How to create charts for market data in WPF?

Are there any charting controls provided by microsoft or you need to use only third party controls?

Which are the popular third party charting controls used predominantly by banks?


I used SciChart and was happy with it. This is extremely rich charting library ($500 per licence; \$1000 with source code).

A premium UI library. I haven't tried Infragistics charts particularly, but I'm sure they are as much perfect as their other controls (grids, ribbons etc).

SciChart vs Infragistics Chart. I should add that Infragistics are mostly concentrated on the overall usability and esthetics of the charts while SciChart focuses on functionality and performance.

SciChart vs VisiBlox. The comparison between SciChart and Visiblox says that SciChart is 30%-250% faster.

Unsafe code in SciChart. SciChart uses unsafe code to write to bitmap in the fastest possible way. Once we were developing the app for Bloomberg Store we had to use WPF Toolkit instead because Bloomberg didn't allow unsafe calls.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you so much for the valuable inputs. How about the performance and flexibility of use to the end user? What I mean by flexibility of use to user is: Can the user easily change the format of the chart and do his own customization. Also to consider the non stop chart action, no/minimal pauses on the running charts. Sorry, new to charting so trying to find the best option, pardon me if asking too many questions in one go.(Want to thank you and all the guys here. I don't know whether someone will edit and remove my greetings.) $\endgroup$ – Rajesh Patil Jan 22 '13 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ SciChart is quite flexible and extensible. You can use 3rd party XAML themes with it. Performance is high. $\endgroup$ – IharS Jan 22 '13 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ Gave myself sometime to think and voila SciChart looks promising for me too. Also will try my hands on Visiblox, Did you guys get a chance to work on VisiBlox? Or any do you have any feedback on VisiBlox? Again Thank you IharS for spending your precious time to answer my question(call it a doubt plz). $\endgroup$ – Rajesh Patil Jan 22 '13 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. I haven't used Visibox, but googled interesting performance comparison: abtsoftware.co.uk/News/tabid/93/articleType/ArticleView/…. They say SciChart is 30%-250% faster... $\endgroup$ – IharS Jan 22 '13 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ @IharS, well pretty much every commercial charting vendor offers WinForms charting libraries. There are in fact so many that it prompted me to ask exactly the question I asked. But thanks for your comments. I really like what I have seen re SciCharts so far. $\endgroup$ – Matthias Wolf Jan 23 '13 at 9:10

Definitely check out SciChart, which is a commercial WPF stock chart control built with financial & scientific users in mind. There is a review posted here and here.

SciChart supports

  • Candlestick, OHLC
  • Line, Step-Line
  • Mountain, Column
  • Scatter
  • Band series (High Low Fill)
  • Annotations such as line, arrow, trendline, custom buy or sell markers
  • Composite annotations such as Fibonacci Retracement, Fib Extension
  • Multi-paned stock charts charts / shared mouse events across charts
  • XAxis Scrollbars for stock charts

WPF Chart Types provided by SciChart

  • 3D Surface plots as well as 2D Charts
  • Heatmaps
  • Tooltips, customisation of tooltips
  • Data-point selection & series click to select
  • Legends
  • Many many more features (too many to list here)

WPF 3D Chart Types provided by SciChart

As far as performance / speed goes, in tests it's the fastest WPF Chart!, using the same low-level bitmap rendering as you find in Windows Forms charts, and in some editions, full DirectX rendering.

It is being used in MTPredictor v7.5 (an Elliot Wave trading platform) who have tested it in live markets with several monitors and several charts all open, all ticking simultaneously. You can see a webinar of MTPredictor running SciChart here. Note MTP run a webinar once per day and videos are all on youtube.

We had a trial user contact us with a youtube demo showing scichart in real-time trading application, in a live market with multiple ticks per second being pushed to the chart.

In our installer we have several live demos showing real-time financial charting and multi-pane financial charting.

As another poster mentioned, it is a commercial chart but we aim to provide excellent support and fix bugs in a timely manner.

Hope this helps!

Full Disclosure: I am the owner and tech lead on the SciChart project

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    $\begingroup$ I've seen a few .net charts in my short career, but I must say these ones definitely look good! Feel free to let me know if you wanna give a license away for a blog review ;-) $\endgroup$ – SRKX Apr 30 '13 at 21:28
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    $\begingroup$ @SRKX, I posted a SciChart review based on my extensive testing, quant.stackexchange.com/questions/3158/… $\endgroup$ – Matthias Wolf Aug 6 '14 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ SciChart is really not the fastest chart. Not even close. $\endgroup$ – Pasi Tuomainen May 13 '16 at 13:44

I own Gigasoft, if researching financial WPF charting, see our 7 meg demo download. Fast to download, uninstalls easily with no issues, and demonstrate our robustness, speed, user code, and rendering quality: link to financial .net wpf charting. Date time handling, mult-axes, and extensive annotations are key to good financial use and we've spent years perfecting these features.

enter image description here

A customer was nice enough to send us this showing excellent use of annotations to produce a custom Gartley financial pattern ...

enter image description here


LightningChart was the first charting suite having real Direct3D rendering for WPF. Targeted mainly for medical science end engineering at first, but now finding its way to better and better to finance and trading world.

enter image description here

LightningChart has a low-level Direct3D acceleration, with great set of features for financial applications. It comes with DirectX 11 and DirectX9 rendering engines. DirectX11 gives good performance and appearance in modern computers, and DirectX 9 renders faster with older hardware.

The performance the key factor, and that for that we have real solution. Real-time monitoring of up to thousands of data feeds at same time. LightningChart performance is real, we don't use (and we don't have to use) down-sampling in contrast to other charts which would compromise the accuracy of rendered data set.

With fewer data feeds, over 1 Billion data points can be monitored in real-time, scrolling 60 FPS on the screen. As absurd it may sound.

  • The Best performance, up to 12500 times more data in real-time than SciChart.
  • Awesome and 2D and 3D charts, pie charts, on-line and off-line maps
  • Real-time scrolling optimized point-line series
  • Real-time scrolling optimized area series
  • Real-time scrolling optimized high-low series
  • Real-time scrolling optimized OHLC series, bars + candle-sticks
  • Bar series
  • Arbitrary or value-colored 3D surfaces with contour lines with wireframes
  • Multi-segmented charts, any count of axes and series per segment
  • Automatic and manual axis placements in the segments
  • Indicators
  • Annotations
  • Data cursors
  • Lots of zooming, panning and auto-fitting features
  • Bands
  • Vertical and horizontal scrollbars
  • Resizable legend boxes
  • Hundreds of examples
  • Touch screen enabled
  • Friendly and customer-service oriented team to help
  • EMF and SVG vector export + bitmap export

LightningChart also has 99% similar charting API for WinForms, so traditional corporate applications and modern WPF applications can share almost same code. Savings in training of developer teams, and transitioning from one platform to another is easy.

If you find anything essential missing, please let me know and we'll discuss how can we provide them to you :-)

Please don't hesitate to contact me for assistance.

[I'm the CTO of LightningChart components.]

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe you could put smaller images and explain what special features you have for financial applications more in details. $\endgroup$ – SRKX Aug 6 '14 at 5:43

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