Temporary Fix for Data Refresh in #Visio Click-2-Run

Visio is an enormous application with literally millions of lines of code, so it is inevitable that bugs creep in for time to time, and can lay dormant .. until you really need it! Such an incident happened to me during a project for a large organisation where the latest and greatest build and versions are held up by the internal IT departments until they are sure that there is absolutely nothing hidden inside. In this project, I was given a laptop with Visio Pro for Office 365 to work with … not a problem, even though that moniker already told me that this was a seriously out of date edition, since it has been called Visio Online Plan 2 for quite a while. Anyway, I developed a solution that relies heavily on linked SharePoint lists and document libraries, using a view. The automatic name of these views are very verbose, so I consistently renamed them. Also, I had the same SharePoint Document library view linked more than once, so that I could link multiple rows to shapes, so renaming was, and is, absolutely essential. Several weeks went by, and my solution was working fine, until one day last week, my colleague told me that the Data / Refresh All was failing for him, and for other users. A review of his laptop showed that his Visio version had been updated to build 1708 from 1609 and the refresh was reverting the carefully renamed data recordsets back to the underlying SharePoint view name. My own personal laptop, not the client’s, is at build number 1808, so I will get the real fix from Microsoft soon via the normal channel updates for Click-to-Run.

DataRefreshNameError

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Using #SharePoint Links and Hyperlinks in #Visio

A current project of mine has caused me to look more closely at the use of links and hyperlinks in “modern” SharePoint Online libraries. Every “modern” SharePoint Online library gets the option to create a new Link in addition to any other content types. They are InternetShortcut files with a .url extension. Only the filename is easily editable once created because the target url is within the file, and no editor is provided. However, it does provide a method to create a repository of approved urls. The alternative approach is to create a column of Hyperlink type, which can be edited easily. This article looks at the implications of each when used in SharePoint Online and used within an external data recordset in Visio, with the intention of providing shapes with hyperlinks.

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Enhancing the Built-In Containers in #Visio

The concept of Structured Diagrams was introduced in Visio 2010 to provide core functionality for a variety of the templates in Visio, such as the Cross-Functional Flowchart, BPMN Diagram and Wireframe Diagram. This is primarily evident as Containers, Lists and Callouts and they can be customized (see Custom Containers, List and Callouts ), as shown in some of my previous articles ( see https://blog.bvisual.net/?s=container). One example of this extension can be found in all of the flowchart shapes that placed into a swimlane in a cross-functional flowchart. They have a Shape Data row, Function, that automatically inherits the text entered into the header of the swimlane. In another example, a Visio user can use Insert / Diagram Parts / Container to visually group other shapes together, and update the header text of the container. Well, I often do want my custom shapes to inherit the text of a container, so, in this article, I show how the built-in containers can be enhanced to provide this ability.

InheritingContainerText

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Really Snapping to Grids in #Visio

Visio has the ability to refine the options for snapping shapes to just grids, but this does not necessarily mean that shapes will automatically position themselves on a grid, or that the size is a multiple of a grid. What if you want some shapes to always be positioned on a fixed grid, and the width and height to always be a multiple on the horizontal and vertical grids respectively? What if you want the grid to start at the top left rather then the default bottom left? Fortunately, the ShapeSheet of the page and shapes can provide this ability, without the need for any external code.

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Using EVALCELL() in #Visio to calculate Workdays

I recently agreed to calculate the number of workdays between two dates in Visio, without realising how difficult it is. Excel users are lucky because it has the NETWORKDAYS() function, but Visio users are not so fortunate. However, Visio does have the EVALCELL function which can be extremely useful in cases like this. I got the inspiration from one of the answers in StackOverflow for a SQL user who also needed a solution.

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Data Centre Racks in #Visio in #PowerBI

I have often diagrammed rack and cabinet layouts and elevations using Visio linked to a database or Excel tables. There is a Rack Diagram template in Visio which is great for manually creating cabinet elevations manually, but there is nothing currently out of the box to automate this process, so it can be a laborious task unless you have some custom code. It is quite simple to draw a computer room layout of the racks and cabinets and to link each one to a row of data. In this article, I have a table of rack equipment in Excel, and used PowerQuery in PowerBI to summarize these rows for each data center, rack and U height position, since there are sometimes more than one item of equipment per U height. In this example, I have color coded the criticality of each equipment such that the most important display as red, and the least important as green. This means that a PowerBI user can quickly see where the critical racks, U heights and equipment are. Of course, I could have used any metric, such as power consumption, heat output or humidity, for the colour-coding. It all depends on the data available, and the audience for the report.

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Icons Sets and Data Bars in #PowerBI #Visio visual

I really enjoy linking data to Visio diagrams, either directly or using the Visio custom visual in Power BI. This visual has the ability to display PowerQuery data as text or color, but not as icons or data bars. These last two features are something that can be used natively in Visio, and automatically updated in Visio Online. I have previously urged Microsoft to add these abilities to the Visio custom visual in Power BI, but there is no sign of it appearing just yet. The custom visual actually removes any Data Graphics ( Text Callouts, Icon Sets, Data Bars or Color by Value) that may already exist in a Visio diagram when it is embedded into Power BI. This reduces the number of shapes in the visual (there is currently a low limit) and, in any case, the data should be displayed from Power BI.

I want to be able to display some data as icons and data bars within the Visio diagram, so what is the alternative? Fortunately, there is a way using text symbol characters and the wonderful Power Query formulas!

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