Serious playtime with ReGraph & KronoGraph playgrounds

ReGraph, our graph visualization toolkit for React developers, and KronoGraph, our timeline analytics tool, both include the same game-changing feature for developers: an interactive code editor and live visualization.

It’s called the playground, but it’s more than just a plaything.

With the playgrounds, you can write or paste a ReGraph or KronoGraph application into your browser, make changes, and instantly visualize the result. It’s all done client-side: your code is executed locally in the browser, with syntax highlighting and code completion provided by the same Monaco editor that powers Microsoft Visual Studio Code.

Visualize changes instantly with the ReGraph playground

Using an encoded URL means you can share code snippets easily and securely. We don’t save anything on our server. In fact, because the source is encoded into the URL hash, it isn’t even sent to the server.

The playgrounds have changed the way we – and our users – share, debug and even test code. Here are five reasons why our users love it.

1. D-I-Y charts and timelines

ReGraph makes it easy to visualize complex data sets and create an interactive, highly tactile chart, while KronoGraph brings complex time-based data to life by revealing how events unfold across a timeline.

The playgrounds open up these experiences so you can change the appearance and behavior of charts or timelines on the fly.

With ReGraph’s extensive styling options, you can customize every aspect of your charts. You can also design every element of KronoGraph timelines to match your application’s theme – everything from the color palette to label styling.

The great news is that you don’t have to be a React expert to get the exact look and feel you want. Anyone can make a visualization of their own!

The ReGraph and KronoGraph SDK sites are full of JavaScript examples and code snippets – and every single one loads into each playground with one click of the playground edit button edit button. You can customize them to your heart’s content, playing with themes and styles, adding your own data, exploring different options and learning as you go. All without having to download an IDE.

The playground is great fun - but so much more than a plaything
The KronoGraph playground is great fun – but so much more than a plaything

2. Instant collaboration

Teams do their best work together, and the playgrounds are great collaborative tools.

Our own development team use them to test functionality, interactions and styling, and share their work. Just hit the playground share button share button and send the link to a teammate.

Trying out new layout ideas in the playground
Trying out new layout ideas in the ReGraph playground

Sharing links is secure and private because your code and data are encoded into the URL hash. When you paste the link, the browser doesn’t even send this part of the URL up to the server.

There’s no need to wait for a build deployment, no intermediate infrastructure to worry about, and no security concerns. It’s so quick to prototype and share playground code that for many users it’s become part of their day-to-day development cycle.

Experimenting with scale wrapping for pattern of life analysis in KronoGraph
Experimenting with scale wrapping for pattern of life analysis in KronoGraph

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Not using ReGraph or KronoGraph yet?

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3. Data is just a paste away

There are two fundamental parts to any data visualization: the app which the user interacts with, and the underlying data.

The ReGraph and KronoGraph playgrounds give you an app right out of the box. All you have to do is add some data.

The playgrounds provide a dedicated data tab to capture your data. ReGraph uses a simple JSON format that describes nodes and links, while KronoGraph relies on the same format to describe entities and events. You can see examples in each playground’s data tab. All you have to do is paste in your data and convert it into the right format with a few lines of JavaScript.

Remember, we don’t store your code or data anywhere: everything runs inside the browser and is completely secure.

Real network data realized in the ReGraph playground
Real network data realized in the ReGraph playground

4. Simplified support

Doing data visualization the right way is a challenge: apps can get complicated, data can be messy, and users may find it hard to deliver the insightful tools their analysts need.

ReGraph’s development team is on-hand to help you get the best out of your application. But it’s often hard for users to explain exactly what is going wrong. We receive all sorts of creative queries with annotated screenshots and complicated gifs. And in return, we’d respond with out-of-context code fragments. Not any more.

The playgrounds make support queries easier for all of us. If you can reproduce your issue in a playground and share the link with our team, we can understand precisely what’s going on. And in turn, we can send a working code solution back to you. Everyone’s a winner.

The hairball: so often the first hurdle of connected data visualization
The hairball: so often the first hurdle of connected data visualization

5. Integrate with KronoGraph

Users who want to get the most insight from their data create hybrid visualization applications using KronoGraph and ReGraph or KeyLines. Combining graph visualization with timeline analytics provides two powerful views of the same data. It’s the most effective way to reveal hidden threats and interesting patterns.

You can use the KronoGraph playground to build integrations with our graph visualization toolkits fast. This makes it so easy to try out different interaction patterns and understand how to synchronize content between graph and timeline views.

The playground is great fun - but so much more than a plaything
Build integrations the easy way using KronoGraph’s playground

Start playing with ReGraph & KronoGraph

We love how the playgrounds have accelerated our own development cycle, but we’re even happier that they’re making life easier for users creating their own graph and timeline visualization applications.

Prototyping and sharing code has never been easier and more effective, and learning how ReGraph and KronoGraph can bring your connected data to life has never been more fun!

Ready for some serious playtime with our toolkits? Request a free trial


This post was originally published some time ago. It’s still popular, so we’ve updated it with new information to keep it useful and relevant.

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