Office 365's SharePoint Visio Services offers a fast and simple way to work with Visio diagrams. In this article, we are going to present a diagram that was built on Visio 2013 using Visio Services as a dashboard. To view how the Visio diagram was built you can refer to my 'Build Visio 2013 diagram for SharePoint Online' article



We want to create a dashboard using Visio Services such that we can view a minute by minute update of the employee onboarding stages and the quantity of the assets. To achieve this we have an O365 SharePoint site with three lists called assets, onboarding tasks and employee-onboarding. A Visio diagram has been built on Visio 2013 Pro with external connections to these three lists. Data graphics connections have also been established on this Visio diagram with the lists. This Visio diagram is now stored on SharePoint online and is now going to make data connections between the diagram and the SharePoint lists.


Visio Web part connections

In this article, we are going to look at two connections.

1. Send Shape data to: Changing the list web part's data based on the shape in the Visio diagram

2. Get Shapes to highlight from: Changing/highlighting the shape of a Visio diagram based on list data.



Below are the three lists and their respective columns.


This list stores the ID, name, current quantity and required a quantity of each asset. Below is a screenshot of the columns and the list items.

Onboarding tasks

This list stores the title, estimated time take and the actual time taken to complete tasks. The time is recorded in hours. Below is a screenshot of the columns and the list items.

Employee onboarding

This list is to put in a request for new employees. Current onboarding status, employee Id, employee name and employee type are the columns. 

Below is a screenshot of the columns and the list items.


Brief description of the Visio diagram

The Visio diagram was built using Visio 2013 Pro. Below is a video of how the Visio diagram was built. You can view 'Build Visio 2013 diagram for SharePoint Online'. The VSDX file is stored in a document library.


Adding the web parts

Adding the Visio Web Access web part

A new page called Visio has been set up. A Visio Web Access web part has been added as shown below.

Once the web part is added edit it.

Add the Web Drawing's URL. This also a good time to change the appearance, in this case, changed the height to 800 Pixels.

You should now see the Visio diagram on the page.

Adding the list web parts

Add the two web parts such that the onboarding tasks are above the Visio diagram and the assets are below.

The location of the web parts is purely for esthetic reason. Below are screenshots of the page layout


Setup and configure the connection

Send Shape to data

We are going to use the 'Send shape to data' connection such that when a shape is selected on the Visio diagram the relative onboarding task item is provided. 

Edit the page, exit the Visio web part and make the selections as shown below

You will be presented with the below dialog. The connection type is 'Get Filter Values From'. Logically this option makes sense because we want to get some values from the Shape to filter the list items. Click Configure

You will now be presented with the next dialog. This is where things get confusing. By default, the provider field is Shape ID and the consumer field is blank.

The provider is the Visio shape that is providing the information and the consumer field is the list that is consuming the information.

When we look at the Visio web part and the onboarding tasks list we see that the Shape name from the Visio diagram matches the title column from the list hence we make the below choices and click Finish.

Now we see that the Onboarding tasks' items are missing. However, when we click any one of the shapes, the list continues to remain blank. This means that the connection configuration isn't correct.

To resolve this issue we need to open the VSDX back in Visio Pro and look at the shape's data definition.

In Visio Web Access click the 'OPEN IN VISIO' option. You will be presented with the below message. Click Yes

We now want to view the data of a shape to find the matching information. You can do that two ways-

1) Click any one of the shapes, then right-click and choose 'Shape Data…' as shown below.

2) Or you can simply click the 'Shape Data Window' option in the Data ribbon.

Now we see that the Title of the Shape Data matches the Title of the list column.

However, if you recall when making the connection on SharePoint, Title was not an option to choose in the Provider Field Name. Below is a screenshot

Hence to add that option we need to go back to SharePoint online, edit the Visio web part and add Title in the 'Expose the following shape data items to the web part connections'

Now when you go back to make the connection, you will see Title as an option. Hence make the connection settings as shown below.

 By default, the onboarding tasks list will be empty, but now when you click on any one of the shapes, the related onboarding list will appear.

For example, we clicked the creating accounts shape after which the related item appears.



Get Shapes to Highlight From

We are going to use the 'Get Shapes to Highly From' connection such that when a list item is selected the respective assets Visio shape will be highlighted. 

Before you continue to select the Asset page in the Visio web access web part and then edit the page. Make the selections as shown below

You will now see the below dialog window.

We want to setup the connection such that when the Asset Name item is selected on the list, the matching Visio shape in the diagram will highlight. Hence below is the connection setting

You will immediately notice the relationship icon has appeared for each item in the Assets list. Depending on which item you select the respective shape will be selected. For example, we selected the Tower PC item and now the tower pc shape has been highlighted. Below is a screenshot

Next Level

Now the two lists and their relationships to the Visio services works like a champ, but lets' take it to the next level.

Right below the Onboarding tasks add the employee onboarding list as well. Below is a screenshot

Edit the employee onboarding list and make the 'Get Filter Values From' connection as shown below.

Below is the connection settings. Click Finish.

As you can see the employee onboarding list is filtered as well

Now when you select a shape, say background check, the respective onboarding task item and the employee onboarding item is presented. It is important to under the relationship here. The onboarding task list makes its decision based on what shape is selected. The employee onboarding list makes its decision based on what onboarding tasks item is present. Below is a screenshot


Testing the automatic refresh interval

When you edit the Visio Web Access web part, you will see an option called 'Automatic Refresh Interval (in minutes)'. This setting sets the time for the Visio diagram to refresh the data from the lists. As an example, we have set up the refresh interval for 1 minute. Below is a screenshot

As a test lets' make changes to the Background check to test the refresh. Currently, the background check has a red arrow pointing downwards because the actual time taken to perform this task is more than the estimated time taken. Below is a screenshot of the visual display of this status. As you can see the actual time taken is three days while the estimated time taken is considered as two days. Hence the red arrow points downwards.

We are now going to change the actual time taken to two days. Below is a screenshot

After the next refresh interval has gone through you will notice the background check shape's status has changed. You will now see a green arrow point upwards. Below is a screenshot



We have built a video to walk through the process of adding the list and the Visio web parts and adding the relationships. 

(Click Here for high-resolution video)



Besides the modern look of the app, the new Visio offers several new capabilities. As Microsoft has rightly stated, " Visio Services is a part of Microsoft SharePoint and O365 that offers a fast and simple way to consume Visio diagrams". To read more about Visio Services full fidelity viewing capabilities Click Here