January 31, 2006

Visio and Project Management

Posted in Commentary at 7:30 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

Project Management much like Network Management is akin to trying to nail jello to the wall. You can try, but in the end, the jello wins! In today’s missive, I am writing about both Visio and project management. The Visio came about from the PM software and project which is the move of an entire datacenter while it online. Fun huh?

I looked at several packages of PM software for the Mac and decided none were as polished as MS Project but I did find one that had very good compatiblity with MS Project either as a .mpx file or a real project file. The software is called Intellisys and the one I bought was the Desktop version. It works pretty well, stable which is a good thing but hates all my printers except my default printer which is pretty annoying at times. The app is based on Java so there is a Windows version and a Linux version but the licensing is so complicated to prevent you from using the software on more than one system so dont get any ideas. I really hate the licensing even more so because when I move to an Intel Mac, I have to go and beg them to reissue the license. Guys, you are good but not that good to use this kind of restrictive licensing.

The Visio was an easier choice for me. I have used two different packages over the past few months, one is ConceptDraw and the other is OmniGraffle Pro. Conceptdraw is pricey to be sure but in the end, it works the best with Visio and is much more suited to the varity of drawings I do. Omni was always just too “light” and it really annoyed me that their network icons and stencils were just Macs. Ok.. ok.. it’s Mac software but we all work in the real work and generic server icons etc are a good thing! Omni also failed on the Visio XML file import test I ran which pretty much killled it off in the running. Concept took my XML file and happily opened it correctly and let me work on just as if I were using Visio for the most part.

OmniGraffle was such a disappointment and not just from the price which is considerably cheaper than Conceptdraw. It comes from the fact that I love their outliner software and it would have been great to keep supporting a company that makes something I really enjoy using. But sadly, that was not to be.

I should point out that all the software I talk about is either freely available or I bought it. None is given to me by the vendor which hurts at times but lets me toss barbs around pretty freely 🙂



  1. Thomas Waters said,

    I really don’t understand your problem with non-mac symbols in Omni Graffle. There is a network 3D; an Enterprise Systems; San Devices; SGI Work stations; Sun Microsystems; formal network symbols; Cisco… how many non-mac network symbols do you need?

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