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Visio aims graphics tool at IS

The vendor of diagramming and charting tools is targeting information systems.

Diagramming tool vendor Visio today announced a departure from its long-maintained focus on end user flow charting tools with the introduction of a new graphical tool for depicting information systems.

Visio Professional, code-named Blackcomb, will help network administrators, Webmasters, and database developers to graphically depict, in flow chart-like symbols, system architectures and configurations so that they can better understand how systems work. The new product marks Visio's entry into the IS tool market.

The tool is designed to run on Microsoft's Windows NT 4.0 upgrade, announced today, and will also run on Windows NT 3.51 and Windows 95.

Visio Professional includes Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications macro language to allow easy customization of the tool.

The existing Visio software, for which the entire company is named, provides a broad range of diagramming symbols and tools but is aimed principally at end users generating business graphics and presentations. In contrast, the company will market Visio Professional to IS managers and programmers as a front end for application development tools, Web site management tools, and systems and network management packages.

Visio Professional is expected to ship in the fourth quarter. The company says it will announce pricing when it delivers the software.