Cannot Open Tables constructed in Visio for Enterprise Architects 2003

Started by baseliner, February 16, 2020, 09:42:51 AM

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Hi, My company has a number of Business Critical Documents that consist of tables that represent database tables from the products that they develop. I need to move them onto a new version of Visio (starting with 2010 as test) but although the documents created in the old version can be opened when you try to click on the tables, you get the following errors

"ER source Model Support is not installed"

"The action you executed requires a Database Model Document"

I'm just the Infrastructure Engineer trying to get them off old software, so I have very little experience with Visio but links like the one below, regarding how to implemented the reverse engineer function, sound promising but ultimately I'm still not clear how you can open up old Visio documents and see all the table properties ? Even when I follow the article below to open up a new file in 2010, using the Database Model Diagram template, I still cannot even copy and paste a table into it


Hello Baseliner,
Your issue is so special that noone seems to know a good answer.
The thing is:
- The 2003 file may make a call to a function that does not exist in your visio version
- Your Visio version (or addin) may expect other data than the 2003 file provides
- You may not have the right addin installed
- ... so many other reasons

I would suggest to get back to Microsoft's service and ask for support. At the price the charge the software for it it is legimate.


while in new visio, have tried to open 2003 file and save as VSDX or VSDM file format?  I might pick up the linkage you need


Just to clarify the situation.

Visio 2003 had a special feature, called "Database Modeling", including Reverse Engineering of database (creating a diagram out of a database), and Forward Engineering (creating a database out of a diagram)
This functionality was provided with a special component (a built-in add-in). To work with databases, this component needs to be installed and activated for the diagram (i.e. the diagram should be created using the "Database Diagram" template)

Microsoft removed the feature "Forward Engineering" in Visio 2007, and "Reverse Engineering" in Visio 2013.

A few years later, in Visio 2019, "Reverse Engineering" was re-introduced, but this is already sort of new feature (I would not assume it is fully compatible with the old feature from the past).

Resume: I'd keep Visio 2003 if I needed those old diagrams to be fully functional.

Hey Ken


   I run Visio 2003 at home, and FYI it does not support reading or writing .vsdx or .vsdm files.

   - Ken
Ken V. Krawchuk
No Dogs on Mars - A Starship Story


then stay on 2003 to keep your connections.  Not sure how new visio plays into this debate (other than  no longer supported).
I.e. if you have to keep 2003 for any reason, then stay on 2003 and don't bother to try something later.
Not sure how the circular argument even got to point of posting here ;-)


Based upon Nikolay's input, it seems there's one good choice, stay with V2003, and one hopeful choice, try V2019.  Don't know if a free eval is available.  I wouldn't uninstall V2003 as it sounds like there maybe some add-ins/features you may need to leverage.
Visio 2019 Pro


I think Visio 2003 was awesome actually.
If it could connect to the cloud storage (such as azure and sharepoint), read/write VSDX, connect to data sources and do data graphics, why would one ever need something else ;D


@Nikolay:  That's how I felt about V2007.   At my former work, they switched over to V2010 and I instantly became a ribbon UI hater.  Never tempted to upgrade.  Then, along comes V2019.  Surprisingly, I like it more than V2007.  Not tempted to go back.  There are some really useful "path" features. 
Visio 2019 Pro


I am just wondering why Visio 2013 (and above) are so incredibly slow? Is it really the change of the drawing engine?
Or just change of the team? Like, "memory is not a resource anymore" motto put into practice?


FWIW....Visio under MS Teams is about the best UI change MS has made in 20 years....nice and clean

RE 2013:  Startup slower and lots of real kludged design decisions and lame features
               But once up, ran fine for me (on par with 2003).

Paul Herber

Visio for Enterprise Architects was a version of Visio that interfaced with Visual Studio to create database diagrams. Alledgedly the Visio staff didn't want anything to do with it as it was considered to be a VS product, and the VS staff didn't want anything to do with it either. So it got dropped like a hot potato.
By such tactics are multi-billion dollar corporations run.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


World is full of great ideas only to fail because everybody is spending their time on blood feuds.
For me, it was always "fun" trying to get the Hatfields and McCoys to work together  ;-)

Paul Herber

I don't remember any Hatfield character in Star Trek! It's Visio, Jim, but not as we know it.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -