Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Visio and SharePoint Online

I see a growing use of Visio but what many don’t appreciate is the power that combining Visio with SharePoint Online brings.

Firstly, you are going to need an Office 365 plans that includes SharePoint Online Plan 2 because only this includes Visio Services. The plans that currently incorporate SharePoint Online Plan 2 are:

- SharePoint Online Plan 2 (stand alone)

- Office Web Apps SharePoint Online Plan 2

- Enterprise E3 Suite

- Enterprise E4 Suite

Visio services basically allows Visio drawings to be displayed directly in a web browser.

image

In the above SharePoint Online document library I have 3 Visio files:

- demo.vdw

- demo.vsd

- o365-plan-choice.vsdx

If I select the older Visio VSD file:

image

I’m asked to either open the file or save it locally.

If I however now select the older VDW file:

image

because I am using an E3 plan that include SharePoint Online Plan 2 with Visio services, that Visio drawing opens in a browser with the functionality of a Visio viewer.

If I now select the newer VSDX file:

image

you see once again, thanks to the magic of Visio services, the file opens up in a web browser.

So in summary, only older VDW and newer VSDX files can be opened directly in Visio services with SharePoint Online Plan 2.

image

With Visio services you can also embed a web part into a SharePoint Online page and display any compatible Visio diagram directly in a web page like show above.

Also don’t forget that Visio diagrams can contain things like links so when someone clicks on a image in the diagram (like on a server in the above screen shot) it can take them to another page (maybe a list of the specifications for that server, also in SharePoint Online).

If you like what you see get into SharePoint Online Plan 2 and Visio. Very cool!