Originally conceived as a visual flow diagram application, Microsoft’s Visio will receive detailed systems management and SharePoint portal integration in the upcoming 2010 release.
Microsoft has announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of its Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Project 2010 and Visio 2010 line up, with the final releases slated for May in the US.
Director of Visio at Microsoft, Chris Crane, says Visio 2010 will be the biggest release of the product in a decade.
“IT is one of our best groups of users and Visio very common in IT departments for managing assets and documenting processes,” Crane said.
“New in Visio 2010 is ability to take data from Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager and bring that into a network diagram and use it to help manage the network.”
There is also a Visio add-in for System Center Operations Manager that can auto-generate a flow diagram.
Combined with SharePoint integration, Crane describes this functionality as “liberating network management from the console to the Web”.
“We are a BPA (Business Process Analysis) tool but with SharePoint 2010 Visio can be used well for document and human centric BPM,” he said.
For full BPM Microsoft has partnered with ISVs that build those applications.
Crane said with Visio Services diagrams can be saved to SharePoint and then BPM applications.
“Visio is commonly used for business process improvement to describe processes in a flow diagram so we have added new capabilities there,” he said.
“Now you can connect a Visio diagram to an external data source and turn it into an intuitive dashboard and in 2010 we have added the ability to save the diagram to SharePoint so others can interact with diagram in a browser.”
Additional functionality includes the ability to perform calculations in the diagram icons, which Crane says is most likely to be used for monitoring.
“Visio 2010 has an intuitive dashboard that requires no coding and you can tie it to production data, including floor layouts,” he said.
According to Gartner estimates, Visio’s revenue in the BPA tool market is about $140 million, or 34 per cent of the market.