SharePoint Network Topology Diagram Add-in leverages Visio services to deliver a near real time intuitive rendering of the status of SharePoint farm infrastructure and associated services. Visio Graphics services – A key part of SharePoint 2010, enable customers to share their dynamic data driven Visio diagrams and dashboards within SharePoint. This helps extend the reach of valuable information and insights across relevant teams within the enterprise for capacity planning and IT maintenance.
The timer job fetches all the key technical metrics about the SharePoint farm infrastructure using SharePoint object model and WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation). It’s frequency can be adjusted based on specific administrative needs. The timer job creates a SharePoint list that is linked to a Visio diagram. The client add-in helps you generate, customize and link the output of the timer job to a Visio diagram by using a wizard driven interface.
Upon publishing the Visio diagram within SharePoint, Visio services enable users to refresh their diagram from within SharePoint.
Launching the SharePoint Network Topology Add-In
Open Visio and navigate to Select File -> New -> Add-Ins. Select SharePoint Network Topology Template and click on Create button below the template on the right side. Double clicking SharePoint Network Topology Template will also launch a new document.
Notice a new tab as shown below. The rest of this document will walk you through every controls in this tab.
Linking data to SharePoint
Before launching or clicking this control, ensure that the SharePoint farm information has been created by the SharePoint Topology Data Collection Timer Job and is published out as SharePoint list. This serves as the key input for this step.
Click on Link data to SharePoint button to launch the SharePoint Network Topology Data selector wizard.
Click on Next button to input the SharePoint details. Now Input the SharePoint Site name and the SharePoint List name which are created by the Timer Job. Error messages will be displayed if incorrect values are fed. Please refer to the trouble shooting section for the list of validation messages.
Note: Depending on network and system performance, it might take a while to establish connection with the SharePoint site and validate the SharePoint List schema.
Click Next to select the list of columns. Server Name, Service Name and Object Type are mandatory columns. These columns are pre-selected by default and can’t be unselected. Please select the rest of KPI’s. Select All is preferred since all the KPIs are used by the data graphics in the diagram generation. Un-selection some may result in blank data graphics.
Click Next to proceed to the summary screen. This shows the summary of all the details collected by the wizard. Click Finish to end the wizard.
After successfully accomplishing all these steps, a data connection to the SharePoint List is created with the selected columns.
Linking Data to shapes / objects
On the add-on ribbon, click on Link Data to Shapes button.
The external data can be obtained from a wide variety of sources as shown below.
The three mandatory column names can also be mapped to more respresentative names too. To do so, open the install location. Locate the SPNetworkTopology.dll.config file and edit it notepad.
Input a more meaningful representative name as the value for the key parameters.
This option configures the list of SharePoint services that have to be displayed during the diagram generation step. Click on the configure button to launch the SharePoint Service Selection wizard.
By default all the services are selected. Select the specific SharePoint services that need to be displayed. At least one service has to be selected.
Click on the Generate Diagram to generate the diagram. This auto generates SharePoint Network diagram and SharePoint Service diagrams across multiple tabs.
The diagram has built-in Data Graphics to intuitively display the diagram. For SharePoint servers: CPU Usage, Memory Usage and Free Space percent are displayed with relevant Data Graphics.
For SharePoint Farm: Specific version of the SharePoint, Configuration DB name and its size are shown with relevant Data Graphics.
For every SharePoint server a new page is created with name <<SharePointServer name>> – Service Details. It shows the list of configured services. By default all the 39 services are listed. Green shows that the service is up and running while red denotes that the service is disabled.
Needs upgrade and Can upgrade KPIs are also shown in the Data Graphics for all the objects.
The Data Graphics can be changed at any time and can be published to SharePoint. In SharePoint, Visio Graphics Services refreshes the diagram to display the latest information.
Note: The diagram can be adjusted or created manually from the custom stencil file and can be linked to the data from the external data window.
Enhancing the Design
Upon initial diagram generation, further enhancements are possible. Legends can be inserted. To insert Legend, follow Data -> Insert Legend. By default Legend will be dropped to the right corner of the page.
The placement of the legend can be adjusted.
To use one of the design templatse, click on Design Tab and mouse over the available themes. Select the theme that matches your need.
The Layout of the diagram can be changed by selecting the layout option in the design tab.
The About Option provides information about the Add-In such as the version number along with the support information.
Following are the list of error messages shown while linking data to SharePoint List. SharePoint Site Name and SharePoint List Name are mandatory fields. They should be provided with value.
The following error message is displayed when the SharePoint Site Name is empty.
The following error message is displayed when the SharePoint List name is empty.
Following error message is displayed when the SharePoint List does not exist.
Following error message is displayed when the SharePoint list exists but schema validation failed.