Chapter 23, Using COM Add-ins in a Visio Solution

Chapter 23, Using COM Add-ins in a Visio Solution

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You can extend Microsoft® Visio® in a multitude of ways—using Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) code, using a stand-alone executable, or using a Visio add-on (a Visio Solutions Library, or VSL).

And beginning with Microsoft Visio 2002, you can also extend Visio and build your custom solutions using Component Object Model (COM) add-ins.

A COM add-in is a dynamic-link library (DLL) that is specially registered for loading by Visio and other Microsoft® Office or Office XP applications, and contains a COM object that implements the IDTExtensibility2 COM interface. Because Visio and other Office applications support the COM add-in architecture, you can use the same tools to develop add-ins for other Office applications.

Note A COM add-in also can be an ActiveX® EXE file for Visual Basic. However, DLLs generally provide better performance than EXE files.

You have several options for creating your own COM add-ins:

  • Use VBA with Microsoft Office Developer version 2000 or later.
  • Use an external development tool, such as Microsoft® Visual Basic® or Microsoft® Visual C++® (versions 5.0 or later).

In this chapter…

Accessing COM Add-ins in Visio

Creating a COM Add-in for Visio