Pros & Cons of Report Charts vs Visualforce Charts

Blog Image Report Charts Visualforce ChartsIn my previous post, I demonstrated some tricks in creating a stacked bar chart using Visualforce Charting which inspired me to write this post about Report Charts vs. Visualforce Charts on Pages. Report Charts on pages is the latest addition to the Page Layout customization, which came with the Winter’14 release of  I think it is a very cool feature because the users can see a summary of the important data related to the Record that is right on the detailed page.  This allows any non-developer system admin to implement it in a short time.

I know that some companies have used Visualforce Charts on pages before the Report Charts came out, so I would like to share some pros and cons on these two types of Chart on pages.

report vs vf charts

[title size=”2″]Breaking down Report Charts[/title]

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Report Chart Pros

  • Easy to set up and no code required.
  • Any custom summary report with the chart can be added to the page (it must not be in My Personal Custom Reports folder.)
  • The source report doesn’t have to have an ID Filter.
  • The chart is automatically filtered by the record ID if the Report Type matches the record on the page (except an Account page that is set to filtered by Parent Account ID by default but this can be changed under the chart properties.)
  • It inherits org-wide sharing and sharing rules. That means the Users will only see the values of records they own in the chart if the sharing for the Object in the chart is set to “Private.”

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Report Chart Cons

  • Limits only 2 charts per page.
  • On detail pages, Users can refresh up to 100 report charts every 60 minutes.
  • Your organization can refresh up to 3,000 report charts every 60 minutes.
  • You are stuck with the standard chart types.


[title size=”2″]Breaking down Visualforce Charts[/title]

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Visualforce Chart Pros

  • No limits on refresh because the Visualforce renders the real-time data.
  • No limits on numbers of charts per page.
  • Nice animation.
  • You have a choice to bypass the org-wide sharing and sharing rules by setting the Controller to “public without sharing.”
  • You can go beyond the standard Salesforce chart types.


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Visualforce Chart Cons

  • Need Developer skills (for Apex Controllers, Visualforce Pages and Visualforce Components.)
  • You cannot drill down to the standard source Report.
  • You cannot use a standard controller for a Visualforce page that contains the chart. You have to write a chart in a Visualforce Component using a custom controller and put the component inside a Visualforce page with the standard controller of the object that you want to put the chart on the page.


Now it’s time for you to decide which one you prefer to use on your Pages!

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MJ Kahn, SVP of Technology at OpFocus

about the author

MJ Kahn

At OpFocus, MJ architects and constructs solutions that would impress the builders of the pyramids. She solves technical puzzles that would frustrate daVinci. She leaps tall buildings (like the new Salesforce tower) in a single bound.

Well ok, maybe she doesn’t. But she does help lead an amazing team of smart, talented, and dedicated consultants who do. MJ’s job at OpFocus is provide technical leadership and guidance to OpFocus clients and team members so that, working together, we can create innovative yet practical solutions to real-world business problems within the Salesforce ecosystem.

Prior to OpFocus, MJ built an extensive background in technology and has held a variety of development, consulting, and management positions at companies like Sybase, Vignette, and Honeywell, among others. In these roles, MJ’s focus was helping companies effectively and intelligently use technology to solve business problems. An Apex and Visualforce consultant since mid-2008, MJ has worked with scores of companies to help them understand and utilize platforms like to solve business issues and also guide them in developing their own AppExchange product offerings.