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Configure Visio Services for a BI test environment

SharePoint 2010

Published: May 26, 2011

Summary: This lab covers how to deploy a Visio Services service application and how to configure data access for users connecting data to shapes in Visio.

Important Important:

This article is part of the Configuring a BI infrastructure: Hands-on labs series. To complete the steps in this article, you must first have completed:

Visio Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is a service application that lets users share and view Microsoft Visio Web drawings. The service also enables data-connected Microsoft Visio 2010 Web drawings to be refreshed and updated from various data sources.

This lab consists of three sections:

  • Deploy Visio Services: In this section, we deploy the Visio Services service application on the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm.

  • Configure Visio Services Global Settings: In this section, we configure the cache settings for Visio Services so that we can easily demonstrate data refresh in later labs.

  • Configure Visio client access: In this section, we configure user data access from Microsoft Visio Premium 2010.

Video demonstration

This video shows how to configure Visio Services for use in these labs.

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Running time: 10:03

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Deploy Visio Services

Deploying Visio Services consists of the following steps:

  • Creating an Active Directory account for the application pool under which the Visio Services service application will run.

  • Registering that account as a managed account in SharePoint Server 2010.

  • Starting the Visio Graphics Service.

  • Creating a Visio Services service application.

The first step in deploying Visio Services is to create an account in the Active Directory directory service to run the application pool for the Visio Services service application. Use the following procedure to create the account.

To create an account for the application pool

  1. Log on to Contoso-DC by using the Contoso\administrator account.

  2. On the Contoso-DC virtual machine, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.

  3. Expand the contoso.local node.

  4. Right-click Users, click New, and then click User.

  5. In the Full name text box and the User logon name text box, type VisioAppPool.

  6. Click Next.

  7. In the Password and Confirm password text boxes, type a password for the account.

  8. Clear the User must change password at next logon check box.

  9. Select the Password never expires check box.

  10. Click Next.

  11. Click Finish.

  12. Log off Contoso-DC.

Once you have created the account, it must be registered as a managed account in SharePoint Server 2010. Doing so makes the account available to service applications when you create them. Use the following procedure to register the managed account.

To register a managed account

  1. Log in to Contoso-AppSrv using the Contoso\FarmAdmin account.

  2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products, and then click SharePoint 2010 Central Administration.

  3. On the Central Administration home page, in the left navigation, click Security.

  4. On the Security page, under General Security, click Configure managed accounts.

  5. On the Managed Accounts page, click Register Managed Account.

  6. In the User name text box, type Contoso\VisioAppPool.

  7. In the Password text box, type the password for the Contoso\VisioAppPool account.

  8. Click OK.

By default, the application pool account does not have the required access to the SharePoint content database. Access to this database is required for rendering data-connected Web drawings. Use the following procedure to grant the required database access to the application pool account.

To grant content database access to the managed account

  1. On Contoso-AppSrv, click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products, right-click SharePoint 2010 Management Shell, and then click Run as Administrator.

  2. At the Windows PowerShell Command Prompt, type the following (press Enter after each line):

    $w = Get-SPWebApplication -identity http://contoso-appsrv
    $w.GrantAccessToProcessIdentity("Contoso\VisioAppPool")
    

Once you have granted database access to the application pool account, you must start the Visio Graphics Service. This is the SharePoint Server 2010 service that performs all processing and activities associated with Visio Services.

You must start this service on at least one application server. In a production environment, you would choose a server or servers on which to run the service, depending on your capacity requirements.

Use the following procedure to start the Visio Graphics Service.

To start the Visio Graphics Service

  1. On the Central Administration home page, under System Settings, click Manage services on server.

  2. Above the Service list, click the Server drop-down list, and then click Change Server.

    Note that the application server, Contoso-AppSrv, is listed together with Contoso-SQL. In a farm with multiple application servers, you would use this dialog box to select the server where you want to run Secure Store Service, and then start the service as shown here.

  3. Click CONTOSO-APPSRV.

  4. In the Service list, click Start next to Visio Graphics Service.

Once the Visio Graphics Service has been started, you must create a Visio Services service application. Use the following procedure to create the service application.

To create a Visio Graphics Service service application

  1. On the Central Administration home page, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  2. On the Manage Service Applications page, click New, and then click Visio Graphics Service.

  3. In the Visio Graphics Service Application Name section, type Visio Services in the text box.

  4. Select the Create new application pool option and type VisioServicesAppPool in the Application pool name text box.

  5. Select the Configurable option, and from the drop-down list, select CONTOSO\VisioAppPool.

  6. Click OK.

Once the service application has been created, the next step is to configure the data refresh settings in Visio Services Global Settings.

Configure Visio Services Global Settings

To efficiently demonstrate data refresh in the following Visio Services labs, we must change the default cache settings to allow for immediate data refresh.

To configure the Visio Services minimum cache age

  1. On the Central Administration home page, under Application Management, click Manage service applications.

  2. In the list of service applications, click Visio Services.

  3. Click Global Settings.

  4. In the Minimum Cache Age text box, type 0.

  5. Click OK.

In a production environment, setting the minimum cache age to zero (0) could put unnecessary strain on the server. We recommend that you leave the cache settings at their default values for best performance in a production environment. However, for this series of labs we want to be able to show immediate data refresh to validate that we have correctly configured data connectivity.

Once you have finished configuring the cache settings in Visio Services Global Settings, the next step is to configure data access for diagram authors working in Microsoft Visio Professional 2010 and Visio Premium 2010.

Configure Visio client access

In the following Visio Services labs, we will be configuring data refresh for Visio Web drawings by using Secure Store Service. However, be aware that there are differences in the way that Visio Services and the Visio client application authenticate with data sources.

Although Visio Services can use Secure Store Service to authenticate with a data source when rendering a data-connected Web drawing, Visio Professional 2010 and Visio Premium 2010 do not use Secure Store Service for data authentication. Visio Professional 2010 and Visio Premium 2010 require that diagram authors have direct database access in order to link data to shapes in Visio.

In this case, we will create an Active Directory group to contain our diagram authors, and then create a SQL Server logon for that Active Directory group. In the following labs, we will grant the needed database access to this Active Directory group before creating a Visio diagram.

To create an Active Directory group

  1. Log on to Contoso-DC by using the Contoso\administrator account.

  2. On the Contoso-DC virtual machine, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.

  3. Expand the contoso.local node.

  4. Right-click Users, click New, and then click Group.

  5. In the Group Name text box, type VisioDiagramAuthors, and then click OK.

Next, we need to add users to the group. In this case, we will add the user Susan Burk to the group because Susan Burk has Contribute access to the Business Intelligence Center where we will be publishing our data-connected Web drawings in the following Visio Services labs.

To populate the VisioDiagramAuthors Active Directory group

  1. In Active Directory Users and Computers, double-click the VisioDiagramAuthors group.

  2. On the Members tab, click Add.

  3. In the Enter object names to select box, type Contoso\Susan.Burk, and then click OK.

  4. Verify that Susan Burk appears in the Members list, and then click OK.

Now that the Susan Burk account is added to the VisioDiagramAuthors group, the next step is to create a SQL Server logon for that group.

To create a SQL Server logon

  1. Log on to Contoso-SQL by using the Contoso\SQLAdmin account.

  2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, and then click SQL Server Management Studio.

  3. Connect to the Database Engine.

  4. Expand the Security node.

  5. Right-click Logins, and then click New Login.

  6. On the Login – New page, click Search.

  7. On the Select User or Group dialog box, click Object Types.

  8. On the Object Types dialog box, select the Groups check box, and then click OK.

  9. On the Select User or Group dialog box, in the Enter the object name to select box, type Contoso\VisioDiagramAuthors, and then click OK.

  10. On the Login – New page, click OK.

When you have completed all of the previous procedures, Visio Services will be operational and ready to use. The next step is to configure security access to your data sources. The following labs cover how to configure security access by using Secure Store Service:

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