Developing Visio Solutions

On Monday 24th April 2006 Roger gave a presentation to the Visual Basic User Group (VBUG) entitled "Developing Visio Solutions with VB". The key point was our belief that Visio is much underrated as a development platform and, while our use of Visio has been for specialist applications such as HarnWare and HarnVis, we believe Visio could be used for many other applications especially as it is perhaps the most programmer friendly CAD system we've used.

For those wishing to learn more about Visio from a programmer's perspective, the following books, SDK, web sites etc should provide a good starting point.


  1. "Developing Microsoft Visio Solutions" (DVS) published by Microsoft Press in 2001 and which is now available on the MSDN web site. This book doesn't include any or C# code and it's written for Visio 2002. For some reason Microsoft hasn't got around to updating this book for Visio 2003, 2007 or 2010 which is a shame because a lot has changed for developers since Visio 2002. There were DVS books for all the earlier versions of Visio that we’ve used including Visio 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 2000 and 2002.
  2. "Visio 2003 Developers Survival Pack" by Graham Wideman. This is an excellent book which includes some C# but unfortunately no code.
  3. "Microsoft Visio 2013 Business Process Diagramming and Validation" by David J Parker. Click here to see my review of David's book.

All three books are useful as Graham builds upon, rather than repeating the information contained in DVS and David's book takes a somewhat different approach by describing the development of an example application in some detail.

Also of some relevance is “.Net Development for Microsoft Office” by Andrew Whitechapel published by Microsoft in 2005.

The “Microsoft Office Visio Inside Out” books are useful but they are more intended for users than developers.

Visio 2003 Developer's Survival Pack
Developing Visio Solutions Microsoft Visio 2013 Business Process Diagramming and Validation .NET Development for Microsoft Office Visio Inside Out