to create new customized dashboard-like monitoring and control panels.

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