Printed 2017/01/16 06:01AM

Powershell Charting with MS Chart Controls

By Chad Miller, 2009/07/09

Richard MacDonald's demonstrates using Microsoft Chart Controls with Powershell in his post, Charting with Powershell. The chart controls are free and work with standard Windows forms. Another nice thing is the ability data bind to any object that implements IEnumerable (arrays, hashes, data tables, etc.). This makes working with the charts particularly easy, just create a hashtable and bind it to the chart data series. Jeffery Snover provides us with a useful bit of code called ConvertTo-Hashtable which does what the name implies. Armed with this information, I thought it would interesting to take the concept of Powershell charting a few steps further and create a reusable charting library, called LibraryChart available on Poshcode. The library implements several features including:

To use the Library (Note: Requires .NET 3.5 framework):

Here are a few examples:

Create a column chart of process workingset information:

Get-Process | Sort-Object -Property WS | Select-Object Name,WS -Last 5  | out-chart -xField 'name' -yField 'WS'

Save the chart to a file instead of displaying:

Get-Process | Sort-Object -Property WS | Select-Object Name,WS -Last 5 | out-chart -xField 'name' -yField 'WS' -filename 'c:\users\u00\documents\process.png'

Get-Process | Sort-Object -Property WS | Select-Object Name,WS -Last 5  | out-chart -xField 'name' -yField 'WS' -chartType 'Pie'

Produce a real-time line chart of process working set by passing a scriptblock i.e. the Powershell command between the two curly brackets. (Image note shown):

out-chart -xField 'name' -yField 'WS' -scriptBlock {Get-Process | Sort-Object -Property WS | Select-Object Name,WS -Last 1} -chartType 'line'

I'm not entirely happy with the script (uses global variable, hash generation code repeated, pie and line chart appearance could be improved), so if anyone would like to take the charting library even further go for it!

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