Fixing the layers problem with callouts in #Visio

I recently re-discovered an issue with callouts in Visio for a couple of projects that I am working on, and so I had to find a fix. The problem is that the callouts become dis-associated from their target shapes if either the layer visibility of the callout or the target shape is toggled off, and then back on again. This will result in a diagram with shapes without any connected callouts, so moving any of the target shapes will not move their associated callouts with them! I initially came up with a workaround that involved some jiggery-pokery with sub-shapes and layers, but it seems that the problem could have easily been averted if Microsoft had incorporated one specific User-defined Cell from the very start…

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Support for the #Visio JavaScript API in #SharePoint Modern Framework, and more

It was the last day of the #MSIgnite conference today, and the video of the final presentation about Visio was worth staying for, even though some of it was content I knew about, and have mentioned in previous posts this week ( see Dive into the world of data-driven operation intelligence with Microsoft Visio, Excel and Power BI). However, there was some content I was particularly pleased to see, and that was about support for the Visio Online JavaScript API support in Modern SharePoint Framework. I have pulled out some of the key slides below, but check out the full session for more information.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The hardworking Microsoft Visio product development team have worked hard to almost match all of the functionality of the old server-side Visio services control, but they haven’t quite got everything. So I cheered when I hear that support for html overlays are in the roadmap to be supported! All I ask for now (almost) is layer control, and I will be very happy.

They also stated that they will be enabling all this functionality for non-SharePoint web sites in the future!

Go to http://aka.ms/voapireference got more details.

 

Immersive #MixedReality is coming to #Visio

I used to be a building architect that worked with 3D modelling, and then I worked for a CAD company that sold expensive systems much more easily when its 3D capabilities where demonstrated, rather than the then revolutionary database-linking was shown. The reality was that the 3D was barely used in practice because it was seen as a nice to have, rather than an essential. The data-linking to 2D was its core capability, but it was difficult to setup and customise. It was the ability of Visio graphics to link to data, and the ease with which it could be customised, that caused me to switch to using Visio back in the 90’s.

We have come a long way since then, and Microsoft have stated that Mixed Reality is one of its three main bets, along with Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. So, at #MSIgnite we saw many previews of the virtual future, including:

Intro to Microsoft Layout

Visio Immersive: Visio in 3D and Mixed Reality

ImmersiveVisio

The first video explains the difference between Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and  Virtual Reality very well. It also introduces the preview add-in for Visio that allows you to export diagrams into the 3D world.

The second video demonstrates how the 3D export from Visio works along with a couple of example immersive demos of a factory floor and an office. Visio is used to diagram more than the measured world, so it is just as easy to export a network diagram, process flows or organisation charts, for example.

The far right of the diagram above from the Visio session shows the intent to provide overlaying data in these 3D environments. Now this could be big, and provides an easy way to create a digital twin.

Exporting to 3D from Visio is not new, for example the excellent 3D Visioner, but the might of Microsoft will be stiff competition.

I haven’t got an MR headset yet, so I am hoping that there will be some flash sales soon….

 

#MSFlow is everywhere at #MSIgnite including #Visio

It will take me some time to review the content coming out at MSIgnite, but there is a re-occurring theme with the seemingly omni-presence of the Power Platform in all the user-facing applications that contain data. The Power Platform is PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI ( view a session about this ) built on top of Azure. They work together, or separately, and they add an incredible amount of flexibility and democracy to applications. In the case of Visio, there is a tantalising view of what is coming shortly! Check out this video.

MSFlowInVisio

Visio is already one of the most used business process diagramming available, having surpassed its initial target of out-selling the then market leader, ABC Flowcharter, in the early 90’s within 2 years. Now, imagine being able to pass on those business process diagrams, created by analysts or employees closer to the problem, to the power-user who can markup the MSFlow connectors and settings for each of the tasks, gateways and events! Finally, the completed flow can be exported to become an actual MSFlow that can be run.

There is some very important points here:

Firstly, there is no disconnect between the business flow requirements and the technology employed to effect them. This will surely smooth out any communication issues between teams!

Secondly, the Visio document becomes a detailed flow template that can be re-used, or copied and modified to become other detailed flow templates.

Thirdly, the Visio interface, which will be in Visio Online Plan 2, is much more user-friendly than the standard MSFlow web interface, plus it can be annotated and even printed (yes, some people like to paper walls!). When they have added in the reverse-engineering of existing MSFlows then there should be a rush to add a Visio subscription.

My own presentation was about the possibilities when you use the Visio custom visual for Power BI, so now consider the flow marked-up business process diagrams in a dashboard with the realtime data from the running flow. The potential is blowing my mind!

As I said at the start, the Power Tools are omni-present, and Visio has the potential to become a first-class exponent!

 

#Visio Roadmap @ #MSIgnite 2018

The first slot of the day at the furthest away room from the main conference area is not the ideal time to present anything, but those attendees that made it saw how many new features have been added to Visio recently, and what is soon to be added. The session recording should be available soon, but for those who can’t wait, here is a spoiler! ( View the session here )

VisioRoadmap2018

Recent released features:

  • Visio Online
  • PowerPoint Slide Snippets
  • Data Visualizer
  • Visio Visual in Power BI
  • Microsoft Teams integration
  • Data Visualizer bi-directional links
  • Export to Word

Released at Ignite:

  • Cross-functional flowcharts in Visio Online
  • New Azure Stencils in Visio Online

Soon to be released:

  • UML diagrams and Wireframes in Visio Online
  • Microsoft Flow integration
  • Collaboration enhancements
  • Data Visualizer diagrams in Excel
  • Data-driven Org. Charts, Timelines, Roadmaps
  • Visio immersive
  • Surface Hub integration

Well, that should keep me busy for a while. Now, who wants to give me a project that requires a mixed-reality headset?

 

My session @ #MSIgnite about #Visio and #PowerBI

Well, that is the first day of MSIgnite over, and I am looking forward to hearing more about the roadmap for Visio today. I presented my session yesterday in a theater that seats 50 but 1,000 had registered for. In the end, the space was so full, I had no idea how many were there, but it was a lot! ( View my session on YouTube / View a 360 image)

DJP_Session_Action

I will be on the Visio booth now for a lot of the time during the conference, so please come talk to me about the possibilities of Visio solutions and integration with other Office applications and Office365. Microsoft have some cool demos of Visio / 3D Mixed Reality, Visio / MSFlow and, of course, Visio / PowerBI.

My book publishers have kindly provided some discounts for the duration of the conference:

  • eBook Discount: 50%Code – MDVMP50
  • Print Discount: 15%Code – MDVMP15
  • Valid until September 30th 2018
  • Go to packtpub.com

In addition, we will be offering the chance to win a copy of mine and Scott Helmers’ book “Microsoft Visio 2016 Step by Step” on the booth.

From Seattle to Orlando in 21 years

I was going through my wardrobe the other day, and found my speaker shirt from the Visio Solutions Conference in 1997. This was the first time that I spoke about my use of Visio in the workplace. Back then I was automatically creating dealer desk layouts from a Sybase database for a major bank in London. Next week, I will be at MS Ignite in Orlando, demonstrating how Visio and PowerBI can provide a searchable, updatable dashboard of a data center. If you are there, then I would be delighted to meet you.

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