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Chapter 18. Adding Graphs, PivotCharts, ... > In the Real World—A Hobson’s Choice:...

In the Real World—A Hobson’s Choice: MSGraph Objects Versus PivotCharts

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines a Hobson’s choice as an “apparently free choice with no real alternative.” You are free to continue to use MSGraph with Jet databases and Jet SQL crosstab queries. MSGraph is a mature and stable product with no significant bugs. Its precursors date back to Excel 5.0, and MSGraph is backward-compatible with the Access 97, 2000, and 2002 versions. If you intend to use VBA to customize MSGraph objects, however, be prepared for a long learning curve. MSGraph’s object model is the epitome of obfuscation. Check http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/officedev/odeomg/deovrmicrosoftgraph2000.htm for an object model diagram of MSGraph 9.0. Compare the MSGraph object model with the PivotChart object model at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/owcvba10/html/octocChartWorkspaceObjectModel.asp.


General-purpose OLE 2.0 objects created by mini-servers, such as MSGraph, are endangered species because Web browsers, including IE, don’t support them directly. You can open a Word document or Excel spreadsheet in IE and display an embedded MSGraph chart because Word and Excel are OLE 2.0 full servers and act as the graph’s container. The catch is that you must have Microsoft Office installed to open the Word or Excel document, plus MSGraph (which Office installs automatically) to view the embedded graph or chart. The Access 2003 runtime version includes a redistributable runtime version of Graph.exe; the runtime version’s design features are disabled.


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