Linking SQL database on Azure to Visio via SharePoint Online

My last post was entitled Linking SQL database on Azure to Visio (see, but that was only half the solution I wanted to present because I was having issues with linking my SQL database on Azure to my SharePoint Online. So, I enlisted my friend and colleague, Nick Ajderian, who looked into it and wrote the following blog article : . Well, I still failed, until I realised a subtle error that I was making …

In my previous article, I showed how to connect directly to the SQL database on Azure by using the Data Connection Wizard, where I entered the Server name with the “, 1433” suffix in order to address the port. Well, when I kept on entering the same server name in the SQL Server Connection dialog for the new connection in the Data Source Explorer for a External Content Type in SharePoint Designer, everything was looking fine because I could expand the connection to view the tables and create the operations. I could even create the External List okay, but I could not view any records in it, and kept getting a connection error. I was getting very frustrated until I dropped the “, 1433”, then everything worked!

Here is my Floors table from my SQL database on Azure in SharePoint Online:


So, now I can select this list, as a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation List, using Link Data to Shapes in Visio:

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Linking SQL database on Azure to Visio

Microsoft Visio has many data sources available for Link Data to Shapes, and one of those is SQL Server. Microsoft Azure is increasingly becoming a low-cost, and always available, choice for hosting all sorts of data, and applications, so I thought I would document how easy it is to setup a SQL database on Azure for use with Visio.

Creating the SQL database on Azure

First, you need register for an Azure subscription, and then create a SQL database on a server in a suitable location.

Create Azure Sql database

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Union Jacked?

I am in Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, today. All talk is of the vote on Scottish independence next week … so, I thought I would make a Union Jack Visio shape that can be automatically changed, using Shape Data values, to represent the countries left in the union!

The Union Jack is comprised of the flags of England, Scotland and Ireland … sorry Wales, you are only a principality. Yes, I know that Northern Ireland is a province, but it was decided that St Patrick’s Saltire should be kept even after Eire got independence.

Note that a single country flag has an aspect ratio of 5:3, but a multi-country union flag has an aspect ratio of 2:1.


You can see the result of having the different countries included using the Shape Data panel. There are also some relevant hyperlinks on the shape.



You can download the Visio 2013 file from here :


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