David J. Parker
Microsoft MVP (Visio)
My background is in data visualisation ever since as a building architect in the ‘80s I struggled to produce lists of equipment from CAD models. I moved into building and infrastructure asset management in the late ‘80s using Unix systems, and gradually moved into Windows-based systems throughout the ‘90s. I became a European Business partner of Visio Corporation in 1996, and presented the database-linked Visio solutions that I was providing to the merchant banks in London and New York at several international conferences. I started bVisual in 1998, and have been providing Visio solutions to various industries since then, and became Microsoft Partner with Silver level competencies. I have been a Microsoft MVP (Visio) for the last 10 years, and have helped Microsoft Corp., UK and Western Europe by providing Visio solutions, training, web-site content and presentations. I was one of the others of the Microsoft Visio developer exam, and have had 3 books on Visio published. I have been presenting Visio/SharePoint integration courses for the last 2 years for Microsoft Western Europe from Oslo in the north down to Lisbon in the south. bVisual is a registered Microsoft vendor in Denmark and Ireland.
Microsoft acquired Visio in 1999, and have been gradually aligning the code-base with other Office applications since then. Each version has seen improvements, but some Microsoft add-ons have also been deprecated. Integration with SharePoint began properly with the 2010 cycle, but significant changes have been made in the 2013 range. It is important to understand the implications of these changes before embarking on Visio and SharePoint integration.
Visio has always been popular for process flow diagrams, ever since it achieved its original launch aim to out-sell ABC Flowcharter in the early ‘90s. Visio has increased its level of maturity over the years, and currently provides diagramming validation for process flowcharts, BPMN diagrams and SharePoint Workflows. These diagramming rules are customisable, and are essential for the validation of information before exporting to external repositories. My last two books have been aimed at corporate developers who wish to understanding these rules and how to satisfy business requirements.
Visio solutions usually involve the creation of custom shapes that encapsulate as much smartness as possible, and custom code that interacts with the Visio shapes as efficiently as possible. The addition of SharePoint, and its latent capabilities, adds complexities to the solution that need to be analysed and synthesised before a solution design is settled upon.
Writing the book on holiday in Turkey August 2006