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Updating Your Solution

It is rare that any solution that goes out in “one-point-oh” format is never altered or updated. To this end, it is important to consider how you will plan to update your solution. It would be easy to say that you will simply burn a new CD and overwrite any previous files with newer versions of them upon installation of your updated solution. This might work for any.VSL or.EXE files, but you need to keep in mind something you learned early on in this book. When a user drags out a master from a stencil onto a drawing page, Visio makes a local copy of that master in the drawing's local stencil. From that point on, that diagram never looks back to the external stencil for information about that master. If you delete the master from the local stencil, it does not re-read it from the external; rather, it severs the connection from the master to the individual instances, rendering them incapable of inheritance and increasing their size as well.

As you have seen earlier, it is possible to generate a SmartShape symbol on the fly. This means that you can actually use code to modify the geometry and properties of the master. However, this would require a rather large body of code to validate and that you change every aspect of each master on a stencil, whether external or local.


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