The most common set of questions in the newsgroups asks about the difference between Visio Standard and Visio Professional. For Visio 2007, Microsoft has published a handy guide detailing the differences between the two editions. There are breakdowns by feature and by diagram type.
There are a couple points worth making here. First, for those using the Visio that ships with Visual Studio for Enterprise Architects or Visual Studio Team System, there is no Visio 2007-based version as of yet. The latest Visual Studio offering includes Visio 2003.
Second, this is the first release where some features of the Visio engine are only available in Visio Professional. For those unfamiliar with Visio's archictecture, the product consists of a drawing engine plus lots of content (shapes and templates and add-ons) that work with the drawing engine. Historically, the drawing engine is the same in every edition and only the content varies by edition. In Visio 2007, the features related to data connectivity (Data Link, Data Graphics, Data Refresh) are only supported in the Professional edition. As in previous versions the Professional edition also has additional content.
Visio 2007 Standard can open files created in Visio 2007 Professional, but the data features are disabled. This delineation extends to Visio's programming interface. Automation related to the new data features will not function on Visio 2007 Standard. This behavior is somewhat akin to opening files in Visio 2003. While Visio 2003 and Visio 2007 share the same file format, Visio 2003 does not have the new data connectivity features. For example, in Visio 2003 you can work with a 2007 diagram that contains Data Graphics, but you cannot apply a data graphic to another shape or manipulate the existing data graphics.
Thanks to all our MVPs and newsgroup responders who answer questions about Visio's product editions. Now you can point them to the new Office Online link.
Yesterday Visio 2007 was made available to business customers along with the rest of the 2007 Office System. Retail availability for Visio 2007 will be January 30, 2007.
Our primary investment focuses on visualizing business information. We’ve made it significantly easier to bring your business data into Visio and visualize it in a diagram. Data Link is a new feature that imports data from external sources and associates that data with individual shapes in the drawing. Data Graphics is a new feature that surfaces your data in graphical ways. Combined with the ability to refresh from the data source, these features turn your Visio diagram into a living document.
While Data Link helps you add data to your existing diagram, Visio 2007 introduces a new drawing type called PivotDiagrams. Similar in concept to Excel PivotTables, PivotDiagrams dynamically present tabular data in a hierarchical form. By pivoting on different columns in the data, the diagram changes to aggregate information based on the breakdown specified. PivotDiagrams are a great way to explore large data sets and present meaningful information visually.
Visio 2007 also makes it easy to communicate with your audience. A new Themes feature provides one click formatting to drawings, giving them a professional appearance. Publish as PDF or XPS lets you distribute diagrams in a fixed format. Also Outlook 2007 has the Visio Viewer built right in. Sharing Visio drawings has never been easier.
There’s much more to this release, and there are a number of resources already available to showcase what’s new. Start with Microsoft Office Online and then look at MSDN and the other Visio blogs.
Visio page on Office Online - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio/default.aspx
There are some great videos on the site demonstrating many of the new features:
Video demos - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio/CH100740891033.aspx?pid=CL100729281033
For shape designers and developers, look for information on MSDN. There are some good technical articles explaining what is new in automation and how to make use of the new features.
MSDN Visio site – http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905480.aspx
Visio 2007 SDK - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=772ccdd1-7d06-4cc4-8ecd-de5864428c26&DisplayLang=en
Eric Rockey, Lead Program Manager for Visio 2007, has a blog previewing many of the new Visio 2007 features.
Eric Rockey’s Visio 12 blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/eric_rockey
Bill Morein, Program Manager for Visio 2007, has a blog covering data visualization for Visio and includes several posts about the Visio 2007 feature set.
Bill Morein’s Data Visualization blog - http://blogs.msdn.com/wmorein
Finally, stay tuned to Visio Insights for more information about Visio 2007. There’s quite a bit to cover.