Link Visio Shapes to Excel Online Data

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Excel Online ODBC Driver

The Excel Online ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Excel Online data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Excel Online Spreadsheet data like you would a database - read, write, and update data through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Automatically update Excel Online data with the changes you make to Visio master shapes.

Automate the process of entering data into Visio diagrams and keeping your diagrams up to date with the CData ODBC Driver for Excel Online. The driver surfaces Excel Online data as an ODBC data source that can be accessed by applications with built-in ODBC support like Microsoft Office. This article shows how to create a simple diagram to start brainstorming about Visio projects linked to Excel Online data.

Connect to Excel Online as an ODBC Data Source

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

You can connect to a workbook by providing authentication to Excel Online and then setting the following properties:

  • Workbook: Set this to the name or Id of the workbook.

    If you want to view a list of information about the available workbooks, execute a query to the Workbooks view after you authenticate.

  • UseSandbox: Set this to true if you are connecting to a workbook in a sandbox account. Otherwise, leave this blank to connect to a production account.

You use the OAuth authentication standard to authenticate to Excel Online. See the Getting Started section in the help documentation for a guide. Getting Started also guides you through executing SQL to worksheets and ranges.

Connect Excel Online Data to Diagrams

Follow the steps below to use the Data Selector Wizard to import data into your diagram.

  1. Open Visio and click File -> New. Open the Brainstorming template.
  2. On the Data tab, click Link Data to Shapes.
  3. Select the ODBC option and select ODBC DSN.
  4. Select the DSN for Excel Online, select the table you want to import, and finish the wizard. This article uses Test_xlsx_Sheet1 as an example.

Link Excel Online Entities to Shapes

Follow the steps below to create a simple diagram that shows how to create shapes from your data, one of the ways to link Excel Online entities to shapes:

  1. Click Brainstorming Shapes and drag a main topic onto the drawing page. Enter Test_xlsx_Sheet1 as the text of the main topic.
  2. Click Topic.
  3. Select a row in the External Data window and drag it onto the drawing page.
  4. Right-click the Topic shape and click Data -> Edit Data Graphic.
  5. Click New Item.
  6. In the Data Field menu, select a column. In the Displayed As menu, select how to display them.
  7. Drag a few other Excel Online entities onto the drawing page and add association lines back to the main topic, Test_xlsx_Sheet1. New topics have the same configuration: Numeric columns displayed in data bars stand out in contrast to other Test_xlsx_Sheet1 entities.

You can refresh your diagram from the Data tab, synchronizing your shapes with the external Excel Online data.