Visualize work in powerful new ways

We’re constantly pursuing the latest innovations to help your team create powerful diagrams. That pursuit continues with several recently released updates for Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365, including robust database reverse engineering capabilities and new third-party content that meets various industry standards. With these updates, you can visualize your work in exciting and meaningful ways, boosting efficiencies and helping your team make informed decisions with confidence.

Visualize database structures from source data

Visio’s database reverse engineering tool allows you to create a visual representation of a database from its source data. Visio can connect to a number of database solutions, including SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle, to create a real-time illustration of that database, which updates in Visio as the underlying information changes. This kind of reverse engineering helps you drill into specific database elements, like tables and views, to better understand how they relate to one another—all without showing the actual source data.

Using an intuitive wizard, you can select the source database and specific elements to include in the visual, giving you full control over the resulting diagram. In addition to tables and views, you can also incorporate stored procedures and specific table objects, like primary keys, indexes and triggers. Best of all, the database diagram updates when the source information changes, helping ensure everyone has access to the latest data.

Quickly launch a reverse engineering template from the home screen.

Users across industries can benefit from this feature. Healthcare is a perfect example—hospitals store huge amounts of patient data in secure databases. Using reverse engineering in Visio, IT and business analysts can build diagrams that explain the relationship between patient data and healthcare history, including prescriptions, insurance, appointments and more.

You can download the Visio Pro for Office 365 add-in for database reverse engineering here.

Download templates for industry-specific diagrams

You can now access authorized third-party content directly from within Visio Pro for Office 365 for your specialized diagramming needs. Fifty templates and 100 sample diagrams have been developed with trusted partners, including several that meet industry-specific standards.

Business processes

Trisotech has developed a set of templates to help you create diagrams that conform to accepted business standards, including case management models using Case Management Model and Notation (CMMN), professional process models with Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), and business decisions and rules using Decision Model and Notation (DMN). “The availability of these new CMMN, BPMN and DMN templates, along with various samples, will help promote the adoption of recognized standards by business users in Visio, and therefore help our customers standardize their process design,” says Denis Gagné, CEO of Trisotech.

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Design the process for a customer quote request using templates from Trisotech.

Software development and engineering

Programmers and engineers can benefit from templates that meet industry-wide standards, such as Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.5 for designing software logic flow and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) compliance for creating electrical diagrams. Of these, we recently added three new templates for UML 2.5 to help system architects, software engineers and software developers create diagrams of software-based systems and business processes. The UML diagrams help streamline software development and maintenance. They accurately represent the software’s behavior and structure in a format both technical and non-technical project team members can understand. The three new templates enable you to create:

  • Component diagrams showing components, ports and interfaces and the relationships among them.
  • Deployment diagrams illustrating the deployment architecture of software artifacts to nodes.
  • Communication diagrams highlighting the interactions between lifelines that use sequenced messages in a free-form arrangement.

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Easily create UML-verified communication diagrams.


Industry-proven NetZoom capabilities from Altima Technologies enable IT professionals to leverage data center templates and sample diagrams available directly from within Visio. “NetZoom Visio Stencils is the largest single-source collection of fully detailed, and regularly updated, manufacturer-specific device stencils for IT, A/V, security, network and data centers. The Visio Content Store integration brings the stencil library to the entire Visio community, worldwide,” says Jacquie Staggs, general manager of services at Altima Technologies, Inc.

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Develop main and local branch diagrams using NetZoom stencils.


Map shapes historically have been some of the most popular pieces of educational content in Visio. Teachers and students can now use maps from Visio Guy in the classroom to learn about the locations of states and territories and interact with them easily in the diagram.

Interact with maps from Visio Guy.

Transform the classroom with Visio

Visio Pro for Office 365 is bringing more than 20 templates and 20 sample diagrams that span core education, education planning, games, sports and hobbies. The core education templates for the classroom cover many subjects, including algebra, chemistry and physics. Great visual illustrations bring the subject matter to life for educators and students, enabling better comprehension and accelerated learning.

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We are also excited to introduce education templates focused on extracurricular activities like music, sports and gaming. With these templates, you can easily create fun diagrams leveraging the smart shapes in Visio Pro for Office 365 to foster learning in these subjects.

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We’ve only just begun incorporating third-party content into Visio. Subscribe to Visio Pro for Office 365 to stay up to date with the latest and greatest of Visio. Also, visit our UserVoice to submit suggestions for new products, and follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for the latest Visio news.

For developers and partners, get in touch and submit your shapes, templates or solutions today!

—The Visio team

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