This a second and final post on a webcast published on Microsoft’s Channel 9 web site titled Interactive Visual Dashboard Solutions with Visio Services. There are some important caveats about using Visio Services to produce data visualizations like the “interactive dashboards” Ian White presents in this presentation.
Data sources are limited. Visio Service currently provides no support as of yet for OData, so linking to external data from sources like MySQL, or other non SQL Server databases otherwise accessible via the OData protocol unfortunately won’t work. As well, Data linking is only available with Visio Professional, (available online as Visio Pro for Office 365). The graphics produced with Visio Standard will publish correctly with SharePoint, Enterprise Edition.
The Visio diagrams, as published for browsers, are presently read-only. So it is not possible, presently to draw on the diagrams “in the browser”. On a positive note, some of the process of creating shapes is automatic once data is linked to a Visio diagram. As well, an extensive set of symbols and images is provided with either Visio Standard, or Visio Professional, out-of-the-box. These lend themselves to the kind of implementation in dashboard displays usually created for data visualizations built on business performance metrics.
There are differences between what users can do with dynamic diagrams built with Visio Services on-premises vs. in the cloud: With SharePoint 2013 on-premises, “Native External Lists support via BCS – WCF, .NET, OData” is possible; however, in an Office 365 implementation, “Native External Lists support via BCS” is the only option. As well, the security features of Visio Services with SharePoint 2013 on premises “Supports Kerberos, SSS & Unattended Authentication”, vs. the “multi-tenant environment” of Office 365, as a public cloud option.
On the subject of available data sources, Visio Services for SharePoint 2013, on-premises can be used to link to SQL data via ODC, Excel Services, SP Lists via BCS, and any other data sources conforming to OLEDB or ODBC. Custom linkage is also possible. But in an Office 365 implementation, Excel Services and/or SP Lists via BCS are the only option.
For anyone curious as to what topics are covered in the remainder of webcast, Ian White does provide a working demonstration of how to build interactive diagrams within this presentation, complete with demonstrations of how to use the Visio feature set.
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