Developers seeing opportunities to leverage Microsoft Visio's programmable diagramming environment need to be able to design and build their applications quickly and sure-footedly -- achieving business-serving results in a business-compatible timeframe.
To that end, this book and set of tools is organized around the premise that developers will have the following interests and needs:
Visio Structure: An organized and comprehensive presentation of Visio's document and user-interface object models including the all-important ShapeSheet.
Browsable Reference Material: There's lots of info in Visio's Developer Help, but it will take you forever to digest enough of it to get the big picture. To greatly accelerate the process, this book includes a "browsable" reference section -- objects, properties, methods and shapesheet cells and functions tabulated in an order which brings related items together. You'll still use Help, but with this book you can rapidly skim over and locate features of interest to your task at hand.
Visio Behavior: The power beneath the surface. Work with it, not against it! Investigation of numerous key areas of Visio behavior, at a level which uncovers many subtleties not evident from simply using the product.
Solution Architectures for adding functionality to Visio. Several alternative forms are possible. Read why "VSL Addons" are still the preferred form for many kinds of application. VSLs have traditionally required C/C++, Delphi, or some other language capable of working with Automation and producing arbitrary DLLs. Now, using the "VBVSL_Adapter" component available with this book, VSLs can be built easily with Visual Basic.
The VBVSL foundation allows the book to use Visual Basic samples to illuminate many more topics of interest to Visio-based application-builders. Several sample applications are supplied which you can copy and modify to get your own addons up and running quickly.
Browsing Tools: The book gives you access to download a suite of browsing tools which you can use to instantly clarify exactly what's going with several of Visio's more elaborate or arcane features, such as EventLists, UIObjects, CommandBars, browse Visio 2002's new XML-format files and so on. This will vastly accelerate your learning process, and goes a long way to keep your development efforts on track.