Visio 2000 editions will extend graphic modeling to the Web

Visio 2000 editions will extend graphic modeling to the Web

Visio 2000's standard edition draws organization data out of databases by an auto-discovery capability. A user can drag and drop shapes into charts and diagrams.

Four editions will appear; entire line is based on core engine with added functions, manager says

By Chris Driscoll

GCN Staff

Graphical software from Visio Corp. of Seattle will extend its reach to the Web through four Visio 2000 editions appearing over the next few months.

The standard and technical editions are available now through a Navy blanket purchasing agreement and on the General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule. Visio 2000 Professional and Visio 2000 Enterprise are due in early November, product manager Brady Brewer said.

He said the IRS, Defense Department and Social Security Administration use Visio products. The standard version, which can be ordered online from Softmart Inc. of Downingtown, Pa., through GSA Advantage, sells for $95.16 per seat for 50 to 499 users.

The Naval Warfare Systems Command recently signed an enterprise license BPA with ASAP Software Express Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., providing Visio products for as little as half the retail price [GCN, June 14, Page 50]. The deal includes upgrades to or first-time purchase of Visio 2000 editions, said Floyd Groce, team leader for enterprise processes in the Navy chief information officer's office.

'The Visio agreement will provide our personnel with a graphical communications tool for exchanging drawings and diagrams,' Navy CIO Daniel Porter said. 'We believe that extending the Visio purchasing agreement to the entire Defense Department will save time and money.'

Current federal users can upgrade online at, Brewer said. A new online purchasing site, at, will accept mixed orders of any of the four editions, and Visio will copy the custom package to a CD-ROM.

Brewer said the company redesigned the product from the ground up, basing the entire line on a core engine with added functions for technical, professional and enterprise users.

The standard edition is used for dragging and dropping shapes into organizational and flow charts; the technical edition is for process and electrical engineering and facilities management; the professional edition handles network and Web diagrams; and the enterprise edition is for reverse-engineering software or databases.

Visio 2000 runs on a 166-MHz or faster Pentium PC under Microsoft Windows 9x or Windows NT 4.0. The drive needs 80M of storage free.

Brewer said an auto-discovery feature probes a network and diagrams its structure or searches an organizational database to build an organization chart. Part of the redesign goal was to handle the large drawings common in federal offices.

Easy does it

'You can easily save a drawing to your agency intranet or to the Web,' he said. 'Let's say you have a request for quotations for a Web site. You could post the flow chart that shows the process for submitting a bid, and at each step you could click on that part of the flow chart and have it take you to a form to fill out.'

Interactive organization charts could be connected to a floor plan and published on a Web site, he said. A visitor could look for a person on the organization chart, then use the floor plan to find the person's location.

Visio 2000 is more tightly integrated with Microsoft applications than previous versions, Brewer said. 'It looks and works just like Office applications, with the same keyboard shortcuts, and you can cut and paste drawings right into PowerPoint,' he said.

With the built-in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications 6.0, users can create their own toolbars or full applications that sit on top of the core engine. Dynamic links to server icons, for example, could bring up drawings of server architecture.

Visio 2000 has page tabs at the bottom for quickly changing pages. A pan and zoom window can shift from a large-scale view to a close-up. A browserlike window shows custom properties associated with drawing objects.

The new version, which includes an organization chart wizard, supports Hypertext Markup Language, Vector Markup Language, 25 graphics formats and Joint Photographic Experts Group compression.

Contact Visio at 1-888-482-1641.

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