In this article, I want to show you a number of useful JavaScript libraries and components for report applications, web reporting tools, or soft with reporting elements.

The development of any software is a very time-consuming and complex thing. Typically, applications consist of many different modules and components, the work of which must be interconnected so carefully, so it does not disrupt any processes.

So it turns out that it is necessary to develop several things simultaneously while correlating each of them depending on the new features of other parts of the project. This increases both the development time, the resources spent on it, and the complexity of the work. 

But in most cases, you will not be the first who needs, for example, a calendar or tables for a project, and most likely, someone has already created the library you need, and perhaps even more than one.

Components for report applications

When developing a functional and convenient web-based reporting and visualization tool it’s important to pay attention to all possible data visualization tools. There are plenty of them: 

  • charts, 
  • tables, 
  • pivots, 
  • maps, 
  • graphics, 
  • kanbans, 
  • calendars and more.

And you never know what exactly will be best for your user’s data. In addition, components can be divided into paid and free, open-source and non-open-source, universal or created for a specific framework like React or Vue. We can’t name you one suitable for any case, therefore, you will have to choose one that fits your project better. But what we can do – just review our favorite ones in several groups to make your choice a bit easier. Most of them are completely free and open-source, some have a free trial and several more advanced tools are commercial.


Charts

Charts are the iconic visualization that everyone should have. Simply because these figures are much more understandable and can extract insights from the data that you didn’t even know about.

Chart.js

Chart.js is an open-source and free web reporting tool on Github that enables you to use the HTML5 canvas feature. Easy to use and super flexible – you can extend, customize and enhance it in a lot of different ways. Define styling, legend, fonts, animation, and how the chart behaves.

The product has a large, strong community and was built from the hard work of a lot of contributors. Chart.js integrates with most modern technologies and has detailed documentation. Besides that:

  • 8 types of charts and graphs: Line, Linear with Areas, Bar, Pie, Radar, Polar, Bubble and Scatterplot (Scatter).
  • All types are responsive when working on the web and can be animated.
  • The functionality can be extended through the use of plugins.
  • IE11+ browser support.

It is suitable for those who do not need a wide variety of charts but want a simple and stylish app development tool.

amCharts

amCharts – is a high-level JavaScript library for interactive data visualization. It consists of many different types of charts, including interactive maps and Gantt charts.

Its main features are:

  • the ability to analyze data “in-depth” (drill-down) and other well-developed interactive options,
  • well-written documentation describing all the necessary methods,
  • awesome graphs animation,
  • integration with React, Angular, Vue, Ember and ready plugin for WordPress,
  • “Live” graphics, full customization, accessibility in accordance with W3C standards.

Apache ECharts

If you are looking for a free, super powerful visualization library, then Apache ECharts is your choice because it is one of the best JavaScript charting libraries. It’s based on zrender, which is a whole new lightweight canvas library. 

In fact, you just need to browse their page and see all the examples of what you can create. This is not the easiest library to work with – but if you need powerful, complex visualization, you are in the right place.

Apache ECharts provides more than 20 kinds of charts as well as maps and 3D charts, along with a dozen components, and each of them can be arbitrarily combined to use.

  • Easily switch between Canvas and SVG rendering.
  • Accessibility-Friendly.
  • Support data transforms like filtering, clustering, and regression to help analyze multi-dimensional data.
  • High performance
  • Powerful declarative API for customizing and theming charts
  • An active international community that contributes a wealth of third-party extensions.

According to the last point, there are a lot of forks on Github with different components based on this library. Take a look at this example for the Vue.js framework.

D3.js and C3.js

D3 is more like a framework that follows a data-driven approach to DOM manipulation than a library. Working with it is not so easy, especially at first. But in the end, using this library, you can create stunning original renderings and any graphics from scratch, making D3 a truly worthwhile tool. ,Plus there are tons of platforms and tutorials for exploring this library, such as Observable, etc.

Most of the other charter libraries are built on the D3. One of them is C3.js – a reusable chart library that makes it easy to generate D3-based charts by wrapping the code required to construct the entire chart. It’s quite a customizable library that provides a variety of APIs and callbacks to update the chart even after it’s rendered.

In addition, there are many components that are designed specifically for a particular framework and are sharpened for its features. Here is some for them:

  • React-vis – a special React visualization library,
  • visx – a collection of reusable low-level data visualization components based on React and D3,
  • vue-d3-network – Vue component to graph networks using d3-force,
  • nivo – a rich set of data visualization components, also built on top of D3 and React libraries.


Data tables

Tables are the minimal data structuring, which in fact is also a visualization. Tables are easier to read, easier to search in, and easier to display than charts or maps.

AG Grid

Ag-Grid is a convenient and functional JavaScript grid component. The internal mechanism is implemented in TypeScript with zero dependencies.

Many of the features greatly simplify the process of creating applications:

  • It works with all major frameworks and web platforms,
  • grouping data,
  • a large set of built-in filters,
  • the ability to create your own cell editors,
  • complex sorting of large databases,
  • real-time data update,
  • and lots of customization options.

w2ui

w2ui is a JavaScript UI Library for the Modern Web that is used for creating data-driven

web apps. It’s super lightweight (complete – 97 kb), has pixel-perfect design, modern look and is an all-in-one solution: consists of Grid, Forms, Toolbars, Layout, Sidebar, Tabs, Popup and various field controls. 

The library supports all major modern browsers and in the near future users are waiting for the release of Vue and React integration. For now the library requires jQuery dependencies. 


FancyGrid

A web grid library with server communication and charts integration. Also supports major frameworks of JavaScript.

Has lots of features, such as:

  • Paging, 
  • Sorting and filtering, 
  • Ajax and Files data, 
  • RESTful, 
  • Flexible CRUD, 
  • Integration with charts and modern frameworks,
  • Form module, 
  • Touch Support and others.

The smart modules system automatically detects as well as loads needed modules. Besides this large list, the library has great documentation and a lot of examples to examine the capabilities of FancyGrid to the fullest.


Pivot grids

Pivot tables are universal data analysis soldiers. No one works better than them with grouping and hierarchical data and does not help statistical calculations.

PivotTable.js

PivotJS depends on JQuery & JQuery UI and basically is a free open-source Javascript Pivot Table implementation with drag & drop functionality. The component is super simple but provides all the essential functionality that should be in pivot grids:

  • sorting and filtering,
  • slicing and dicing through data,
  • aggregating,
  • visualizing.

The last point is actually more interesting than you think because PivotJS has such a unique feature as ‘Table Bar Chart’ –  this option puts an appropriately skewed bar in each of the table cells, representing the value.

The beginning of work with this component is super-straight forward and informative documentation will help you to customize the pivot grid in your own way.

WebDataRocks

Our pivot table is also free, integrates with major modern frameworks and most third-party charts libraries. With this component, you can have a very quick start embedding the pivot into your project. At the same time you will receive all important features right out of the box:

  • filtering, sorting, and grouping,
  • drilling through and slicing the data,
  • customizing the look and feel of the grid,
  • number and conditional formatting,
  • user friendly UI,
  • convenient export and saving and others.

You can localize the component and translate it to your language, change the layout of reports, or customize the Toolbar and context menu – everything you need for insightful reporting and even more.

Orb.js

Orb.js is an interactive pivot table control and data analysis tool built with React.js. It’s not supported anymore, but is easy to start with and contains all the essential functionality, and has simple short documentation.

The main strengths of this library are:

  • drag & drop feature,
  • multiple data fields,
  • built-in theming,
  • customization with code or toolbar,
  • data cells aggregate & format functions.


Flexmonster Pivot Table & Charts

Flexmonster is an advanced commercial version of WebDataRocks. It has all the same functionality and a lot more. The pivot component also includes:

  • built-in pivot charts, 
  • expanded customization options for all parts of the pivot, 
  • integration not only with React and Angular, but also with Electron, Ionic, React Native and much more,
  • extended localizations (13 languages),
  • accessibility support,
  • large list of supported data sources such as MongoDB, Elasticsearch and Flexmonster Data Server,
  • Custom data source API for communication with your server.

The product is one of the most customizable pivot grids on the market: on the website you can view the extensive list of possible customization options and examples.


Calendars and kanbans

Сalendars and kanbans are mainly used to visualize and organize workflows, but they are also a very frequent request in the reporting software.

jKanban

jKanban is a simple component for creating and managing Kanban boards and organizing the workflow. The widget looks minimalistic and supports comfy drag & drop that makes it quite pleasant in the end-use.

The library provides the easiest possible API and informative documentation with several examples on Github. Despite the fact that it is a simple component – it is a useful thing that is fast in implementation, so pay attention to it, if you look for a quick solution.

DHTMLX Kanban

DHTMLX announced their own JavaScript Component for the project management apps. They combined slick Kanban and Gantt charts in one powerful project management solution.

Besides the ordinary kanban features the component will provide:

  • Rich Javascript API to control each aspect of UI/UX
  • Assigning tasks to a teammate
  • Tracking time and deadlines
  • Filtering and searching
  • Checklists
  • Comments
  • Swimlanes
  • Attachments to cards
  • Easy integration with Angular, React, and Vue.js


FullCalendar

This component is an open-source full-sized drag & drop JavaScript event calendar. Integrates with Vue, Angular, and React. The library is lightweight due to the usage of modular plugins and has more than 300 settings.

Also, FullCalendar suggests:

  • 7 built-in views and the ability to create your own with their APIs,
  • international localization and time zones,
  • accessibility and touch support,
  • and great extended documentation.

In addition to the above-mentioned web analytics reporting tools, there are such as ToastUI – JavaScript UI library and free open source project constantly managed by NHN. This is essentially a collection of components: there is already a calendar, table, charts, and even image editor. 


Final words

Вy combining these libraries, you can assemble your own project as a constructor or puzzle. Of course, each component has its own characteristics and limitations, but also provides many customization options and is flexible. And of course – no one bothers you to make your own add-ons and improve these technologies in the places you need. So go on and create more!

Also, we would love to know what you think about this list: maybe you have some other suggestions or cool products on your mind and stack? Share them with us!


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