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Visio Publishing Tool - Online Concept

Started by Nikolay, February 09, 2015, 11:52:10 PM

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Hi guys,

Now i'm kind of moving towards web - decided to try moving that setup-building extension to web as well. Nobody likes xml.
So here is a new site:

It allows build a setup (like with Visio Solution Publishing tool) in a few clicks, and completely online - no installation of anything.
You give your setup a name, upload stencils/templates, click "build" and get setup file which installs templates/stencils for Visio (i.e. start page / menu).

You can specify category\name under which the template/stencil should be visible.

Isn't it kind of cool, how many things can now be done completely online?
More or less for fun, but hope you find it useful! :)


As usual, very nice.
Tried it out with a simple stencil, got an error about a wrong name. Will have later a look at it.


For me it looks fine.. I.e. I can see your project, it seems to build and install fine?

The point may be, now only English language (English letters) are supported.

Paul Herber

Nikolay, that is incredible. It wouldn't have occured to me that that was possible. I suppose you must have an MS based web server, that's something I wouldn't consider.

I've just tried it out, seems to work very nicely. Would you like me to add it to my online Visio resource directory?
Perhaps you should mention that full details of what you build are open to public view.

I've always found the software licence page to be a pain in the proverbial, I do wonder why it is a compulsory step in the WixUI. Surely it would have been easy for that step to be missed out if no licence file was specified. There are many occasions when it is completely redundant i.e. building an msi file for use within your own business, I see no use for making company employees agreeing to a licence page!

Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -

Visio Guy

This is very interesting. Now I know you did it for fun, but here's my comments--to keep the conversation going :)

1. I created a stencil + template, but I don't see the template in my Visio (2010) start page, and the stencil doesn't show anywhere in the My Shapes list. Did I do something wrong? I thought that is what the whole "solution publishing" thing was supposed to do. I must have missed a field somewhere...:)

Edit: OK, I figured it out. For each file, you can specify a category for the home screen or stencil list using a path syntax. So for "Visio Menu Name", you set, e.g.: "Visio Guy\Text on Circle Trial" instead of just "Test on Circle Trial". Now the template and stencil show up in the "Visio Guy" category and folder. Nice!

2. It installs with Nikolay's digital certificate. I can see people wanting to use their own. What are the issues with an online service signing with a personal signature, or could a user sign the MSI afterwards?

3. I can see customers being worried about their content being uploaded, but not being deleted or somehow protected. What can Azure do to make users feel comfortable that their uploaded files remain private, inaccessible or are deleted?

4. Is there a way to add Stencil group and Template group to the service? I think this is in the WiX stuff, according to Nikolay's article.

Thanks for the great test-run, really really interesting approach to a really annoying Visio deployment task!
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010

Paul Herber

Odd, mine wasn't signed, I certainly wouldn't expect it to be.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


It is a free-tier website hosted on azure (no extra anything like VPS is required actually).
The setup is compiled with WIX, it looks like you can do that from a web-application without any issues (no admin rights are required).

1. Paul, sure you can put to your list :)

2. There is no signature at all, as far as I can tell. Why would I use my certificate to sign I don't know what ? :)
Not sure if signing can be done completely online.. Also it may not be that good idea - you'll need to specify a password for the certificate. Al tough this might be okay if security is properly implemented. The setup can be signed afterwards though.

3. There is no login/user credentials support for now (it's just not implemented - can be done of course in azure, but requires some effort). It's just a test run, of course there should be some security, at least edit/delete should be allowed only to the owner.

4. License and custom wizard images are also do-able of course, but are just not implemented yet. I just tried to keep everything as simple as possible.
If you think this makes sense, it could be added!

5. Language - German letters like "ö" (or Cyrillic etc) may cause issues (also the generated setup now is always English) this language thing can be also addressed.
Need to add language support.

Chris, what do you mean by "file groups" - did not quite get that idea?

Anyways, I'm happy that you find it useful guys! :)

Visio Guy

Thanks for the answers. I figured out the "file groups" thing by using the path syntax: "Category\My Stencil".

The cloud is getting very interesting...even for the client!
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010



1. Account support added (you can now login/logout)
If you create a project when you are logged in (non-anonymously) then only you can edit/delete this project or files in that project.

2. License options added:
- you can specify base UI template for the installer (InstallDir/InstallDir without license/No user interface)
- you can also specify your license file, if needed instead of the standard one.
Defaults to WiX default license (CPL Version 1.0)

3. Language support added:
- Now the installer can be in any UI language WiX supports.
Defaults to English


I think this is not actually limited to Visio and can be in principle extended to provide a service to build arbitrary setups online  8)

Paul Herber

As there is no Like button I'll have to do a
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -

Visio Guy

Nikolay, you are a mad man!

(I mean that in the best possible way!)
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010




1. Added public/private support.
- If project is set to be "private" then it is only visible/editable to you only and nobody else.
- If set "public", then it is editable to you and "downloadable" to all others.

2. Added "download" link to the project list.


Having everything public, would have stopped most people of using it.

Browser ID: smf (possibly_robot)
Templates: 4: index (default), Display (default), GenericControls (default), GenericControls (default).
Sub templates: 6: init, html_above, body_above, main, body_below, html_below.
Language files: 4: index+Modifications.english (default), Post.english (default), Editor.english (default), Drafts.english (default).
Style sheets: 4: index.css, attachments.css, jquery.sceditor.css, responsive.css.
Hooks called: 445 (show)
Files included: 32 - 1207KB. (show)
Memory used: 1287KB.
Tokens: post-login.
Cache hits: 13: 0.00201s for 26,767 bytes (show)
Cache misses: 2: (show)
Queries used: 16.

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