This week Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Project 2010 and Microsoft Visio 2010 have reached the technical preview engineering milestone. A limited number of invited participants can now download Visio 2010 to try it for themselves. This milestone also kicks off our coverage of Visio 2010 on the Visio Insights blog!
Visio 2010 focuses on three major areas of investment:
Ease of Use
Visio 2010 incorporates the Office Fluent User Interface and design philosophy. The improved organization and presentation of Visio’s capabilities helps you complete tasks and create better looking diagrams with greater efficiency. The Shapes Window gets a new look and new capabilities to make organizing shapes and adding them to the drawing even easier. Within the drawing window we added productivity improvements like shape insertion and automatic alignment & spacing to speed up initial diagram creation AND assist with editing and maintaining diagrams over time.
Visio 2010 delivers a great new experience for working with process diagrams. We've redesigned our cross-functional flowcharts to be simple, scalable, and reliable. We've added new diagram types for the Business Process Modeling Notation standard and for designing SharePoint workflows, which can be configured and deployed with SharePoint Designer 2010. Sub-processes and containers break up a diagram into understandable pieces, and the Validation feature can analyze a diagram to ensure it is properly constructed. Visio integrates with SharePoint to provide a process diagram library for centralized storage of process documents.
Visio 2010 can take data-refreshable diagrams and publish them to SharePoint for broad distribution to anyone with a web browser. Visio Services performs data refresh and rendering on the server and delivers up-to-date diagrams in the browser. The diagram author no longer needs to repost the diagram every time the data changes, and diagram viewers no longer need the Visio client to see the diagram.
Visio 2010 application workspace
Over the coming weeks and months we'll introduce Visio 2010 in depth. We will cover the features in Visio 2010 as well as discuss some of the customer input and decision making that went into the release. Whether you are an interested user, a shape designer, an IT professional, or a developer you'll find valuable information about the product.
We also look forward to your feedback on the product and your discussion on the blog. Please tell us what you think and what you want to know more about.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you start Visio 2010 is the new getting started screen, which is where you’ll choose a template for the diagram you plan to create. While it’s similar to the “Getting Started with Microsoft Office Visio” screen that greets users of Visio 2007, it’s actually part of the new Microsoft Office Backstage View that is common to all Office 2010 applications.
The Backstage View is the location for features that interact with the Visio file as a whole, such as opening, saving, printing, and setting file properties, as well as settings and information for the application. Since these are features that don’t need to be visible all the time while you’re building a diagram on the Visio drawing canvas, they are located in the Backstage View.
The Backstage View consists of a set of tabs that group related features. In addition to the “New” tab, which is the one that appears when you launch Visio, there are tabs labeled “Info”, “Recent”, “Print”, “Share”, and “Visio”. Each tab can be accessed by clicking on its label in the navigation pane on the left side of the screen. We will have more to say about the other tabs in a future post.
The “New” tab is where you get started on a diagram by picking a template from one of the available template categories. The templates you use appear in a “Recently Used Templates” section at the top of the '”Home” screen for quick access. Navigation in the template categories is similar to that in a Web browser, with back, forward, and Home buttons at the top.
In addition to choosing a template, the “New” tab lets you start a new diagram without a template by clicking on “Blank Drawing” at the bottom of the screen. You can also access the Office Online templates, open the sample diagrams, or start a new diagram from any existing Visio file.
If you would rather get started by opening a file you worked on previously, the “Recent” tab provides access to the list of most recently opened Visio files, each with a thumbnail preview. Files can be pinned to the top of the list for quicker access.
Once you’re working on a diagram on the Visio drawing canvas, the Backstage View can be accessed at anytime by clicking the left-most tab in the Ribbon, which is labeled with the Office logo.
We are interested in your feedback on the new getting started experience in the Visio 2010 Technical Preview, so use the Send a Smile feedback tool or comment on the blog to let us know what you think.
Microsoft Visio 2010 is part of the Office 2010 wave of products. While Visio is sold separately from the applications in the Office suite, we share quite a bit of functionality with these applications. In Visio 2010 you will see the adoption of the Office Fluent User Interface and many other shared capabilities in Office. In the coming posts we will introduce the Visio 2010 features, showing where Visio is similar and where Visio is different from other Office apps.
Every product development team in the Office 2010 wave is blogging about the 2010 release. Additionally there is a central Office 2010 Engineering blog to cover many of the shared features in Office. We’ve added links to these blogs in the side bar, and we will be referencing information that is important to Visio.
One of the initial posts on the Office 2010 Engineering blog discusses our Send-a-Smile feedback tool. The tool is installed automatically with Visio 2010 Technical Preview and provides a fast and simple way to tell us what you think. You can enter a brief message and send along a screenshot of what you are looking at.
The Visio product team reviews all the submissions and categorizes them into comments, bugs and feature requests. Comments help inform our decision-making about what is working well and what needs improvement. Bugs are investigated and fixed if possible. Feature requests are evaluated for possible inclusion in the product or tracked for the future.
Please let us know what you like or dislike by using this convenient tool. As always, you can comment on the blog too.