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  • Blog Post: BPMN stencils for Visio

    Visio does not natively support BPEL or BPMN, which are both commonly used in business process management applications. BPMN stands for "Business Process Modeling Notation" and is a proposed standardization for graphical notation for enterprise processes. The BPMN working community has come up with their...
  • Blog Post: Visio Use at Microsoft: Vaca Bubble Chart for Revenue Reporting

    Visio lets people communicate business information in a variety of innovative ways. One example is in use by the Visio team for revenue reporting. The Visio product management team built a dynamic bubble chart diagram to report on Visio sales by national and international subsidiary to Visio senior management...
  • Blog Post: Office 2003 SP1 Whitepaper (Includes Visio 2003 SP1 Details)

    I’ve posted a whitepaper from the Office Supportability Group that details what is in Office SP1, which everyone should install if you are using any Office 2003 application. SP1 is available as separate downloadable patches for OneNote, MUIs, Project Client and Server, WSS, SPS and Visio. Visio’s SP1...
  • Blog Post: Visio Integration With MS Products: Graphical “Strategy Maps” for Balanced Scorecard

    There is a whole methodology called “Balanced Scorecard” which focuses on providing access to metrics on quality, customer satisfaction, and other key business categories for success. Balanced Scorecard hinges on the axiom that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it.” The strategy map is an important...
  • Blog Post: Visio Integration with MS Products: Export Topology to Visio From MOM Server

    The customer base for the Microsoft Operations Server (MOM) overlaps pretty significantly with Visio’s customer base. Most of the IT professional desktops that use MOM have Visio installed for network diagramming, database modeling, and process diagrams. (The MOM team looked at using the Visio ActiveX...
  • Blog Post: Get Better at Visio Using Free MS Online Tutorials

    Do you struggle with getting your shapes just right in your Visio diagrams? Do you have limited time and interest for going through a Visio user book? Here’s an easy way to update your Visio knowledge: take free online Microsoft tutorials that introduce you to Visio. This is cool content that a lot of...
  • Blog Post: Viewing Visio Files

    When I gave my talk at the Microsoft Office System Developer Conference, I was surprised how few folks had heard about the Visio Viewer. Visio has shipped a free viewer for the last two releases of the product. You can download a Visio Viewer for Visio 2003 and a Vsio Viewer for Visio 2002 . The Visio...
  • Blog Post: Free 30-Day Visio 2003 Trial

    There is a 30-day trial version of Visio 2003 , if you want to check it out. Almost everything I blog about is based on Visio 2003. If you have an earlier version or have never installed Visio, you can check out the trial version of the latest and greatest Visio. Thanks, Mai-lan
  • Blog Post: Visio Use at Microsoft: New Product User Interface Design for Program Managers

    Among other things, Program Managers at Microsoft design the user interface experience for the next generation of product. We work with our graphic designers determine the goals, color, font, and common design elements for screens, but in many groups PMs put together the actual screen design that get...
  • Blog Post: Visio Use at Microsoft: Business Process Management Automation

    Visio's “visualize information” mantra applies to many different customer scenarios. In the next several blog entries, I’m going to focus on several different uses of Visio within Microsoft. I’ll show screen shots where I can (e.g., I don’t have to scrub confidential data). Hold off on questions about...
  • Blog Post: Visio Program Manager Job Opening

    In the spirit of networking, can you recommend or refer anyone that you think may be qualified or have an interest in the position below? We are looking for candidates who would like to Join Microsoft's award-winning Visio Team within Office. Come join the Visio Program Management team to define how...
  • Blog Post: Visio for Information Architecture

    Dan Brown , a blog reader, writes for Boxes and Arrows , an online magazine for information architects. His articles focus on tools and best practices for preparing information architecture deliverables. Dan has written some interesting articles on Visio recently, namely creating an annotation widget...
  • Blog Post: Great Shapes for Conceptual Architecture Diagrams in Visio (Part 3)

    Jeff, a blog reader, noticed a cool Web service shape in a .NET article posted on MSDN . Here’s what the diagram looks like. The Web services shape isn’t a Visio shape that I’ve seen before so I contacted the authors of the article here at Microsoft. After weaving through several orgs, I found Eugenio...
  • Blog Post: Using Visio Diagrams in Word Documents

    Geetesh Bajaj, who owns http://www.indezine.com , has a nice, quick summary of how to use Visio diagrams in Word documents in this article: http://www.indezine.com/products/visio/visioword.html . Thanks to blog reader Alexey for the heads-up! Thanks, Mai-lan
  • Blog Post: Great Shapes for Conceptual Architecture Diagrams in Visio (Part 2)

    Sorry that I haven’t been posting frequently since Thanksgiving -- it gets super busy around the holidays, and unfortunately, my blogging time has suffered. I can’t promise that it will get better through December, especially since I’m planning a work-free holiday around Christmas but I will resume full...
  • Blog Post: The Difference Between Visio’s Two Resource Toolkits

    Visio 2003 has two resource toolkits which have similar names. The Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Resource Kit Tools targets the IT professional who is deploying Visio 2003 in a corporate environment . This toolkit is free for download, and contains tools and documentation to simplify deployment across...
  • Blog Post: Visio for Enterprise Architects Versioning (and other responses to blog feedback)

    Readers of my last blog on conceptual architecture shapes asked why they couldn’t find the new networking shapes with the latest version of Visio for Enterprise Architects (10.0.5110). Releases of Visio for Enterprise Architecture (VEA) and Microsoft Office Visio are not synchronized. VEA ships with...
  • Blog Post: Great Shapes for Conceptual Architecture Diagrams in Visio (Part 1)

    I’ve gotten multiple requests from blog readers to show how to get the same visual quality as seen in architectural diagrams posted on MSDN articles. Typically the Microsoft authors of MSDN articles use Visio to create the diagram. The diagram is then touched up for color or effects by a designer before...
  • Blog Post: Network Shapes and Auto-discovery Bundle for Visio 2003

    We’ve put together a kit with two Visio partners, Fluke Networks and Altima Technologies, that provides an auto-discovery tool and lots of manufacturer-specific network shapes. Fluke Network’s LAN MapShot is an auto-discovery tool that crawls your network and puts together 13 different kinds of network...
  • Blog Post: Christmas and Batman (in Visio)

    Alexey Nichkov, a creative and expert Visio user, put together this varient on the person shape as a post on my last blog. I love it! Especially the Batman and Robin. The JPG takes a while to download so be patient -- it's up there. Alexey has other cool stuff at: http://www.prodigitall.narod.ru/ --...
  • Blog Post: Visio “Person” Shape

    If you type “person” or “user” in the Find Shape or Search for Shapes window in Visio, you get the following results. I’m not fond of the majority of these options. I think the best shape to use to represent a single user, customer, citizen, or person in general is this one: It’s cute without being cutesy...
  • Blog Post: What’s the Difference between a Cause and Effect diagram and a Workflow diagram? What’s a Brainstorming Diagram Anyway?

    Visio has a depth and variety to templates that you will miss if you only use the Basic Shapes or Blocks stencils. For an overview and samples of diagram types, go to the Help menu and click on the Diagram Gallery option (in Visio 2003). This handy gallery describes all the templates in Visio, gives...
  • Blog Post: Visio Books and Resources

    If you’re new to Visio, check out the Step-by-Step with Visio 2003 book. It provides an introduction to the product and comes with a CD with exercises. If you’re somewhat familiar with Visio but interested in getting more out of the product, the Visio 2003 Inside Out book is pretty good. It’s targeted...
  • Blog Post: Getting back to blog commentors...

    Just a reminder: If you post a comment to me through the blog's Contact form, remember to put your email ! I've gotten comments from folks who ask a question that I'd like to respond to, but the poster forgets to provide their email or gives a wrong address. I'm always happy to hear from Visio users...
  • Blog Post: Summary Reporting on Shape Properties in a Visio Diagram

    Visio shapes often host properties in which users add details about the shape. For example, a network server shape in Visio 2003 lets you store IP address, server location, MAC address, and other information about the server. (You can access Shape Properties for a shape by right-clicking on the shape...
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