What's the best approach to linking all my Visio diagrams

Started by collierd, September 08, 2014, 08:34:57 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Hello All

I have been tasked with modelling our business from both a business and technical 'what we have now' viewpoint
I'm using Visio 2007 for this and have started with a very high level diagram
I've now started breaking this down into smaller chunks

The issue here is, without going out and investing in an expensive piece software such as i-server by Orbus (done a bit of research in this area), I can't see how I can get the diagrams to interact in some way

I really want to be able to link to sub diagrams and even word or Excel files where relevant, in a less 'stand alone' way

Is my approach wrong here i.e. am I missing some important functionality with Visio
OR should I be using a later version
Do products such as Office 365 offer improved document connectivity in this area?



Paul Herber

Hyperlinks are the answer. Select a shape, menu Insert -> Hyperlink
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -



Thanks Paul

I think I will use Hyperlinks
Can hyperlinks be made dynamic?
If I put an hyperlink in, it refers to a specific file in a specific location
The filename is not an issue as it has to be called something

Do you have any advice with the following scenario

I create (for example) 50 visio diagrams all stored in a specific file location
I decide to move all (or some of) the files to another server or another location on the existing server
It loses the hyperlink reference

Can Hyperlinks be made dynamic such that I could maybe even refer to a database for the location?




In Visio you can do this to a degree. If you add a Hyperlink (pointing to some file) to a Visio shape, look at it's shapesheet. You will see how the hyperlink is represented in the ShapeSheet cells. In that cells you can place formulas that you can either update or change dynamically. For example with using Visio's (Professional only) Datalink feature.


I have seen the hyperlink approach used across a massive set of diagrams numbering in the low thousands of diagrams/files. Specifically, the process reference models for the Oracle Retail ERP system, published by Oracle under the title Oracle retail Reference Library, only available to licensed customers.  Covers level 0-3/4 of business process, in a BPMN-like swimlane format.

The published version is a folder structure that can be unzipped onto a shared drive or published via a web server, and also each diagram has been exported to JPG with image links to allow access via a browser via the shared drive or on a web server.  I don't know whether Oracle used any tools to help automate the publishing process.

Oracle started developing these diagrams using ISD Scheer/Software AG ARIS (at the time when Oracle was OEM'ing ARIS), but translated these to Visio when they no longer OEM'ed ARIS and to make the diagrams cheaper to edit by consultancies/customers to tailor for their specific businesses.

That said, it may be worth starting with a structured database ontology and "meld" that with Visio to help automate this approach.  I would explore the free Enterprise Architecture tool called essential EA for it's database repository structure (maintained using a piece of academic freeware called Standford Protege ), and extend that to reference visio diagrams where the repository driven drawings from essential don't fill the need.