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Visio 2013 entity columns

Posted on 2013-06-25
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Last Modified: 2013-07-12
Does anyone know how to add columns to the new Visio 2013 the way we able in previous versions?  I can't seem to add tables, columns or really customize like before when designing a database diagram.  I haven't even find any training regarding this online so far either.  Thanks
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Question by:captgriggs1
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Visio_Guy earned 125 total points
ID: 39280612
Hi Captain,

First off, the database diagrams in Visio 2010 and older were part of an add-in/system that allowed for reverse-engineering, and all sorts of sophisticated stuff.

This has caused problems over the years, such as customers wanting MORE!--like wanting programmatic access to the model behind the diagram, and I think it was an update headache for Microsoft. I can understand their predicament: Visio starts to encompass an entire universe of expert-systems that help you not only draw but model--each drawing type could potentially be supported by a complex add-in, worthy of being a stand-alone product on his own.

In Visio 2013, they have cut back, and provided just shapes for illustrating databases, and ripped out the (very old) add-in code behind database diagrams. This will make some customers sad or angry, but I think it will allow the Visio team to better focus on improving the product with features that will benefit large numbers of users.

Also, the generated diagrams in Visual Studio and SQL Server Management Studio have gotten better over the years, so one might wonder how sophisticated Visio's approach really needs to be.

I also think they are hoping that someone can use the base shapes that they have created and build an expert system or top-notch add-in on top of it. Microsoft provides the drawing system, someone else focuses on the links to data sources and the details of database diagrams. Makes sense to me.

To answer your real question, right-click on the blue title--the table name, and set "Show Attribute Types". This adds another column on the right. But that is the extent of the columns you will be able to show, as far as I know.

You can also right-click each field and set primary and foreign keys, which causes the corresponding icons to show up. It's simple and elegant, but I don't know how well it fulfills people's needs, since I'm not a database guy.

I don't think you can get more than two columns, plus the two key icons.
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by:captgriggs1
ID: 39321180
Visio_Guy,
We currently use those programs for diagrams of our current databases.  I've never tried to use them for designing a database from scratch.  I’m very disappointed in my upgrade, it was a waste.  Thank you for the very informative answer.
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