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Import Visio model

Last post Mon, Jun 24 2013 9:17 by Ken Evans. 7 replies.
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  • Mon, Mar 20 2006 12:04

    Import Visio model

    Could you please provide some instructions on how to import a Visio orm model?
  • Tue, Mar 21 2006 11:25 In reply to

    • Kevin M. Owen
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, Nov 18 2007
    • Neumont University, South Jordan, Utah
    • Posts 0

    RE: Import Visio model

    By my understanding, to import a Visio ORM model into NORMA, you need to:
    1) Export the Visio ORM model to XML using Orthogonal Toolbox (available from
    2a) Rename the exported XML file to have a '.orm' extension. At this point, if you double click on the ORM file, it should open in NORMA and be automatically converted.
    2b) Alternatively, if you don't want to rename the file to have a '.orm' extension, you can leave it with a '.xml' extension and do an 'Open With' inside of Visual Studio, selecting 'ORM Designer' as the editor.
    Note: When a file is first imported, the 'Save' function in NORMA will be unavailable until you have done a 'Save As.' This is to prevent accidentally saving the converted version over the original.
  • Tue, Mar 21 2006 12:32 In reply to

    RE: Import Visio model

    Thanks Kevin.
    Doesn't appear to work completely.  The diagram is not shown.  The object browser does contain the objects, but there doesn't seem to be any  way to see the diagram.
    Tried it with three different Visio models from simple to complex and same results each time  (actually once VS crashed, but we should probably ignore that for now).
    Is this a procedure issue, or should I report it as a bug?
  • Thu, Apr 6 2006 18:34 In reply to

    RE: Import Visio model

    There is no way to export model information from Visio. The current behavior is:
    1) Automatically pull all of the elements onto a single diagram (they'll be stacked in the upper-left).
    2) Let the user do a 'Select All' (Ctrl-A on most boxes) followed by an 'Auto Layout' (on the context menu). The autolayout is not great, but it is better than having them all stacked in the upper left corner.
    This was turned on when we moved to multi-diagram views (change 452). Unfortunately, it was lost in change 488. I fixed it in 560 (not posted yet, but will be out soon, I'm banging on it and stabilizing a few things). If you're interested, can build, and want it before then, then change line 343 in ORMModel\ShapeModel\ORMDiagram.cs from
    else if (!isLink && this.ActiveDiagramView == null)
    else if (!isLink && (!this.AutoPopulateShapes && this.ActiveDiagramView == null))
    and rebuild ORMPackage.sln
    Once again, there is no diagram to see because one does not exist in the exported file. You can drag individual elements from the ORM Model Browser to the diagram.
  • Wed, Apr 19 2006 20:38 In reply to

    RE: Import Visio model

    It would be helpful if there was a way to import or recycle VisioModeler and InfoModeler models for use with NORMA and ORM 2.  Even if only the objects types (along with thier properties), from an VM or IM model were available in a NORMA generated model, that would make reuse a lot easier.  A perfect automated conversion of IM to NORMA would be great, but even a few tools to help us convert our old IM models would be useful, and something to build on.  
  • Wed, Apr 19 2006 20:42 In reply to

    RE: Import Visio model

    Along the lines of the previous reply, a version of the PowerPoint tutorial aimed at InfoModeler users would be welcome.  You know: "Where in IM you did this, in NORMA you now do this."  BRN..
  • Mon, Jun 24 2013 8:48 In reply to

    • Yan Tang
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 13 2010
    • Netherlands
    • Posts 1

    Re: Import Visio model

    I got an XML file and didn't know which tool has ever been used to generate it. The only information I got is, it can be read by NORMA. After a few tries - e.g., try to import .xml file (failed), try to merge it with existing orm files and projects (failed). Then I saw Kevin's suggestion - to simply rename .xml into .orm - which sounds very 'unprofessional', but indeed worked!  :-D

  • Mon, Jun 24 2013 9:17 In reply to

    • Ken Evans
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, Nov 18 2007
    • Stickford, UK
    • Posts 802

    Re: Import Visio model

    Thanks Yan,

    It's useful to know that Kevin's  suggestion of 2006 still works!

    I suspect that some people are still using the ORM component of Visual Studio for Enterprise Architects (aka "VEA") because amazingly, even though VEA is now 10 years old - it has some features that are still not implemented in NORMA.

    VEA is the subject of the "Blue book" that is shown on the home page of this website and it is much better than VisioModeler.
    There is quite a lot of VEA information in the Library

    However, NORMA is ORM 2 and is much faster and easier to use than VEA which implements ORM 1. 

    Hopefully, it won't be too long before NORMA's features are all better than those in VEA.   

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