Continuing my review of some of the new features in Visio 2010, today I’m going to look at some exciting functionality that enables you to save your diagrams out to Silverlight…
Visio has enabled you to save your diagrams out to raster or vector based web pages for some time now. The VML output option has, I would guess, been the default for most people. On the plus side, you get smooth and scalable zoom functionality, but on the down you get a dependence on your users running Internet Explorer.
I know there’s SVG, (which, like VML, remains an option for Visio output), but to date it just hasn’t got traction in terms of browser penetration. For this and a number of other reasons Silverlight is the next logical step.
Using Silverlight as an output format gives you real cross browser compatibility across most platforms* and the scaling vector graphics that we had with VML. *[See the ‘System Requirements’ link at www.microsoft.com/silverlight/ for a full list.]
Dialogs and the general process of generating a web page, as far as the user is concerned, have remained largely the same with a new default ‘XAML’ option available from the Output formats dropdown:
Selecting this file format produces the following file structure:
Well you don’t really need to know any of this xaml stuff of course – this all works perfectly well out of the box…but…if you are interested in extending the functionality then the xaml files are a very welcome addition. As this is just xml you can edit it in any text editor, but part of the motivation behind using markup is that it’s easy to use for tooling and I’ll cover these in the next post.