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Software makes it on the charts

ChartWorks unveils a product that it hopes will enliven, using the Net, the otherwise cumbersome process of creating charts.

Chart management software company ChartWorks has unveiled a product that it hopes will enliven, by using the Internet, the otherwise cumbersome process of creating and deploying charts for businesses.

Called the ChartWorks System, the product consists of two programs, NetCharts 2.1 and ChartExpress 2.1, which address varying applications that use the Internet to present data. NetCharts is a Java-based charting package that is designed for HTML authors and Java script programmers. ChartExpress, on the other hand, is a program that helps users design charts without using HTML or Java programming.

As a package, the ChartWorks System allows different users to contribute to a chart's creation and design, since the draft is edited on a shared Web server. The designers choose the chart's graphical look and feel by selecting from a set of parameters.

Once the design is established, the data can be automatically updated once the user links the data source, through a URL, an SQL query, or a TCP/IP address, to the charting application. The program will then become dynamic when it is published on a Web site.

ChartWorks says its product is not aimed at any specific industry, but instead hopes to generate wide appeal among various industries, said Mike MacDonald, one of the product's original developers.

The price of the ChartWorks System, which includes both NetCharts and ChartExpress, will start at $1,595. The two programs will also be available separately for $995 and $695, respectively.

The ChartWorks System will be officially released on June 8.