Support for the #Visio JavaScript API in #SharePoint Modern Framework, and more

It was the last day of the #MSIgnite conference today, and the video of the final presentation about Visio was worth staying for, even though some of it was content I knew about, and have mentioned in previous posts this week ( see Dive into the world of data-driven operation intelligence with Microsoft Visio, Excel and Power BI). However, there was some content I was particularly pleased to see, and that was about support for the Visio Online JavaScript API support in Modern SharePoint Framework. I have pulled out some of the key slides below, but check out the full session for more information.

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The hardworking Microsoft Visio product development team have worked hard to almost match all of the functionality of the old server-side Visio services control, but they haven’t quite got everything. So I cheered when I hear that support for html overlays are in the roadmap to be supported! All I ask for now (almost) is layer control, and I will be very happy.

They also stated that they will be enabling all this functionality for non-SharePoint web sites in the future!

Go to http://aka.ms/voapireference got more details.

 

#MSFlow is everywhere at #MSIgnite including #Visio

It will take me some time to review the content coming out at MSIgnite, but there is a re-occurring theme with the seemingly omni-presence of the Power Platform in all the user-facing applications that contain data. The Power Platform is PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI ( view a session about this ) built on top of Azure. They work together, or separately, and they add an incredible amount of flexibility and democracy to applications. In the case of Visio, there is a tantalising view of what is coming shortly! Check out this video.

MSFlowInVisio

Visio is already one of the most used business process diagramming available, having surpassed its initial target of out-selling the then market leader, ABC Flowcharter, in the early 90’s within 2 years. Now, imagine being able to pass on those business process diagrams, created by analysts or employees closer to the problem, to the power-user who can markup the MSFlow connectors and settings for each of the tasks, gateways and events! Finally, the completed flow can be exported to become an actual MSFlow that can be run.

There is some very important points here:

Firstly, there is no disconnect between the business flow requirements and the technology employed to effect them. This will surely smooth out any communication issues between teams!

Secondly, the Visio document becomes a detailed flow template that can be re-used, or copied and modified to become other detailed flow templates.

Thirdly, the Visio interface, which will be in Visio Online Plan 2, is much more user-friendly than the standard MSFlow web interface, plus it can be annotated and even printed (yes, some people like to paper walls!). When they have added in the reverse-engineering of existing MSFlows then there should be a rush to add a Visio subscription.

My own presentation was about the possibilities when you use the Visio custom visual for Power BI, so now consider the flow marked-up business process diagrams in a dashboard with the realtime data from the running flow. The potential is blowing my mind!

As I said at the start, the Power Tools are omni-present, and Visio has the potential to become a first-class exponent!

 

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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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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#PowerApps in #PowerBI with #Visio!!!

I am very excited to see that the preview for PowerApps in PowerBI has been released ( see Announcing availability of PowerApps custom visual for Power BI (preview) ). I saw this demonstrated months ago, and have been waiting impatiently ever since. Every time I have embedded a Visio diagram into PowerBI, I have wanted to display the selected shape data in a detail view … and now I can!

I cannot yet create a PowerBI report with the embedded PowerApps visual for consumption by the whole internet, but it should still solve many scenarios for organisations. I quickly added the new PowerApps visual to my example synchronised Org Chart and Desk Layout from my previous article ( #Visio in #PowerBI for viewing personnel hierarchies and locations ) , and recorded a simple selection in the following gif:

Selecting a Person.gif

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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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