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Lookup threshold workaround for Visio Data Link with Office 365

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Developer and IT Pro beware! When you’re creating a Visio solution and want to use a data link to Office 365, you will need to consider the Lookup Threshold of 2 columns which is set on Office 365.

The problem

As I’m part of the first Visio Incubation program in the Netherlands, we were working on a small Visio solution for one of our clients. The project was to create a Visio web diagram and represent an overview of a large document library. This  document library has several lookup and meta data columns. When trying to connect the Visio file to this document library, I received the 1901 error (see below).

Because the Visio MVP was there, David Parker, I was able to ask him if he could check with the community what this error meant. At the moment it meant I had to cancel the concept because it was essential to connect to this library.
After a few days, I received an e-mail from David that Mark  Nelson had found an answer. He was able to identify the problem that the Lookup Threshold caused the error. The Lookup Threshold on Office 365 is set to “2” and can’t be changed. And because I was connecting to a list with more than 2 meta data columns,  Visio was denied access to the list.

The workaround

Now we know what causes the problem, but unfortunately no solution or work-around has been provided. Until now.

To get around the problem, you need to create extra views. Because Visio can’t only connect to a list, it can be connected to a specific view of the list. Create as many views as you like, but make sure that each view doesn’t contain more then 2 lookup/meta data columns and all views at least have the ID column attached, so we can connect the data from the several data links through the ID reference.

 

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