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Diagramming Software

2006-11-16 18:43:46.458774+00 by ebradway 2 comments

Since there has been a theme of "got recommendations for" posts on Flutterby, I'll throw mine in. I'm looking for a decent program (preferably freeware or close to it) that will do simple ER diagrams and other simple flowcharts (like B-trees). MySQL has a new tool called Workbench that can actually build tables from ER diagrams but it's still an early alpha (what irony - someone from MySQL just called me as I wrote this!). I downloaded a demo of SmartDraw, which looks like it would be a killer app for an academic who needs the occasional diagram to spice up a publication or presentation (you'd be surprised how often diagrams are shared among publications - with appropriate citations, of course). But $199 is a bit beyond my budget right now...

[ related topics: Open Source Nature and environment Invention and Design Software Engineering Databases ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-16 19:11:17.295568+00 by: Dan Lyke

Do you want a drawing program (that has a user interface), or a graphing program (that takes some sort of text description of a (directed) graph and automatically lays out a visual representation)?

If the former, then I'll have to boot up the Linux box and see what the tool I've used over there is, but I remember even grabbing directed attachments out of its XML data files with a script to use it as an interface to some other tool. I don't think it was Inkscape, but it may have been one of the progenitors, in which case that'd be a more full-featured successor.

The other tool I've stumbled across recently is the Perl module Graph::Easy: http://bloodgate.com/perl/graph/manual/

It takes a text description as input and outputs graphics.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-16 21:32:29.784485+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

OpenOffice.org's Draw component has some basic Visio-like diagramming functionality. I've used it for flowcharts and the like.

I've also tried Dia (Open Source, GTK+). That was several years ago, and it didn't meet my needs at the time, but I don't remember exactly in what respect.

Kivio (KDE) is next on my list, as I've heard it's [more] like Visio [than Dia].

For purely database diagramming, I've been eyeballing dbWrench (multi-platform) for work, but I need Windows Authentication support. And it's also $150.