In Part 5 of this series, I'll show you how to create a generic script that you can use to add some color to your Log Parser charts. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, the default colors for Log parser charts are really dull and boring. For example, if I parse one month's worth of log files from one of my low-volume websites with the following query:

logparser.exe "SELECT date,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY date ORDER BY date" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:ColumnClustered -chartTitle:"" -q:ON

Log Parser will create the following ugly daily hits chart:

Generic Color Change Script

Here's the background story for this blog: I have a collection of scripts that I use to format my charts, several of which have faithfully served as the fodder for this blog series. With that in mind, I had a situation recently where I was querying logs with a series of data just like this, and of course the resulting charts were kind of hideous to look at. In one of the scripts that I often use, I create an array of colors to use, and then I apply the various colors to the individual data points in the series.

In the past I have always hard-coded the length for the array of colors based on the data that I am working with, but in this situation I had no idea how many data points I would have, so I decided to put together a quick script with an array that would work with a series of any size.

Here's the resulting script:

// Set a default color for the chart's data.
chart.SeriesCollection(0).Interior.Color = "#ffcccc";

// Define a short array of colors.
var colors = [
    "#ffff99", "#ff99ff", "#ff9999",
    "#99ffff", "#99ff99", "#9999ff",
    "#ffffcc", "#ffccff", "#ffcccc",
    "#ccffff", "#ccffcc", "#ccccff"
];

// Loop through the data points in the series.
for (x=0;x<chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points.Count;++x)
{
    // Set the color for the data point based on modulo division of the array length.
    chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points(x).Interior.Color = colors[x % colors.length ];
}

That's all that there is to the script - it's pretty simple. If I take the above script and save it as "FormatChart.js", I can use that script with my Log Parser query from earlier by adding an extra parameter to the command:

logparser.exe "SELECT date,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY date ORDER BY date" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:ColumnClustered -chartTitle:"" -q:ON -config:FormatChart.js

Now Log Parser will create the following daily hits chart with a great deal more color to it:

Okay - perhaps that's not the best color palette, but you get the idea. It looks even better when I change the query to use 3D charts:

logparser.exe "SELECT date,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY date ORDER BY date" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:Column3D -chartTitle:"" -q:ON -config:FormatChart.js

The above query creates the following chart:

Color Changing Pie Charts

I'd like to make a quick change to the script in order to make it work a little better with a pie chart:

// Set a default color for the chart's data.
chart.SeriesCollection(0).Interior.Color = "#cccccc";

// Define a short array of colors.
var colors = [
    "#cc3333", "#3333cc", "#33cc33",
    "#33cccc", "#cccc33", "#cc33cc"
];

// Loop through the data points in the series.
for (x=0;x<chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points.Count;++x)
{
    // Set the color for the data point based on modulo division of the array length.
    chart.SeriesCollection(0).Points(x).Interior.Color = colors[x % colors.length ];
}
// Rotate the chart 180 degrees - just so it looks a little better.
chartSpace.Charts(0).PlotArea.RotateClockwise();
chartSpace.Charts(0).PlotArea.RotateClockwise();

For this query I'd like to see a break down by HTTP status, and this necessitates some small change to the Log parser query:

logparser.exe "SELECT sc-status AS Status,COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO HITS.gif FROM *.log GROUP BY Status ORDER BY Status" -i:w3c -o:CHART -chartType:PieExploded3D -chartTitle:"" -q:ON -config:FormatChart.js

The above query creates the following chart:

Summary

That wraps it up for this blog - I hope that I've given you some ideas for ways that you can easily add some colors to some dull-looking Log Parser charts.