Press Release

Monday, September 16, 1996 < Prev Next >

Visio Professional Unveiled as the Complete Diagramming Tool for IT Managers

New Visio Product for Designing and Managing Information Systems and Business Processes to Ship in Fall Quarter

SEATTLE, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ — Visio Corp. (Nasdaq: VSIO) today announced Viso® Professional, the latest addition to the company's product line of enterprise drawing and diagramming applications, and the first product to combine functionality specifically targeting the fast-growing markets for information systems and business process management. The product will be previewed at Booth 8 at the National Business Reengineering Conference and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Sept. 16-19, and at Booth 6874, Hall G at NetWorld+Interop in Atlanta, Sept. 18-20.

Visio Professional will provide specialized features for network design, software and database development, business process management, workflow and technology planning, as well as the standard business-oriented diagramming functions of the company's flagship Visio product. New SmartShapes® symbols, wizards, database connectivity and support for the latest Windows® technology are included to help corporate users plan and manage their computer networks and line-of-business applications. Additionally, the new features enable users to visualize and improve business practices, implement re-engineering programs, track total quality initiatives, and optimize Web site design and documentation.

"With Visio Professional, we are solidifying our leadership in enterprisewide business diagramming and extending it to embrace the critical tasks of managing information systems and business processes," said Peter Mullen, general manager of Visio business products at Visio. "Visio's open architecture and comprehensive capabilities have already made it a valuable tool for everyday business diagramming and technical drawing. Now, users can cohesively visualize, plan and manage the information systems infrastructure that underlies their corporation, and the processes that make it run effectively."

Visio is a broadly compatible and extensible graphics platform that is helping to standardize drawing functions across corporations. To enable additional flexibility and compatibility across enterprises, Visio Professional supports ActiveXT, 32-bit Microsoft® Windows development and application technologies, and connectivity with Lotus Notes and ODBC-compliant databases such as Microsoft SQL server™ and Oracle.

Besides being a powerful standalone diagramming tool, Visio Professional works well with other IT management and business process management tools. For example, network managers could design their corporate network using Visio Professional and then integrate Visio with an autodiscovery tool, such as Optimal Network Corp.'s Optimal Surveyor® software program, for further analysis. In addition, Visio will continue its work with third parties such as Computron, SAP AG and Systems Modeling Corp. to enable a smooth transfer of information between tools and help streamline business process redesign efforts.

New Features in Visio Professional

These are among Visio Professional's new features to support management of information systems business planning:

  • New templates and more than 1,000 new SmartShapes symbols. New SmartShapes symbols include more than 350 vendor-specific network equipment shapes, more than 300 shapes for specific software development methodologies and general software development projects, and IDEF0 and IDEF1X process and data flow shapes.
  • Support for Visual Basic® for Applications. Visio Professional includes the same Visual Basic development environment as the new Microsoft Office 97 applications, allowing end users to take advantage of powerful Visio documents that include Visual Basic for Applications code and enabling programmers to use Visual Basic for Applications to create custom Visio solutions.
  • Enhanced database connectivity. Visio Professional diagrams and SmartShapes symbols can be linked to an ODBC-compliant desktop and client/server databases. In addition, new wizards are available for creating database structures, mapping the structure of existing databases, and analyzing ODBC-compliant databases.
  • Advanced wizards. Wizards for Network Diagrams, Network Databases and Flowcharts enable users to automatically diagram information system structures, create or update them from database links, and create flowcharts from either a database or text file. A Property Reporting Wizard gathers custom property information and values from specified shapes and performs arithmetic functions on the gathered data.
  • Internet and intranet features. Visio Professional can be used to analyze and document Web page design. The Web Diagram Wizard automatically creates a hierarchical map of any selected Web site's pages and hyperlinks. Users can also use the Hyperlink Wizard to create links from a Visio diagram to another document or URL address. Visio diagrams can also be exported to GIF, JPEG and PNG formats.
  • Auto Layout and Intelligent Line Routing. Based on user input, this technology will reposition shapes and connecting lines, automatically route connecting lines around shapes and other lines, and provide line-to-line spacing for parallel lines.

In addition to these new features, Visio Professional adds enhanced color handling and core Visio engine functionality and SmartShapes symbols and wizards for flowcharts, organizational charts and other general business diagrams.

Bridging the Gap Between Information Technology and Business Processes

"The only sustainable competitive advantage in the information age is the capacity to innovate, and increasingly, business process innovation is the key factor in competitiveness," said Stowe Boyd, president of Work Media in Herndon, Va., a consulting firm that tracks business process and information technology trends. "Process-centered information systems form the base of such innovation. There are compelling reasons for businesses to use a single, comprehensive diagramming and charting tool such as Visio Professional to pursue these goals. In this way, they can unify their information technology, process management and applications development under a single, powerful visualization system."

Pricing and Availability

Visio Professional 4.5 is expected to ship near the middle of the fourth quarter of 1996, at a U.S. estimated street price of $349. Registered users of Visio 2, 3, 4 and Visio Technical 3 and 4 can upgrade to Visio Professional for $149, and registered users of Visio Technical 4.1 can upgrade to Visio Professional for $79.

Visio Professional is a 32-bit application, supporting the Windows 95 and Windows NT® 3.51 and 4.0 operating systems, and is sold in CD-ROM format. Also included with the product is "Developing Visio Solutions," an in-depth guide to creating customized Visio solutions through OLE Automation using Visual Basic, C or C++. The product includes 90 days of free technical support and a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

Visio Professional will be available from leading national distributors, corporate resellers, retail channels and direct marketers, as well as direct from Visio Corp. To obtain more information on any Visio product, customers can contact Visio at 800-24-VISIO [248-4746], ext. 93W. Additional details about Visio can also be obtained on CompuServe or via Visio's Web page at

Visio Business Partner Program to Facilitate Corporate Use

In addition to retail and channel availability of Visio Professional, Visio Corp. will facilitate corporate implementations of Visio Professional-based solutions through the Visio Business Partner Program, which provides extended support to corporate in-house and third-party developers of Visio software and services. Those interested in more information about the Visio Business Partner program can send e-mail to, or contact Visio at the preceding phone number and Web site address.

About Visio Corp.

Visio Corp., a leading supplier of enterprisewide business diagramming and technical drawing software, was founded in September 1990. The Seattle-based company pioneered the drawing and diagramming market with the release of Visio 1.0 in November 1992 and has since released additional Windows-based products for the creation and exchange of drawings and diagrams in business. Visio's powerful product architecture, combined with partner programs and third-party relationships in key market segments, is establishing Visio as a desktop platform standard for the creation of graphical solutions. The company markets the Visio product line in more than 26 countries throughout the world.

NOTE: Visio and SmartShapes are registered trademarks of Visio Corporation. Microsoft, Windows, ActiveX, Visual Basic and Windows NT are either a registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Optimal Surveyor is a registered trademark of Optimal Network Corp. All other trademarks are held by their respective companies.

SOURCE Visio Corp.

/CONTACT: Melissa Covelli, 206-637-9097, or, or Megan Prentiss, 206-637-9097, or, both of Waggener Edstrom, for Visio Corp./

/Visio Corporation's press releases are available through Company News On-Call by fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 107036, or


CO: Visio Corp. ST: Washington IN: CPR SU: PDT

CL — SFM035 — 5578 09/16/96 09:02 EDT