New Capabilities of Export Modules for DHTMLX Gantt

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Just over a year ago, we started using ElectronJS as a new rendering engine in the PDF/PNG export module for DHTMLX Gantt. This step brought in a lot of new exporting capabilities for developers using the JavaScript Gantt chart component in their web projects. For instance, now our Gantt clients can export large charts and data on several pages, specify page orientation, and benefit from improved support for CSS and HTML elements.

The DHTMLX development team plans to expand the scope of the application not only of the PDF/PNG export module but also of the MS Project module that is available for our Gantt library as well. Very soon it will be possible to use the capabilities of both export modules with the DHTMLX Gantt for Node.js.

In this short article, you will learn how this update can be useful in real-case scenarios and become familiar with exporting novelties expected in DHTMLX Gantt v7.2.

Benefits of Using Export Modules on the Server

Currently, developers can make use of the DHTMLX export modules only in a web browser (on the front-end). The upcoming update will allow exporting and importing data from DHTMLX-based Gantt charts on the server-side. Like with a web browser, you will need to use a special file to enable exporting functions in the Gantt version for Node.js. However, in the next Gantt version 7.2, this file will be integrated into the Gantt component. Therefore, programmers will have a chance to enable exporting/importing with just one command.

Now let us consider several cases when these new exporting changes can be useful:

  1. Assume that you need to generate some reports based on Gantt data and store them in a folder. Right now it can be done as follows: the browser opens a new tab and the file with needed data is downloaded to the user’s PC (or other devices). After that, these reports must be downloaded from the user’s PC and sent to the server. When the export module becomes available for the server-side version of Gantt, you will have an opportunity to launch exporting on the back-end at a particular time and all files will be saved in a specified folder without any user involvement.
  2. It may also happen that you need to load many project-related files in Excel format into the database. If you decide to do it via a web browser, you will have to select each file manually. It can be really inconvenient and time-consuming. With the server-side importing/exporting, you will be able to run the script and automatically upload all needed files.
  3. In the case of a large Gantt project, it will take a considerable amount of time to export all files. Right now, users have to keep the export tab opened until the export process is completed in order to receive the file. After the update, you’ll be able to run the export in the background. As a result, users will be able to continue utilizing the app and send a notification or an email with the resulting file. Another usage scenario is exporting queues when users will be able to request exporting of multiple projects, without waiting for the previous actions to finish.
  4. After the DHTMLX Gantt update to version 7.2, you will be free to enable exporting/importing functions separately for each Gantt instance. When working with different JavaScript frameworks (React, Angular, Vue), it is more convenient to enable the exporting functionality with a command rather than by copying the content of the api.js file into the Gantt configuration file.

Summarizing the above, we can say with certainty that the future release will have a great practical value for users of DHTMLX Gantt. It will give a way to perform exporting operations to popular formats (MS Project, Primavera, PDF, PNG, Excel, iCal) on the server, thereby contributing to more effective project management.

Final Words

If you are still not familiar with DHTMLX Gantt and its rich feature-set, including numerous exporting options, but want to try it in your project, make use of a free 30-day evaluation version. Let us remind you that the PDF/PNG export module is offered as an add-on and it is provided for free only to those who obtain our Gantt component under Commercial, Enterprise, or Ultimate licenses (Enterprise and Ultimate licenses for the MS Project export module). Otherwise, the module should be purchased separately.

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