While I was prepping the delivery of an upcoming VMware vCloud: Architecture in the VMware Cloud training course, I was searching for a diagramming tool, which could be used during the laboratory exercises. I was about to step away from Visio, because I didn’t want to be creative with trail licenses and after some searching and testing I stumbled upon Gliffy. The biggest plus of this online diagramming tool, is that students must work in teams and collaborate during the design laboratory workshop, with Gliffy it can be done instantly with anyone. Gliffy comes from the word glyph, a symbol or character that imparts information non-verbally. Gliffy is an online diagramming service that helps users communicate with a combination of shapes, text, and lines. With Gliffy online diagram software, you can easily create professional-quality flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, technical drawings, and more. The online diagram editor makes it easier than ever to create great looking drawings.
Easy to Use : Creating diagrams is simple with Gliffy. Just drag-and-drop shapes from an extensive library and point-and-click your way to format, just like in the office software you are familiar with. No expertise needed.
Extensive Shape Library : Access a complete library of shapes, including networking, UML, user interface, process flow, entity-relationship, floor plans, and more. You can even import your own images, like logos and backgrounds, to complement your diagrams.
Full Feature Set : Robust features give you the power and flexibility to create professional-looking diagrams.
- Extensive shape library
- Large drawing area
- Drag and drop ease
- Shape alignment
- Auto line connections
- Gradient color fills
- Convenient publishing capabilities
- Document manager
- Revision Control
Publish Easily : With just a click, Gliffy gives you a URL to a read-only version of your diagram, so you can share it with anyone. You can also easily embed your image into your wikis, blogs, and hosted office applications.
Incorporate Diagrams into Other Documents : Enhance your word documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and web pages by adding your diagrams directly into your files. Whether you are using desktop applications or hosted online software, you can save your diagram as a .JPG, .PNG, or .SVG or include a URL to the most current version of the diagram. You can even save your diagrams and open them in illustration programs.
Collaborate Instantly with Anyone : Enter the email addresses of your collaborators and Gliffy will automatically notify them you have invited them to collaborate. They'll receive a URL and temporary password to a free account.
Protect and Track Changes : If you invite others to edit your diagram, don't worry. Gliffy's Revision Control feature automatically keeps a copy every time a document is saved, so you can track changes or revert to an earlier version.
No Compatibility or Access Issues : Gliffy works through your web browser, so Mac and PC users can all work together. And since you access Gliffy via the Web, clients, vendors, and co-workers at different sites can all view and edit the files.
More Reliable than Email : Know that you are all working off the most current version of the document. And you don't have to keep emailing the file back and forth!
I’ve received a great comment from Lisa who pointed me at LucidChart. This online diagramming solution has the same features as Gliffy, but on top of that it also supports:
- HTML5 and web standards make LucidChart fast, smooth, and reliable
- Work simultaneously with as many people as you want.
- Access your documents anytime, anywhere, from your PC or Mac (browser independent).
- Import Your Microsoft Visio Documents
Now you don’t have to recreate all of your previous documents generated in Visio and you can still enjoy the ease and benefits of working in LucidChart! In addition, you will be able to access your diagrams from anywhere using a web browser, and you can easily share your diagrams with others and collaborate in real-time.