iGrafx Review

Provides comprehensive way to connect workflow and cross-feed documents, but needs support for multi-page processes

What is our primary use case?

I use it for a couple of things. It's mainly for plotting workflows in our organization, and we also use it as a repository for all the properties and the documents. 

It's also used in our approval process cycle. I'm dealing with a lot of the departments, many teams, and each team has to approve a process for themselves and share it across the company.

The solution is on-premise.

How has it helped my organization?

Teams in our company can access everything in the repository through the web interface of our company's intranet.

What is most valuable?

iGrafx is the most comprehensive way to have all the cross-feeds and the documents related to workflows, like cross-notes.

Another good feature is that the numbering of the shapes in iGrafx is much easier and more convenient, in comparison to what is found in Visio. So far I haven't found anything similar to what I have with iGrafx, in that regard.

And when I add a note to a box or a process, I can have these notes summarized when I get a printable version from iGrafx. It turns them into a PDF and I see a summary for all the processes and all the steps that have notes. I'm going to miss these things if our company moves to Visio or Aris.

I'm also using the FlowCharter and the Viewer.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in the printability of the flows. The workflow or the shape — if I'm working on a cross-functional, multi swim-lane workflow — can sometimes get very big, and it's not easy to have a printable and readable version. This is a big problem, so I have to print it on an extremely big A3.

Something that is found in Visio but is not found in iGrafx, or at least I haven't found it, is that it allows me to have a multi-page or multi-sheet process. I'm able to split a process across many pages rather than having one big process on a page. I can link between these pages with an off-page reference.

Also, dragging and dropping shapes is not as user-friendly as in Visio. In Visio, it's very easy to work with shapes and in very few minutes you can plot a whole, multi swim-lane, cross-functional process. In just a few minutes or within an hour you can make one that is very complicated. Or, during a meeting, you can do one in Visio without being distracted by the complexity. In iGrafx, that part is not that easy. iGrafx can produce very sophisticated workflows that can cover a lot of detail. This sophistication is not always bad, but it's not always good.

Finally, one more problem that I hate with iGrafx is that the format of the files or the flows is usually in an extension called igx. igx is very a very specific format that I can't access or deal with except in iGrafx. If I'm going to edit these workflows in Visio later on, I have to use a converter. I've only found one converter, in all the online forums, to convert an igx file to a Visio file. And it's another cost, of course. You have to pay for it. So if you are using iGrafx and decide at any point that it's not meeting your expectations, you have to pay for this converter, and not only the cost for the new software. The output from iGrafx should be in a format that's more accepted by other kinds of software that deal with the workflows.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using iGrafx for about eight months now.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

My company is trying to replace iGrafx because the license is a little bit expensive. They are trying to find a cheaper option. Our support contract with iGrafx ended, so they are trying to replace it with something else.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate iGrafx at seven out of ten. I'm not giving it a higher score because it's not so easy, not that user-friendly. The interface needs to be more effective. I wouldn't give it less than seven because it's a really serious solution.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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