Viewing Visio Documents in SharePoint through Outlook

This post comes with the sub-title “Now why didn’t I did know that!”. Sometimes it is easy not to see the wood for the trees, and this is one of those occurrences. I often get asked whether you need a Visio license to view Visio documents in a SharePoint document library. Well, no, but you do need a SharePoint Enterprise Client Access Licence to use Visio Services ( see http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/sharepoint-licensing-overview-collaboration-software-FX103789438.aspx ).

An eCAL will allow you to utilise the Visio Web Access control within SharePoint web pages to view, and to comment on, Visio diagrams. In this way Visio diagrams can be used within a dashboard scenario, especially since any graphics linked to a refreshable linked data recordset will be automatically updated.

The following screenshot shows one of my SharePoint document libraries that I have filtered just to show the Visio documents (eg Type = vsdx or Type = vsdm ).

image

So, when a diagram is opened, it displays the Visio diagram within the Visio Web Access control in a full web page.

image

However, for those SharePoint users who have also Outlook (and that must be everyone!), then the document library can be connected to Outlook.

image

When it is connected, it appears as a SharePoint List in Outlook, and in there you can view the Visio document with the built-in Visio Viewer control:

image

I found this information from watching a Pluralsight video ( see http://www.pluralsight.com/training/Courses#sharepoint )

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