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Link Visio Shapes to RSS Feeds

Automatically update RSS feeds 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 RSS. The driver surfaces RSS feeds 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 RSS feeds.

Connect to RSS 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 RSS and Atom feeds, as well as feeds with custom extensions. To connect to a feed, set the URL property. You can also access secure feeds. A variety of authentication mechanisms are supported. See the help documentation for details.

Connect RSS Feeds 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 RSS, select the table you want to import, and finish the wizard. This article uses Latest News as an example.

Link RSS 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 RSS entities to shapes:

  1. Click Brainstorming Shapes and drag a main topic onto the drawing page. Enter Latest News 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 RSS entities onto the drawing page and add association lines back to the main topic, Latest News. New topics have the same configuration: Numeric columns displayed in data bars stand out in contrast to other Latest News entities.

You can refresh your diagram from the Data tab, synchronizing your shapes with the external RSS feeds.