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Diagramming in the Browser

Web applications are built on a large number of technologies. That's why the yFiles product family comprises several solutions to help you add impressive diagramming capabilities to your web application.

For new development of diagramming applications that target the web browser, we recommend yFiles for HTML.

yFiles for HTML

yFiles for HTML offers fully interactive diagram viewing and editing support across HTML5-capable modern web browsers — no plugin required.

It features the diagramming canvas as a JavaScript component, client-side automatic layout, and an extensive API with touch support offering unlimited customization possibilities.

yFiles for HTML  

yFiles for Silverlight makes fully interactive diagram viewing and editing possible in Microsoft .NET framework projects.

It features the diagramming canvas as a Silverlight control, client-side automatic layout, and an extensive API offering endless customization possibilities.

yFiles FLEX makes fully interactive diagram viewing and editing possible in Flex-based Rich Internet Application (RIA) projects.

It features the diagramming canvas as a Flex component, both client-side and server-side automatic layout, and an extensive API offering a wealth of customization possibilities.

yFiles AJAX offers diagram viewing and interaction support across all modern web browsers — no plugin required.

Client-side features include the canvas as a Dojo widget and a comprehensive interaction API with touch support, while the bundled server-side Java component provides automatic layout and bitmap image and SVG generation.

 

Feature Comparison

The following table provides a comparison of the out-of-the-box features of our web products.

Feature yFiles for
HTML
yFiles for
Silverlight
yFiles FLEX yFiles AJAX
Nodes Create, Delete, Move, Resize
Custom Nodes Bitmap, Vector
Edges Create, Delete
Bends Create, Delete, Move
(1)
Node Labels Create, Edit
Edge Labels Create, Edit
(1)
Tooltips
Context Menu
Overview
Layout Client-Side
(2)
Server-Side
Animation
Pan Scroll Bar
Mouse Drag
Zoom Mouse Wheel
Marquee
Selection Marquee
Export Image
(3)
PDF
(4)
(5)
SVG
Load/Save
(6)
Printing
(1)Supported by Server API but not by Client API
(2)Requires yFiles FLEX Client Layout Extension
(3)Depends on the browser
(4)Requires yExport and yFiles for Java on the server
(5)Requires yExport
(6)Depends on the browser

Requirements

The minimum technical requirements for yFiles web products are as follows:

    yFiles for
HTML
yFiles for
Silverlight
yFiles FLEX yFiles AJAX
Client Plugin None Silverlight 5 Flash Player 10 None
Browser HTML5-capable browser with SVG support Plugin available for all major browsers and platforms. None(7)

Firefox 3.6

Internet Explorer 7 (SVG Mode requires IE 9)

Chrome 15

Safari 5.1.1

Server Server Environment - -

A servlet container such as Apache Tomcat 5.5 for Java Server Bundle

Microsoft IIS for .NET Server Bundle

A servlet container such as Apache Tomcat 5.5
Runtime Environment - -

J2RE 1.4.2 for Java Server Bundle

Microsoft .NET framework 3.5 for .NET Server Bundle

J2RE 1.4.2
Development Tools a JavaScript-capable IDE is recommended

Visual Studio 2012
or
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web

Flex SDK

Visual Studio is recommended with the .NET Server Bundle

Java SDK 1.4.2
(7) You can find information about the requirements for Flash Player on the Adobe website.

Advantages Comparison

If you are still unsure about which solution to use, consider their relative strengths:

Client Technology Advantages Disadvantages
yFiles for HTML HTML5 / JavaScript

No browser plugin required

Client-side layout calculation

Performance depends on JavaScript engines
yFiles for Silverlight Silverlight

Cross-platform, cross-browser development

Client-side layout calculation

Silverlight 4 plugin required
yFiles FLEX Flash Player

Cross-platform, cross-browser development

Complete client-side diagramming API

Both client-side and server-side layout calculation possible

Flash Player 10 plugin required
yFiles AJAX JavaScript / DOM

No browser plugin required

Good performance with large graphs

Restricted to web standard scripting/user interface design

Limited client-side editing support

Learn more about yFiles for HTML, yFiles for Silverlight, yFiles FLEX, and yFiles AJAX on their individual product pages.

Our powerful yFiles for Java library provides several options for creating diagrams for the Web: from simple image output, to adding diagramming to Java applets and Java Web Start applications.

Client Technology Advantages Disadvantages
yFiles for Java Java applet Access to the complete JDK and yFiles for Java API Dependent on a specific version of the Java plugin
Java Web Start Access to the complete JDK and yFiles for Java API Java Runtime Environment required
Image based No plugins required Limited interaction possibilities

For additional help in selecting a product, please contact our sales team.