Alternatives for SmartDraw / MS Visio?
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Thread: Alternatives for SmartDraw / MS Visio?

  1. #1
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    Alternatives for SmartDraw / MS Visio?

    Does anyone know of a free, decent alternative for SmartDraw or MS Visio?
    I'm taking a database design class, and all I need is something decent to draw ERD's (Chen and Crow's Foot, Rein85, IDEF1X...).

    Right now, I'm using SmartDraw, but that's a 30-day trial. After the 30 days, I'll have to switch to Visio and use its 30-day trial (that's basically enough since my class only lasts 8 weeks - I just don't want to have to switch). I know it can be done with PSP (or even Paint), but I'm looking for something a little more up to the task...

  2. #2
    ********** |ceWriterguy
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    Just pm'd egaladeist on your behalf - since he's a former illustrator, he'll probably know.
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Neg~,

    Please look here:

    http://www.brothersoft.com/Multimedi...rting_463.html

    The first one looks cool?

    "Limitations: the trial never expires"

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I haven't edited the last post because I want the link to work:

    http://freeware4u.com/modules/mydown...sual%20Thought

    Sort of "abandonware", it claims to be good for 14 years.............guess that is about 9 now.............but it would give you the opportunity for a few resits

    I will check some magazine cover CDs that I know have this sort of stuff............I will get back, as you can usually d/l from the magazine site. They are usually obsolete versions of payware stuff, but are fully functional and may be good enough for what you want to do?

    cheers
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    T̙͓̞̣̯ͦͭͅͅȂͧͭͧ̏̈͏̖̖Z̿ ͆̎̄
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    Hi Neg,

    You might want to try here...

    http://www.sofotex.com/download/Prog...ase/more7.html
    Programming: Database: Page 7 - Free database utilities and software downloads

    Eg

    l3lacklce is right I am...errrrr....was ( haven't drawn anything in years ) an illustrator but that was before computers were sold publically ( mass marketed PC's )...computers actually put me out of business after 20 years so this link is the best I can do...all my work is freehand illustration the old fashioned way!

  6. #6
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    Visual Thought (nihil's link) is perfect - does what it needs to do, looks nice, is intuitive, and free! Thanks a bunch, nihil!

  7. #7
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    Hey Neg,

    I realize that people have already responded to this and that you've found an alternative, but I want to recommend Dia... The Diagram Editor.

    It's free, open source, kept updated and available for both Windows and *nix. It's actually designed to be similar to viso.. http://www.gnome.org/projects/dia/

    It may interest you...

    Peace,
    HT
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  8. #8
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    My last database design class I didn't have time to do an ERD so I took an ODBC database from a certain company we all know and hate, and reverse engineered it with VISIO and in about 3 minutes had an ERD for an enterprise class database. But don't tell anyone!
    I DID have to normalize it since it was totally **** but that didn't take long over a beer or 5 and some Floyd. You can also do an entity relationship diagram in Access, if students have access to that. Access and Visio will actually create the database for you. In fact to cheat (save precious time)even further, after borowing the database you can recreate it using Visio then have Visual Basic automate form generation based on the tables that were created. In about an hour you can kill data dictionary formalization, ERD creation, normalization, database generation, and a VB front end, then publish it to a web application. About 5 classes worth. Ok maybe two hours to polish the interface
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  9. #9
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    That doesn't make much sense, Road
    Access isn't going to take care of the relationships for you - following your scenario, I'd have to create tables, then indicate the relationships... simply drawing an ERD is ten times faster and simpler. Your "solution" is to create a database first, then export its design to get an ERD? Are you nuts?

  10. #10
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    No No, not create... "borrow". There a a billion projects on the web. I could have sworn I used access to create relationships via the design view. But your probably right since I don't have it on this box, if you don't "borrow" an existing database then it's easier just to draw it out. I was sharing some "shortcuts" if you ever need to take advantage of a time savings. Of course you would miss the process of effectively designing a database according to "standards" though. Which would not be a very effective learning tool
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