IGrafx models business systems for process re-engineering

IGrafx models business systems for process re-engineering

Igrafx Process goes beyond diagraming of processes to simulating and reporting their resource usage.

By Martin Heller

Special to GCN

I felt a d'j' vu when I evaluated Micrografx Inc.'s iGrafx Process diagramming and event simulation program.

About 25 years ago, I started building Fortran models of high-energy particle interactions, radiation shielding and gamma cameras. About 15 years ago, I wrote Basic models of fuel cell power plants; a few years after that, I wrote C models of conventional power plants. Times have changed.

Process has all the diagramming capabilities of iGrafx Professional, the successor to the company's ABC FlowCharter, and it can do event simulations. In short, iGrafx Process lets those who aren't specialists build computer models by drawing diagrams, though not necessarily the same sorts of models I built as a physicist.

Box Score ''''''
iGrafx Process

Diagramming and event simuation

Micrografx Inc.; Richardson, Texas

tel. 800-676-3110



+ Presentation-quality processdiagrams, easy graphical discrete-event simulation and customizability

' No optimizer

Real-life requirements:

Windows 9x or NT, 166-MHz or faster Pentium processor, 32M of RAM

Process is aimed primarily at modeling business systems for process re-engineering. It can produce flow charts, process diagrams with so-called swimlanes, data flow and network diagrams, quality initiative diagrams, and statistical process control charts. The charts are high-quality and easy to produce. I like the automatic off-page connectors for multipage diagrams and reformatting for different page sizes.

Once a model is set up, you can run discrete-event simulations and make manual what-if changes to judge their effects.

IGrafx imports many bitmapped and vector graphics file formats, including Visio diagrams. It can export diagrams as Hypertext Markup Language or Java for Web viewing.

Users can customize iGrafx with Visual Basic for Applications 6.0, the version in Microsoft Office 2000. Full customization requires another package, iGrafx Development.

On the whole, iGrafx Process is a capable charting and simulation package with a serviceable interface at a competitive price.

Martin Heller is a software development consultant and writer in Andover, Mass.


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