MVP Award … again

1st April is the time for April Fools, but I am pleased to report that this fool is still an MVP, as I am pleased to say that I have received that important email from Microsoft. I genuinely worry that one year I will receive bad news … but, lucky for me, not this year! The most important part of this award is the relationship that it gives me with the Microsoft Visio product team because we few Visio MVPs feel like our feedback is appreciated. I must admit that my MVP award does get me some paid work, for example, I have been teaching Visio Services around Europe for Microsoft Western Europe for most of the last year. I have really enjoyed these days because I get to see new places, meet interesting people, and almost always get the same reaction … I didn’t know Visio could do that!

I have got to know SharePoint because of my Visio skills, and I have seen big improvements in Visio Services with the 2013 release, with the addition of Business Connectivity Services as an out-of-the box data source, and the presentation of the Visio Web Access web parts as html/png. The latter enables the Visio based dashboards to be viewed on popular tablets (you know, those non-Windows 8 ones…). But perhaps the most exciting enhancement to Visio Services 2013 is the full calculation of ShapeSheet formulas by the automatic refresh if they are linked to data using a refreshable data source. This is possible because of the new file format, so Visio 2013 diagrams no longer need to be published to SharePoint into a binary file with an Silverlight overlay.

I intend to spend more time, over the next year, exploring the possibilities of Visio and SharePoint integration, and share what I learn here.

Posted in Visio. Tags: . 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “MVP Award … again”

  1. Olga Budieri Says:

    Hello David,
    I am getting to know visio and SharePoint due to my work responsibilities and I feel that both have a wealth of potential – always getting the feeling that I have barely scratched the surface.
    I am trying to construct or upload a system map on Visio using a customized SharePoint site (used internally in my company) to enhance collaboration and maybe get additional features.
    Do you recommend going through to upload my visio map onto SharePoint? (I have used a couple of your macros such as AssignLayersToShapes… and I would like to thank you immensely as these have been very helpful.)

    • davidjpp Says:

      Of course, you should upload the map to SharePoint, but the work does not stop there…
      Are you using SharePoint 2010 or 2013?
      Be aware that the Visio Web Access control does not support layers … it will display whatever you have visible when you save.
      Do you have a data source linked to your diagram? If so, which?
      Are your users going to just wait for changes to be displayed, or can they interact with the diagram?
      Are you relying on the built-in Shape Information panel, or are displaying the Shape Data in another web part, such as html/JavaScript or InfoPath, or something else?
      So many choices … as you say, we have only scratched the surface…

      • Olga Budieri Says:

        Hi David,
        I am using SharePoint 2010.
        It is actually a customer journey map and I will be using layers to indicate touchpoint impacts (moments of truth, pain points…etc). I will probably use an excel sheet to populate the layers in my diagram, linked to visio.
        The objective is to publish the map on our internal company SharePoint site, and enable collaboration for authorized users.
        Is there any web resource you can recommend?

  2. Shakil Ahmed Says:

    Hello David,

    I’m new to Visio and have been having a look at your Org Chart Macro example.

    I have a few questions if you don’t mind answering:

    1 – Will SharePoint (whether 2010 or new in 2013) automatically re-draw an Org Chart (or specifically I am interested in a Manufacturing Supply Chain) based on a different recordset?

    2 – If yes, then can shapes be changed based on certain values in the data?

    3 – Is the Org Chart the best template to use or would a different template be better (for a Supply Map)?

    What I’d like to be able to do is to create a template but the actual plotting of the ‘supply map’ would be data driven.

    I have read somewhere that the diagram stays static, only data fields are refreshed when using Visio Services on Sharepoint.

    Thanks in advance.


    • davidjpp Says:

      With SharePoint and Visio 2010, you can only update the Data Graphics (Text, Icons, Data Bars and Color By Value) that are linked to refreshable Shape Data.
      With SharePoint and Visio 2013, you can also update any ShapeSheet cells that are linked to the Shape Data.

      Neither version automatically creates, deletes are lays out any shape, although with Visio Services 2013, you could move and control the visibility of shapes.

      I use by OrgData macro in my Visio Services training to demonstrate how you can re-lay out Visio diagrams according to the data … but you need to open up the drawing in a Visio client to run the macro.

      The Microsoft supplied Org Chart template is very specific, and is rarely suitable for other diagram types, in my opinion.

      • Shakil Ahmed Says:

        Thank you for the clarification.

        So macros will not be run by Visio Services… is there any way of using Visio SDK/API’s in say Visual Studio and create a solution that would achieve the same result as running the macro in Visio itself, but presented in SharePoint?

        In Yes, then would it matter if it was SharePoint 2010 or 2013 doing the presentation?

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