What is the difference between a line and a [dynamic] connector in #Visio?

When I have reviewed some of the criticisms of connecting shapes in Visio on the web, it has been clear that some users have a misunderstanding about lines and connectors. It is not surprising really because the Microsoft Visio help documentation does not currently make the distinction clear. A connector shape is used to connect two shapes together, whereas a line is normally just a straight line. As usual with Visio though, this is not the whole story because a line can be used to connect two shapes together, and it can be turned into a dynamic connector. I will try to explain myself in this article.

The normal way to connect two shapes together is to use the Connector tool (CTRL+3) on the Home / Tools  ribbon, and a line is drawn with the Line (CTRL+6) drop-down menu in the same ribbon group.

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Creating #Visio #Validation Rules for #GraphDatabase template

Having developed Node and Edge/ Dynamic connector masters shapes for creating Node and Edge table entries for a SQL Server 2017, I decided that I should write some validation rules. The validation feature has been in Visio since the 2010 edition, but is underused, even though I wrote a book about them … see  Microsoft Visio 2013 Business Process Diagramming and Validation . I think that only six rules are necessary to validate that a page with Node and Edge shapes is well constructed before attempting to update the tables in SQL Server, or any other GraphDatabase.

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Using #JSON text in #Visio shapes

I often create Visio masters with a fixed number of Shape Data rows, and sometimes I get requests to modify them because of changes in business needs. Well, my previous posts about Graph Databases got me thinking if it would be possible to embed JSON text in Visio shapes in some sort of meaningful way. Then the user could enter just attribute-value pairs at will, without the need for me to modify their master shape. Alternatively, the data could be inserted into the shape from a database, such as SQL server. So, in this article I discuss the suitability of JSON text in Visio shapes.

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Using #Visio and #PowerBI with #GraphDatabase in #SQLServer – Part 2

In my last article, I described how Visio can be used to input Nodes & Edges into a SQL Server graph tables (see Using #Visio and #PowerBI with #GraphDatabase in #SQLServer). In this article, I show how PowerBI can be used to create an Excel table that can then be used to automatically create a Visio diagram. This diagram can then be enhanced for reports and presentations, or used to check the validity of nodes and relationships. The shapes can then be used to update or delete edges and nodes in the database.

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Using #Visio and #PowerBI with #GraphDatabase in #SQLServer

I went to a very interesting inaugural meeting of the South East UK Power BI Group last week. Whilst the presentation by Dr. Subramani Paramasivam was impressive for its ambition, it was the presentation by Andrew Fryer of Microsoft that particularly intrigued me. He introduced us to the world of Graph Databases, such as Neo4J and CosmosDB, but also demonstrated SQL Server 2017’s new Graph table types, called Node and Edge.  He used the latter because solution because he could use example in Power BI using the Force-Directed visual. Well, this SQL Server feature was new to me, and so I was inspired to see if I could use my favourite tool, Visio, to input data into a graph database, and to selectively display parts.

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#Visio in #PowerBI for viewing personnel hierarchies and locations

My last article, Aliasing Data Columns for #Visio Organization Chart Wizard , mentioned the slight anomalies in the default Shape Data rows for the Organization Chart shapes and the Resources / Person shape. This prompted me to create an alternative view of the same data that can be linked to the Person shapes on a floor plan, and then to use the preview Visio Custom Visual in Power BI to display both views of personnel synchronised by the same data. This demonstrates how easy it is to create an effective dashboard for locating personnel locations and their position within an organisational hierarchy at the same time!

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View the Power BI report online : Org Chart and Personnel Locations in PowerBI

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Aliasing Data Columns for #Visio Organization Chart Wizard

One of the most frequently used components of Visio is the Organization Chart Wizard (OrgChWiz), but it is also one of the most frustrating because of its apparent inflexibility. I was recently asked how to use different table column names with the wizard because the originating ODBC source could not be touched. Well, I have previously used Access to modify and enhance tables in this situation, but the OrgChWiz is quite old, and does not like using the newer Access queries as a data source unfortunately. If the basic table column names do not match the default column names in the organization chart shapes, then there may be superfluous Shape Data rows created on each shape and the ability to change the shape style is compromised, and the Shape Data rows get quite confused!

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