Visio 2013 – A First Look


As a Microsoft partner, we've known what's been in Visio 2013 since early this year, but it's only now, with the preview publicly available, that we can pass comment on it. That's what I'm going to do this week, with a focus on how it helps EA and BPA modeling.

A very welcome addition is support for UML 2.4. Currently we have had to produce our own templates for customers that have wanted to use UML with iServer, but it's always struck us as an omission within the product. BPMN 2.0 and WWF 4.0 templates have also been added.

There's a degree of collaboration support in the new version. Multiple users can work on a diagram at
once, and you can leave comments on shapes.

There's been a big move towards Visio support for data display in recent versions, and this is continued in the latest version. Both Visio services and data connectivity get a boost, and at the same time, there's much better Shapesheet support for driving the graphical display of data.

One nifty little feature that Visio 2013 adds, which surprisingly is not headlined, is the ability to do a find and replace within a diagram. One part of new customers migrating to iServer is the adoption of standards, and the need to convert any pre-existing diagrams to whatever standard the customer has adopted for iServer. Up until now, we have had our own internal tools to enable this, but it's gratifying to see this appear as a native ability within Visio.

All in all, some very useful additions for modelers. Better standards support, better display support and the find/replace functionality all look to be features that will make the lives of our customers, and modelers in general, a whole lot easier.