Using ODC Files with Visio

I use the Link Data to Shapes wizard in Visio Professional almost everyday, but I have not really bothered to use the Office Data Connections (ODC) files much, probably because there is no easy way of creating them in Visio. However, the Data Connection wizard does allow you to use previously created ODC files. So, I thought I’d document the easiest way I know of creating them … using Excel!

In fact, Excel and Reports can use ODC files too. See http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-excel/archive/2008/10/15/using-office-data-connection-files-odc-and-the-dataconnections-web-part-in-sharepoint-to-specify-external-data-connections-in-newly-created-excel-workbooks.aspx

In Excel, select Data \ From Other Sources \ From Data Connection Wizard …

DCW_Welcome

 

You can then select your data source, and import some sample data into Excel.

 

ImportData

You can then save the ODC file…

DCW_SaveAndFinish

 

In Visio, you can then use the saved ODC file with Link Data to Shapes…

 

Visio_DCW

 

You can then select the ODC file, and continue as normal with the External Data in Visio.

Visio_DCW_Existing

 

Useful…. especially when used with SharePoint  as source for Visio Services…

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