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Connecting Your Visio Drawing to an Excel Database in Visio Standard

This video explains how you can connect your Microsoft Visio drawing to an Excel database. This method is available in any edition of Visio 2010, including Visio Standard. Once the database is connected to your Visio drawing, each time you drop a shape on your drawing, Visio will ask you to assign a record.

The example looked at in the Video is a simple flowchart. An important part of the database design is to include a field that contains a unique identifier for each record. In this example we have created a Process No. field that gives each record a numeric ID.

Another important part of the database design is that you will to need to name your database. Naming is just another way of referring to a range of cells. If you are not sure how naming works watch the video – it shows the process pretty clearly and just requires a few steps, starting at 00:33.

The next step is to set up an ODBC data source in the control panel, this will enable us to create a connection between your Excel database and the Visio drawing. The process is explained in the video start at 01:15.The ODBC source is set up in the Administrative Tools.

You cannot link your data source to the shapes in the stencils that Visio provides, but you can link your data to a shape that appears in your Document Stencil. Select the shape that you want to link to a record in your database and then start the Database Wizard – see this in the video starting at 04:20.

Once the Database Wizard has been completed you can then add your shapes to the drawing and Visio will prompt you to select a record to assign to the shape.

From 09:55 the video explains how to update your shape data when the underlying data is changed. You can also update the data source by change the shape data in your drawing.

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