New Visio app targets IT managers

Diagramming software specialist Visio will be among the first vendors to release a Microsoft Office 97 lookalike product when it releases Visio Professional in January next year.

The latest addition to the Visio line will be targeted at IT managers charting business processes and network planning. Based on the same engine as the standard Visio product (but with minor changes such as the ability to execute gradient fills), Visio Professional is a superset product that includes new SmartShape symbols, templates, wizards, Internet and database connectivity, and a copy of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). As well as boasting the Office-Compatible badge, users can also switch to a user interface that mimics Lotus SmartSuite.

The new symbols cover network equipment, software development and other shapes that help IS managers plot projects. Wizards for network diagrams, Web diagrams and network databases are also included.

The inclusion of VBA will help developers to embed scripts in Visio drawings. Diagrams and symbols can also contain connections to ODBC-compliant databases and Internet sites so that users can click to Web sites from drawings.

Visio Professional will follow hot on the heels of Office 97, expected for release in January 1997. UK street pricing will be from under £300.

Visio can be contacted by telephone on 01372-227903.

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