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Add A Chart With A Custom Sql Query

Add a cool bar chart and learn how to use a custom SQL query in a business object behavior

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Written by Ashish Gupta
Updated 2 years ago
3 min read

They say a picture is worth a thousand words an din Apex designer you can visualize your data using a graph or chart. Presenting a chart is actually straightforward with a few basic steps. Let's walk through the process. You can get the data through a user interface method (see Reading And Saving Data In User Interface Methods) but here we are going to show you how to get the data by running a native SQL statement.

Create a Behavior

Open the Supplier business object and add a behavior named "purchaseOrdersBySupplier". Make it an Http Get Class Behavior returning any[]:

Behavior definition page for the supplier

Add the following code to the behavior implementation:

let sql = `
  count(po.id) as "numberOfPurchaseOrders"
from Supplier s
left join PurchaseOrder po on po.supplierId = s.id
group by
  count(po.id) > 0
order by
debug('sql', sql);

let results = await this.execute(sql, [], options);

return results;

Let's walk through this code.

In the sql, notice that

  • the table names are the model names and the property names are the column names
  • we used a back tick (`) on the first line and last line of the sql. In JavaScript, that lets us enter a string value that includes newline characters. This makes the SQL more readable.
  • the column alias is in double quotes. This ensures that the properties in the result set are lower camel case (they would come through in all lowercase otherwise).

In the execute method, the SQL is the first input. The list of parameters is second (this query does not have any parameters). The third parameter are the options that are passed into this behavior.

Add the Dependency

Add npm package ng2-charts as a client side dependency and import NgChartsModule as mentioned in the ng2-charts documentation (see Dependencies on how to add an NPM package). You will also need to include chart.js client dependency, as mentioned in the ng2-charts documentation.

User Interface dependency section showing two dependencies

Dependency definition window for adding a user interface dependency

Create User Interface

Create a user interface page Purchase Order Summary (see User Interfaces for page creation).


Add these properties to your user interface:

Properties of a new user interface page


Add the following two methods to your user interface

  1. getData: It is run on load and does an http get using the url of the business object behavior you created above. It will process the results into a dataset for the chart, and the supplier names as the chart labels:
    getData will process dataset
    let url = '/api/Suppliers/purchaseOrdersBySupplier';
    let results: any = await this.httpClient.get(url).toPromise();
    debug('results', results);
    this.dataPoints = [];
    this.labels = [];
    for (let result of results) {
    debug('this.dataPoints', this.dataPoints);
    debug('this.labels', this.labels);
  2. setOptions: It is run on load and sets options for the chart:
    Behavior configuration for a method dialog

    this.options = {
    	responsive: true,
    	maintainAspectRatio: false,
    	scales: {
    		yAxes: [
    				ticks: {
    					beginAtZero: true

You can read more about the options in the ng2-charts NPM Package Documentation.


Add a Canvas element inside a container Division. This is where the chart will be drawn. 

User Interface showing the template and components for a chart


You can set the size of your chart by adding a style to the Div containing the Canvas. We already assigned the container class to the Div containing canvas above. To do this open Styles by clicking style and then add the following style:

div.container {
	height: 50vh;
	width: 50vw;


Generate your project and go to /purchaseOrderSummary page to see your chart:

Completed user interface as seen at runtime

Now you can visualize your data instead of just reporting the numbers.

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