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TechNet for Visio Services in SharePoint
Chris Hopkins' Visilog
Previously we showed how Visio
Services lets you view diagrams in the browser. By default Visio Web Drawings
open in their own web page for a full screen viewing experience. Visio Services
also allows Visio Web Drawings to be embedded in other SharePoint pages.
Using the Visio Web Access web part you can embed either static or data-driven
Visio Web Drawings in SharePoint pages adding visual flair and insights to
portal pages and dashboards. By centralizing relevant information onto one page,
viewers save time and can, at a glance, understand the state of their business.
Take a look below at a Supply Chain Dashboard featuring a Visio Web Access web
part in the top left – in this case the data-driven visual quickly helps ground
viewers in the current state of a supply chain, and its proximity to a relevant
Excel chart, documents and links makes decision making and implementation easy.
Embedding the Visio Web Access Web part in a SharePoint
To embed a Web Drawing in a page, you must be a site administrator for that page
with either "Contribute", "Approve", "Manage Hierarchy", "Design" or "Full
Control" permissions. Given you are an administrator, adding a Web Drawing to a
page is as easy as editing the page and placing a Visio Web Access web part on
it. To do so, follow the steps below:
At this point, an empty Visio Web Access web part should appear on your page. It
looks like this:
To assign an existing Web Drawing to display in this Web Part follow the “Click
here to open the tool pane” link, this will surface the UI see below and will
switch the page into Edit mode. This is called the web part’s the tool pane.
Type in the URL to the Web Drawing you want to display in the text box, or
better yet, use the browser button to navigate the SharePoint folder structure
to find the drawing in question. Once the URL is in the input field, hit either
the “Apply” or “Ok” buttons at the bottom of the configuration panel and voilà –
your Web Drawing is now embedded in the page.
Note that you can only embed Web Drawings that are hosted within the same
SharePoint farm as the site hosting the web part. Also note that Visio Services
checks the permissions of page viewers before it renders a Web Drawing -- if the
viewer doesn’t have at least “View” permissions, Visio Services will not render
the Web Drawing.
To complete the dashboard shown at the beginning of this article, repeat the
process by adding other SharePoint and Office web parts.
Further Configuring the Visio Web Access Web Part
If you look below the “Web Drawing URL” property in the tool pane (see the tool
pane image above), you’ll see a host of other properties you can set to
customize the Visio Web Access web part. They include:
What the customization does
Override the Web Drawing's default initial view using the web part's current
page, pan and zoom
By default, when the web part displays a Web Drawing, it opens the page of the
drawing that was open when the drawing was last saved, keeping the same zoom
level and pan coordinates.
You can override this to display, by checking this box and manipulating the
diagram directly in the web part; Visio Services will persist the current pan,
zoom and page settings when you click “Ok” or “Apply”.
Force raster rendering
If the person viewing the Web Drawing has Silverlight 3.0 or later installed,
the Web Drawing will be rendered using Silverlight.Otherwise, the Web Drawing is
rendered as an image file in PNG format.
If you would prefer that the Web Part never use Silverlight, even if it is
installed on the viewer’s computer, you can select this option.
Automatic Refresh Interval
If the Web Drawing is connected
to an external data source, you can have the Web Part check the data source
periodically to get the latest data.
Type the number of minutes you would like for the interval between data refresh
attempts. Leave this at 0 (zero) if you prefer that users refresh the data
manually by clicking the Refresh button on the Visio Web Access web part .
Values must be integers and greater or equal to 1.
Note that while a page designer may set the automatic refresh rate to occur
frequently, a high refresh rate may tax the server. The Visio Services service
administration may throttle this centrally by using the “Minimum Cache Age”
service setting to improve performance.
Expose the following shape data items to web part connections
If you’ve linked the Visio Web Access web part to another web part via the “Send
Shape Data To” web part connection, the data fields that you specify in this box
are sent to the other web part on each shape click. Make sure to separate data
field names you want to send with semi-colons.
If you’re not familiar with web part connections, don’t worry… we’ll have a
detailed post about them in the future.
Various options in the “Toolbar and User Interface” section
The options available in this section of the tool pane are tools that are
available to the Web Drawing viewer to navigate the Web Drawing.
You can remove tools from the UI that you don’t want users to see by clearing
the check box beside those items. However, users will still be able to perform
some of the actions using the mouse or keyboard shortcuts. To disable
functionality completely, use the options in the Web Drawing Interactivity
Note that un-checking the last option “Show default background” will make the
web part background, which is by default gray, transparent.
Various options in the “Web Drawing Interactivity” section
Select the check boxes beside the options that you want to disable for users of
the Web Part.
As with any SharePoint web part, the Visio Web Access web part inherits and will
honor the settings found in the “Appearance”, “Layout” and “Advanced” sections
of the web part configuration panel.
Try it out!
Try out various web part configurations to understand which configuration best
suits your needs and tell us about it either by commenting on the blog or via Send