Skip to main content
RSS feed Subscribe to feed


How to Create a Shortcut Visualization

Shortcut visualizations, or configured visualizations, are base visualizations where the data dependent properties have been configured.


This topic describes how to create a shortcut visualization for Spotfire. It contains implementation details on how to turn a bar chart into a histogram.

Background Information
  • Creating a Visualization
    A visualization is a visual displaying data in Spotfire. A custom visualization defines a unique visualization, implementing model, view, and possibly using additional components.
  • Spotfire SDK\Examples\Extensions\SpotfireDeveloper.CustomVisualsExample
    The project contains the code of several visualizations. One is the SpotfireDeveloper.ConfiguredBarChart shortcut visualization.

Turning a bar chart into a histogram

Open the SpotfireDeveloper.CustomVisualsExample.csproj SDK project in Visual Studio®.


The purpose of the ConfiguredBarChart shortcut visualization in the SDK is to configure a bar bar chart to behave as a histogram. Still, a new visual must be registered in an add-in to make the shortcut visualization available in Spotfire:

public sealed class CustomVisualsAddIn : AddIn
    // Registers the custom visuals in the add-in.
    protected override void RegisterVisuals(AddIn.VisualRegistrar registrar)
        registrar.Register(new ConfiguredBarChartFactory());


The CustomVisualsIdentifiers contains type identifiers for the custom visuals. Add a type identifier for the configured bar chart:

public sealed class CustomVisualsIdentifiers : CustomTypeIdentifiers
    // Type identifier for the configured Bar Chart.
    public static readonly CustomTypeIdentifier ConfiguredBarChart =


A shortcut visualization inherits from the ConfiguredVisualFactory base class passing the visualization type as parameter. A number of parameters must be specified in a call to the base class: The visualization that the configured visualization is based on, the visual category, associated GUI icon, and associated licenses. The icon is a bitmap used to identify the configured bar chart in the Spotfire application menus. Include it in the .NET environment resources.

internal sealed class ConfiguredBarChartFactory : ConfiguredVisualFactory<BarChart>
    internal ConfiguredBarChartFactory()
        : base(
             VisualTypeIdentifiers.BarChart,                 // Type identifier for base visualization
             CustomVisualsIdentifiers.ConfiguredBarChart,    // New Type identifier
             VisualCategory.Visualization,                   // Visual category
             Properties.Resources.ConfiguredBarChartImage,   // Icon
             null)                                           // License
        // Empty

To configure data dependent properties, override the AutoConfigureCore method. First Data.Autoconfigure is used for the default data setup. Then the individual settings are configured to make the bar chart behave like a histogram:

protected override void AutoConfigureCore(BarChart visual)

  // Set default data table, filterings and marking
  visual.BarWidth = 100;
  visual.YAxis.Expression = "Count()";
  visual.ShowShadowBars = true;
  if (visual.Data.DataTableReference != null)
     foreach (DataColumn column in visual.Data.DataTableReference.Columns)
        // Find a numeric column
        if (column.Properties.DataType.IsNumeric)
           visual.XAxis.Expression = "BinByEvenIntervals(" + column.NameEscapedForExpression + ", 20)";