Power up your #Visio diagrams

It’s a new year, and Microsoft Visio Online Plan 2 continues to be updated monthly. There is plenty to get excited about, for example, broken links in Data Visualizer can now be repaired automatically. Also, I am pleased to report that I have written a white paper on using Visio in Power BI effectively! This downloadable guide explains how to combine Visio drawing pages and Power BI data to create great interactive data visualizations, and can be requested from Power up your Visio diagrams.

preview-lightbox-cta-02

I will also be doing a webcast about this subject, so be sure to sign up for notification!

Reading the registry for #Visio settings

I love writing Visio automation code, but I really don’t like writing setup & deployment scripts. There are so many variables : What Visio version, which edition? Which bitness (x86 or x64)? What are the user settings for the paths of stencils or templates?

So, I decided to write myself some C# functions that can be used in custom actions for an installation writing application, such as Advanced Installer. I think of the methods as being in one of three phases, Installation; Functionality and Configuration. The registry has three different areas to search within, Classes Root (HKCR); Local Machine (HKLM) and Current User (HKCU). In addition, the best way to get the true file version of Visio is to use FileInfo on the executable. The following screenshots are from a Cross-Functional Flowchart of the functions that get values for variables, and use them in other functions, until, eventually, the current user settings can be read.

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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.

 

Immersive #MixedReality is coming to #Visio

I used to be a building architect that worked with 3D modelling, and then I worked for a CAD company that sold expensive systems much more easily when its 3D capabilities where demonstrated, rather than the then revolutionary database-linking was shown. The reality was that the 3D was barely used in practice because it was seen as a nice to have, rather than an essential. The data-linking to 2D was its core capability, but it was difficult to setup and customise. It was the ability of Visio graphics to link to data, and the ease with which it could be customised, that caused me to switch to using Visio back in the 90’s.

We have come a long way since then, and Microsoft have stated that Mixed Reality is one of its three main bets, along with Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. So, at #MSIgnite we saw many previews of the virtual future, including:

Intro to Microsoft Layout

Visio Immersive: Visio in 3D and Mixed Reality

ImmersiveVisio

The first video explains the difference between Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and  Virtual Reality very well. It also introduces the preview add-in for Visio that allows you to export diagrams into the 3D world.

The second video demonstrates how the 3D export from Visio works along with a couple of example immersive demos of a factory floor and an office. Visio is used to diagram more than the measured world, so it is just as easy to export a network diagram, process flows or organisation charts, for example.

The far right of the diagram above from the Visio session shows the intent to provide overlaying data in these 3D environments. Now this could be big, and provides an easy way to create a digital twin.

Exporting to 3D from Visio is not new, for example the excellent 3D Visioner, but the might of Microsoft will be stiff competition.

I haven’t got an MR headset yet, so I am hoping that there will be some flash sales soon….

 

#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

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#Visio Roadmap @ #MSIgnite 2018

The first slot of the day at the furthest away room from the main conference area is not the ideal time to present anything, but those attendees that made it saw how many new features have been added to Visio recently, and what is soon to be added. The session recording should be available soon, but for those who can’t wait, here is a spoiler! ( View the session here )

VisioRoadmap2018

Recent released features:

  • Visio Online
  • PowerPoint Slide Snippets
  • Data Visualizer
  • Visio Visual in Power BI
  • Microsoft Teams integration
  • Data Visualizer bi-directional links
  • Export to Word

Released at Ignite:

  • Cross-functional flowcharts in Visio Online
  • New Azure Stencils in Visio Online

Soon to be released:

  • UML diagrams and Wireframes in Visio Online
  • Microsoft Flow integration
  • Collaboration enhancements
  • Data Visualizer diagrams in Excel
  • Data-driven Org. Charts, Timelines, Roadmaps
  • Visio immersive
  • Surface Hub integration

Well, that should keep me busy for a while. Now, who wants to give me a project that requires a mixed-reality headset?

 

My session @ #MSIgnite about #Visio and #PowerBI

Well, that is the first day of MSIgnite over, and I am looking forward to hearing more about the roadmap for Visio today. I presented my session yesterday in a theater that seats 50 but 1,000 had registered for. In the end, the space was so full, I had no idea how many were there, but it was a lot! ( View my session on YouTube / View a 360 image)

DJP_Session_Action

I will be on the Visio booth now for a lot of the time during the conference, so please come talk to me about the possibilities of Visio solutions and integration with other Office applications and Office365. Microsoft have some cool demos of Visio / 3D Mixed Reality, Visio / MSFlow and, of course, Visio / PowerBI.

My book publishers have kindly provided some discounts for the duration of the conference:

  • eBook Discount: 50%Code – MDVMP50
  • Print Discount: 15%Code – MDVMP15
  • Valid until September 30th 2018
  • Go to packtpub.com

In addition, we will be offering the chance to win a copy of mine and Scott Helmers’ book “Microsoft Visio 2016 Step by Step” on the booth.

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