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Chapter 6. Associating Data with Visio S... > Linking Visio SmartShapes Symbols to...

Linking Visio SmartShapes Symbols to Databases—The Visio Database Wizard

I'm sure you have heard it many times—Visio is more than just static pictures or clip art. Visio allows real-world data to be represented in an easy-to-use graphical manner. One mechanism that makes this more than a marketing ploy is Visio's introduction of the Database Wizard. The Database Wizard was introduced under Visio 4.0 and has improved with each iteration. I will walk through the process of creating a sample Microsoft Access database, creating an ODBC Datasource, and linking a Visio shape to a particular record in the required database. Additionally I will describe in detail the cells in the Visio ShapeSheet environment that are added or modified after the Wizard has run and discuss the capabilities that you acquire with your newly data-enabled Visio SmartShapes symbol.

I will create a custom Visio SmartShapes symbol to be used in a corporate organizational chart. Rather than start from scratch, I will “adaptively reuse” one of Visio's own organizational charting symbols and modify it to suit our needs. First, I will create an Access database. Next, I will set up an ODBC Datasource using the Access database I just created. Then I will go into Visio, modify our custom SmartShapes symbol, and run the Database Wizard. When the Wizard is finished, I will have a data-enabled SmartShapes symbol to use in our organizational chart.


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