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Author Topic: Help! Good flowcharting sw needed  (Read 16085 times)
herbiman
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« on: May 08, 2008, 12:06:49 PM »

Does anybody know of anything better for Flow Charting than Visio?
Cost and O/S are irrelevant, but I'm starting to get desperate.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 02:14:22 PM »

Enterprise Architect would probably be the answer, if it can do flow charting. That's what we use at the university for designing system architectures, at least smiley
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 02:41:24 PM »

Veign recommends EDraw Flowchart.
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2008, 03:42:01 PM »

If you want to go the freeware route, there is Diagram Designer or Dia..
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NigelH
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2008, 07:20:10 PM »

allCLEAR Flowcharter - not cheap though
http://www.allclearonline...om/flowchart_software.asp

http://www.allclearonline...com/flowchart_gallery.asp
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herbiman
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 12:48:22 AM »

Thanks very much for the suggestions.
Hope there will be a few more.
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mouser
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 01:22:30 AM »

Smartdraw and ConceptDraw are two of the big alternatives to Visio.

I've been a long time fan of Edge Diagrammer since it's early days.  It's no where near as bloated and complicated (or powerful if you want to think of it that way) as the big guys, but it is for me much easier and funner to use, and so perfect for when i just want to do some quick sketching of an idea.

I think you have to ask yourself how you are going to use this tool, and perhaps more importantly, are you going to have to share your work with others.  Visio may be a pain, but it is also commonly installed and used on some large projects, and even if you don't love it, it may make sense to force yourself to learn and use it if you need to work with others on diagrams.
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herbiman
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2008, 03:45:13 AM »

Thanks mouser.

Respect.

We're a small well-funded university-based group, and cost simply isn't an issue. I made exactly the same points about Visio but (especially as I don't actually have to do any of the work --- just gently supervise!) think it's important they should go through a "tools evaluation" phase.
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tabletguy
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2008, 06:30:26 AM »

think it's important they should go through a "tools evaluation" phase

In that case, perhaps this should also be a discussion of your requirements, and, more importantly, "how will you know when you've picked the right tool"...

BTW, igrafx FlowCharter http://www.igrafx.com/pro...ts/flowcharter/index.html is another candidate.

How about having your team up here go through the selection process "live" (i.e. an open discussion)?  It would be interesting  two cents
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herbiman
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2008, 06:53:30 AM »

I'm afraid an open discussion with the group is impossible for a variety of reasons, including privacy and security and time (& 50% don't speak English). And I think we all know that the group's decision will be subjective, probably idiosyncratic, & apparently based on criteria unique to the group. (In the end it's just a bunch of people saying "I like that" or "I don't like that" ... has a faint whiff of democracy?)

I will however, report back (maybe August) on which tool was chosen, and perhaps why.
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Veign
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2008, 08:54:15 AM »

Veign recommends EDraw Flowchart.

I bought and think this is a great tool.  It very easy to use and you can be up and running in minutes.   I reviewed many when I was looking for a flowchart program and EDraw was better, and easier to use, then the rest.
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steveorg
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 10:40:37 AM »

If your needs are simple and sharing is a consideration, Open Office Draw is a credible choice. Best of all its free!

Steve
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J-Mac
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2008, 02:13:55 AM »

Veign recommends EDraw Flowchart.

I bought and think this is a great tool.  It very easy to use and you can be up and running in minutes.   I reviewed many when I was looking for a flowchart program and EDraw was better, and easier to use, then the rest.

Just thought I would mention - if anyone happens to be following this thread - that Today, July 7, 2008, Bits duJor has eDraw Max available for 50% off.  That's $39.98.  (Regularly $79.95).  Good for almost 21 more hours, so get moving!

Jim

EDIT:  I thought I should clarify -- Veign's recommendation is actually for eDraw Flowchart only, for $49.95.  This eDraw Max at Bits duJor is an all-inclusive product that includes the libraries and examples from ALL of the eDraw product line, including: eDraw Flowcharts, Organizational Chart, Network Diagrammer, Software Diagrammer, and their Flowchart Active X Control.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 02:21:31 AM by J-Mac » Logged

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Curt
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2008, 08:27:57 AM »

- I hasted to purchase this eDraw MAX version from Bits du Jour because I think it really is easier and with a lot more features, than at least the previous mind mapper I was trying, Concept Draw. You can do much more than merely create diagrams...:

75% sized clickable thumb of a fast try out:



« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 08:40:12 AM by Curt » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2008, 07:38:48 AM »

I bought it too, Curt (is anyone surprised  embarassed). I've been struggling with ConceptDraw, but EDraw is much simpler, and yet seems more powerful. Anyway, am happily flow-charting my PhD at the moment.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2008, 03:36:41 PM »

I bought it too, Curt (is anyone surprised  embarassed). I've been struggling with ConceptDraw, but EDraw is much simpler, and yet seems more powerful. Anyway, am happily flow-charting my PhD at the moment.

Now, me?  I had been looking time and time again at ConceptDraw, but it has grown even more expensive than it was when I first looked at it, and it never did show up on GAOTD nor Bits duJor again since you got your copy.  Then I happened to see the eDraw Max deal at Bits the other day - when I posted this here, and pruchased it after checking their web site out again.

And now I hear that you are "struggling" with ConceptDraw?  A true blessing in disguise that I saw the eDraw deal when I did!

BTW, the first thing I tried with it as a test drawing didn't go that well.  I tried a quick layout of my home office.  I laready have that with 3D Home Architect and Gliffy,com, so I always try a new application that does room layouts to compare and see if it is easier and/or quicker and has better results.  Nope - eDraw is obviously better for pure flowcharting than the other "features"!  Very tough to do a decent floor plan with it, IMO.

But all in all it is pretty good with flow charts!

Jim
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Curt
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2008, 07:42:02 PM »

- you are right, Jim, there is quite a distance between eDraw home planning and 3D HA, but I also think they are two different types of programs. 3D HA must be called a specialist on this subject, I think.

I didn't remember about Gliffy.com - maybe my eyes long ago noticed the word "online", which usually turns me off. Do you know if the free-version-user really gains access to all the same features as the premium-version-user, except of course for the listed differences in quantity / uploads / ads?? I think the advert-free alternative is dreadful expensive: $5 per month!! But the program really looks capable.
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Curt
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« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2008, 08:12:33 PM »

I used to have a couple of programs from Odessa's ConceptDraw, from Giveawayoftheday, but I never really learned how to use them to my liking, so in the end I removed both of them. Easy comes, easy goes. Odessa ConceptDraw Office includes and unifies all their three ConceptDraw versions, PRO (€199), Mindmap (€169), and Project (€169). Their asking price for Office for a single user is a bargain... €415 ($650)... plus:

Quote
Add maintenance to my purchase:

for 1 year period  €85
for 2 years period  €150


all the minor and major updates, released during your maintenance period;
priority technical support form;

I know I can stay away!
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J-Mac
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2008, 03:40:50 PM »

- you are right, Jim, there is quite a distance between eDraw home planning and 3D HA, but I also think they are two different types of programs. 3D HA must be called a specialist on this subject, I think.

I didn't remember about Gliffy.com - maybe my eyes long ago noticed the word "online", which usually turns me off. Do you know if the free-version-user really gains access to all the same features as the premium-version-user, except of course for the listed differences in quantity / uploads / ads?? I think the advert-free alternative is dreadful expensive: $5 per month!! But the program really looks capable.

Gliffy is a lot better than a good many regular licensed applications that you run from your computer.  Some features I have requested are on their tracking log but it looks like the turn around time for that might be a couple years. Literally.

It has a few things missing that I find annoying, but they are not really major.

Got news for you - I have tried three charts with eDraw Max so far and guess what - I'm redoing them on Gliffy.

I think maybe I was too hasty in promoting eDraw here.....

Jim
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gwynevans
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2008, 08:21:01 AM »

One that I've just come across is FlowBreeze http://www.breezetree.com/flowcharting-software/, which is a a Microsoft® Excel® add-in that automates the flowcharting process by converting your text into flowcharts.

Sounds odd, but I'd say that it's definately worth a look....
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J-Mac
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2008, 10:38:17 PM »

Hmm...

eDraw Max is not quite as polished as it first seemed.  First of all, the images available are not very plentiful; actually they are quite scarce in some of the charting modules.

Next, it is way too apparent that English is not the developers' first language.  Nor does it appear to be their second, third, or fourth language either.  The misspellings found throughout the program are atrocious.  And a lot of their images are pretty outdated.  As an example of both, many of the chart modules have an image of a mobile device, which sounds innocuous enough.  But it is a Palm device that looks to be several generations old.  Nothing that looks in any way like a modern mobile device.  And it is spelled "Plam Device" throughout.

This can make a presentation that otherwise looks somewhat professional appear to be amateurish.

Jim
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Curt
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2008, 04:07:32 AM »

Edraw MAX was just major updated into version 4.
- a free update

Quote from: EDRAW
Edraw Max 4 New Features

   1.      Get started quickly. You can find just the right template by using the new Getting Started window in Edraw. Large template previews Large thumbnail previews and descriptions of each template help you to quickly identify the templates that are best for your diagrams. (See Screenshot)

   2.      The new UI is MS Office 2007 style like. Full ribbon features.

   3.      Added Themes, Color Themes, Effects and Fonts. Easy to change the whole diagram by changing the active theme. With the new Theme feature, you can format the colors and effects in an entire diagram with a single click. (See Screenshot)

   4.      Real-time previews (See Screenshot). When you scroll over the various galleries in Edraw, you'll see your drawings and various objects change to display what they'll look like if you decide to apply those settings. Just click on the thumbnail in the gallery to actually accept the changes. This makes it a lot faster to see, for example, how changing a color scheme will affect your drawings.

   5.      Quick layouts and quick styles. These provide quick formatting options for the object in question, and make it easy to create good-looking slides with just a few clicks. (See Screenshot)

   6.      Put Edraw graphics into Word, Excel, PowerPoint with one-click buttons. (See same Screenshot as #5)

   7.      Text objects supported line space, bullet, Indent, back color, super script, sub script and more.

   8.      Shadows in general are so very nice compared to those in previous versions. We can actually control the transparency, amount of blur, and color now. (See Screenshot)

   9.      Shape and text presets make it really easy to apply a preset look to an object or text.

  10.      It's quicker to zoom in and out now using the zoom slider in the southeast corner of the screen.

  11.      Added the Insert Table function.

  12.      Watermark. Insert ghosted text behind the content on the page. This is often used to indicate that a document is to be treated specially, such as Confidential or Urgent.

  13.      It is now easier to find just the right symbols in the library (See Screenshot) because of the real-time previews.

  14.      Recolor picture, Light and Contrast, transparent PNG support.

  15.      Opened the Shape Sheet function for senior users to create more complicated shapes.

  16.      More 2000 high quality clip arts (See Screenshot).

  17.      Added the background view relative to normal view. In the background view you can modify all background elements.

  18.      Added the dynamic help within the program.

Edraw Max 4, Fixes:

   1.      Improved the Insert Hyperlink function.
   2.      Improved the Print function. Support more page sizes such as A0, A1. You can also print the large size graphics in separate pages.
   3.      High quality graphic export.
   4.      Significantly improved performance of finding symbols.
   5.      Allowed to modify the grid space.
   6.      Fixed some bugs in Geometry dialog.

Product Manual: http://www.edrawsoft.com/...rchives/edrawsolution.pdf


« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 04:09:07 AM by Curt » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2008, 11:27:58 AM »

Thanks for the heads up, Curt  Thmbsup Nice: it comes with a lifetime licence (I'm sure that this is one of the reasons that I bought a licence in the first place, but I'd forgotten!).
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Curt
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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2008, 04:42:32 AM »

Tuesday 19' August 2008: edraw max is today's giveaway!   Thmbsup

http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/edraw-max/
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2008, 12:25:40 PM »

2Curt
Thanks for the news.

For now I can't find SVG export option. They've stated that there is such possibility but no luck here.
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