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About Visio and Databases

Shapes are a visual representation of what can be considered a flat-file database. That is, each shape represents one record. Each shape property (including custom properties and Shape-Sheet properties) represents one field in a record. A property value corresponds to the value of a field in a shape record. If you’re more accustomed to thinking in spreadsheet terms, each shape is like a row, each custom property or ShapeSheet cell is like a column, and each value is a cell’s contents. Because Visio organizes shape information in this fashion, it’s easy to export data from shapes as well as link external data sources to shapes.

Visio includes several commands and wizards for exchanging data. This chapter focuses primarily on two options:


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