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Visio is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Mind Mapping Software. It is most often compared to Bizagi: Visio vs Bizagi

What is Visio?
Microsoft Visio is an advanced diagramming solution that helps IT professionals simplify, connect, and share information. Visio provides tools and resources for interpreting, acting upon, updating, and sharing complex information about IT processes, infrastructure, and applications - effectively and efficiently.

Visio is also known as Microsoft Visio.

Visio Buyer's Guide

Download the Visio Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Visio Customers
Thomas College, Hamburg Port Authority, Portigon AG, Conseil G_n_ral du d_partement des Hautes-Alpes, AAA Auto a. s., Commonwealth Financial Network, ICA, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company
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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Visio pricing:
  • "I believe Visio to be priced pretty reasonably."
  • "The licensing process is actually a breeze. Simply buy the license and download it from Microsoft, enter the license key in Visio to activate the software, and you're done."

Visio Reviews

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David Jaques-Watson
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable and scalable solution for business-oriented presentations

Pros and Cons

  • "Visio makes it easier than with other tools to do such tasks as changing things or coming up with one's own visual style for presentation purposes."
  • "The solution's flexibility can be perceived as both a strength and a weakness."

What is our primary use case?

I usually use Visio for really high-level conceptual modeling. Ironically, this works well with iServer. But, I use Visio for conceptual modeling since it makes it easy to draw things and is not as strict. This is because, at the conceptual level, one is not properly familiar with the details or constraints. This way, a business person would be able to critique something as being incorrect or not linked or drawn properly.

What is most valuable?

Visio makes it easier than with other tools to do such tasks as changing things or coming up with one's own visual style for presentation purposes. Mostly, the solution is employed for presentations made to business people, with the aim of facilitating their understanding of the design one wishes to use. Due to its greater flexibility when it comes to how things are joined together with lines, it is possible to put things together that would not work in a physical environment. This reduced constraint is good, as it allows one to initially familiarize himself with his system and ask the appropriate questions for which he may not have answers at the moment. At the minimum, this allows a person to put something up for critique in the event that it is incorrect.

The automated tools exist for making the computer do the dumb stuff. It may be worth going out to the market to see the sort of things people are trying to obtain. The solution integrates well with other tools and one can bring Visio diagrams into Word. Once in Word, a person can open the diagram for editing purposes if need be and then close it again and keep it in Word. So, all the integration capabilities with the other Office products is great. I can't think of much that I wish to add to the solution.

What needs improvement?

When creating a database, more stringency is required, as the computer is really dumb. A person is a lot more constrained, much more so when using the actual database creation tool, such as erwin Data Modeler. So the solution's flexibility can be perceived as both a strength and a weakness.

Visio is a general modeling tool, which encourages so many things beyond the use of mere data models. I think it's pretty good. Years back, when we first saw Visio being used with social security, the solution promoted itself as the missing piece. Word, Excel and Outlook were available. There was actually a piece missing where they stuck on the Windows logo.

In the late '90s or early 2000s it was possible to buy Visio with and without Office. They then removed this capability. Nowadays, one can obtain 365 but, with Visio, the component must be bought separately. The issue exists more with the purchasing and it would be nice to have it included as a standard feature. I believe they've now checked in Power BI as a standard component with Office, but Visio has so many more uses, since business people can use it to do swimlanes. Regular people and not just those with a technical background can use it for so much more. It should just be part of the enterprise or the professional version of Office. That's what I'd say. It's just so damn useful.

One of the things that was removed prior to it getting spun out was an enterprise version of Visio which could be set up, kicked off and actually go through one's network to ping everything that was attached to it, including printers, routers, PCs, laptops, et cetera. It would then bring all that information back and write a network diagram itself of all of those things. I thought that was a pretty cool part of the product. I'm not sure whether people now have network tools that do the same thing and that's why it's not used anymore. But, it was nice to see this sort of automation.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio since it came out in 1995 or 1996. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution seems to be pretty stable, because I've opened models that I wrote 20 years ago and it still reads them without incurring frequent crashes. I did something flaky the other day which it didn't like. I don't know whether that was because it was going through a virtual machine and have yet to track down what the core issue was. However, overall, things have been pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When it comes to scalability, I suppose that Visio is like any other product. One of the drawbacks of any Office product is its design for a single person. There exist ones on the web which allow for online editing in Excel, but many of the features I use do not exist in this version. This is a pain point.

We are talking about a one-person product, but the fact that you can print it off as a PDF and share it with others is a good feature of it. Visio differs from a real modeling tool, an expensive one such as, say... erwin Data Modeler, in that the latter has its own repository for storing models, which another person can access and use for modifying the relevant model. The model can be split into an overall one and a subject area. This way, two people can work in different subject areas. As long as two people are not working on the exact same object they will avoid stepping on each other's toes. Visio is akin to any other Office products, in that it involves a single person at a time per document.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't believe I have ever had to contact technical support to get the solution to work. We usually look up things on the internet. For most Microsoft products the help is not too bad. The last time I had to contact Microsoft support was years ago, concerning flowcharts, I believe.

For any issues involving the local installation I would contact our own infrastructure team. This said, I don't believe I have ever had to go out with an actual bug in the product.

How was the initial setup?

I am not involved with the infrastructure side, but my understanding is that the initial setup was relatively straightforward. I had to put in a purchase order when I started this new role, but obtained access to the tool pretty quickly. I'm assuming that it is similar to other Microsoft products, in that there is a standard implementation, with the IT people having a fixed method of configuration, as with other Office products, which are rolled out.

When it comes to the setup, I have a couple of what are referred to as stencils, which are the things on the side that can be used for creating one's own series of diagrams or its components. I have a couple of these which I reuse. This is the only thing worth mentioning were one setting it up from scratch. But, many of the standard objects are pretty good and extensive. As such, the setup is not too difficult. Neither is it difficult to create one's own look and feel. So, it's pretty good.

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

I believe Visio to be priced pretty reasonably. Erwin Data Modeler may be a bit on the pricey side nowadays. When it was spun off from Computer Associates, they did so as a separate product and someone else bought it. I seem to recall at the time that the price either doubled or trebled, although I don't remember the reason for this. It was not clear to me what extra value was being offered for the price. Likely, the sole problem with erwin Data Modeler is that the price point is a tad on the high side. It can make selling to clients challenging and they are generally put off by the price.

Probably, it would have been better if erwin Data Modeler was the introduction to the environment whose creation is being attempted, meaning the DI suite and all the other parts involved in the governance, their glossary and all the bits and pieces. As the first taste is always free, it might've been better to have erwin Data Modeler at a lower price point. Once a person has obtained this product he would likely feel compelled to buy the other tools that work with it, rather than attempting to obtain something which does not. This would allow one to lower his price for the initial tool and then charge a bit more for those that nobody else has in their possession, such as one's involving data governance. This said, I'm not really involved in sales or marketing, so what I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Visio is really good for high-level presentations but, when it comes to much more lower-level tasks, the best I've found so far is erwin Data Modeler and the DI, the governance suite that they've put out more recently. I've also worked with Oracle Data Modeler. One can't argue with the price on that one since it is free and presents no issues if money is lacking for other expenditures. If a person can do the drawings and present something to people then he can actually generate databases out of it, which is what one's end game is supposed to be anyway. It's not as pretty and it's a little bit more fiddly to do when things start to get complicated.

What other advice do I have?

When I first started, everything was on-premises, although I do not recall if it switched to Azure at a later point. I believe I used it in 365. I am pretty sure the later ones are part of Office 365 or appear as add-ons, as they are not included.

My advice is that a person first work out what he wishes to use the tool for, to see if it suits his needs. While it's great for presenting information to people, it is not as good in the end when it comes to actually trying to build a product out of it. Of primary importance is that the person come up with his own look and feel for the organization, with a focus on business oriented issues rather than those of a technical nature. This would entail coming up with one's own color scheme or design and then remaining consistent in this domain. It is helpful to present to business people in a format with which they are familiar.

As the product will pretty much do what one wishes, which is nice, the focus should remain more on the presenting side rather than on its use. Certain products pose a challenge when it comes to getting them to comply with one's wishes, but Visio is a bit easier in this regard.

As a presentation tool and a high-level design tool, I rate Visio at least a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Michael Barg
Principal Consultant at Lexington Consulting
Consultant
Top 5Leaderboard
Provides a quick way to spruce up client reports and proposals with rudimentary yet impactful visuals

Pros and Cons

  • "Visio has improved my workflow by making it easy to create charts, diagrams, and basic illustrations that I can use in my client reports and proposals. It has saved me a lot of time I would otherwise spend creating visuals for clients by hand."
  • "There could be better integration between Visio and Word, especially when it comes to importing graphics from the one to the other."

What is our primary use case?

I use Visio when I'm writing a client report in Microsoft Word, and I want to put in a simple graphic to supplement the text or better explain something. Visio's graphics are not complicated. They're quick and easy to create, so I use them mainly for what I would call static graphics, like simple charts and diagrams.

How has it helped my organization?

Visio has improved my workflow by making it easy to create charts, diagrams, and essential illustrations to use in my client reports and proposals. It has saved me a lot of time I would otherwise spend creating visuals for clients manually.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the online support from Microsoft. Whenever I'm stuck with a problem, I can contact customer support. They will almost certainly get back to me within a reasonable time frame. They're good with that.

It is easy to use online tutorials and training videos provided by Microsoft and elsewhere, such as on YouTube. So if I want to create a new diagram, add some shapes, or increase the weight of a connection from one object to another in your graph, I can easily find out how to do that.

Another aspect that I enjoy is the seamless online integration. For example, there's the ability to download all sorts of extras like different shapes, stencils, objects, etc., for free directly from Microsoft into Visio. Also, I like that you can drag and drop online pictures straight from the Web into Visio.

What needs improvement?

There could be better integration between Visio and Word, especially when it comes to importing graphics from the one to the other. Visio's graphics don't seem to play well with other applications. Sometimes I move a business process graphic to a Word document. It doesn't copy the picture correctly, or it leaves some of the connectors off. Or it puts the wrong one in or changes the font for no apparent reason. That's a pain in the neck, and it's one of my biggest complaints about Visio.

Moreover, when I connect a caption to a drawing and move the drawing, sometimes the caption gets left behind. And if you shrink the size of a drawing, I'd like Visio to scale the font automatically. Small details like this would significantly improve the product.

Aesthetically speaking, the graphics can be a bit crude and simplistic. The graphics are sufficient for most purposes. Visio is a static program that tries to keep things simple for most users. However, I would appreciate it if they made an allowance for at least slightly more complicated graphics. As they are now, they do not inspire. People don't look at the graphics and say, "Wow, that's a great graphic." They look at it and say, "Uh-huh, move on. Next!" It's a lot of sameness.

I would also love to see Visio with a more intuitive and reliable data linking feature. I shouldn't have to program or develop any complicated code. Just press a button, connect to the spreadsheet, and update it. For me, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You should trust your application so that when you need it to link, it links. It would help to know that Visio is using the latest data, mainly because you don't want to embarrass yourself in front of a customer with wrong or outdated data.

I like dynamic programs. I want to take inputs from other places and have the application automatically update my chart and know that it's correct. And not only do I want it updated, but I wish to document updates, so I can see what updates were selected and used. So if the document references a spreadsheet or an Access database, it shows where the data came from, what version it is, and the date. If you're doing a nice bar chart in Visio and you want all the bells and whistles, you can see the source material and revision of the chart so that you don't have to go back and say, "Is this right?"

I want to create my objects and my object library more easily. I think you can do some of that, but it's not that simple. I haven't had a lot of experience doing it, but when I did try it, it was awkward.

The support is okay, though not super great; I wouldn't expect it to be. Visio is not a program where you need a lot of hand-holding for most tasks. It's quite suitable for those who want to drag and drop, so support isn't too crucial, though there could be room for improvement.


For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio since it first came out in the early 1990s.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I have never had a crash in Visio ever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For my use case, there's not much need to scale it up in any meaningful sense. When I'm writing a proposal or preparing a report for a client, I try only to put in good graphics to get my point across.

I typically create my graphics and place them in a Word document. And then I hope they stay together as I move things around. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. So, in terms of scalability and accuracy, Microsoft could improve integration between the different applications.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to use technical support very often at all over the years. I might have used it only once or twice in the past twenty-something years. I'd rate the support I received as a five out of ten. Not too good, not too bad. Thankfully, they've gotten rid of a lot of the need for that kind of tech support by putting better help and documentation online.

Microsoft offers training videos online that teach the basics of Visio well enough. I can also go on YouTube if there's something unique or unusual that I need to do. Frequently, somebody's already done it, and I can quickly learn how they did it.

Suppose you do want technical support. In that case, Microsoft has a reasonably active Visio user group. However, it's not real-time help, and you may have to wait a little while for a response. If you want somebody to help you live, you're going to have to pay a third-party company for that kind of support. I don't use Visio so much that it's worth going that route.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used a similar solution to Visio many years ago, designed for business flowcharts and business processing. The company that built the software went out of business.

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to get started with mocking-up simple flow charts and diagrams. Still, it can get very complicated when setting out anything a bit more detailed—especially when getting titles, labels, and font sizes to match up. Suppose you want to make a custom organizational chart or a product line chart with all the details and specifications. In that case, I suspect you'll need to set aside some time to learn the user interface more thoroughly.


What about the implementation team?

In-house.  

What was our ROI?

I haven't actually calculated an ROI, but I would approximate that I save at least two hours time of cumulative manual effort for each graphic built with Visio.

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

The licensing process is a breeze. Buy the license and download the application from Microsoft. Enter the license key in Visio to activate the software.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.  I've used Visio for many years.  It does what we need it to do.

What other advice do I have?

I like to call Visio a program for the graphically impaired. I use it because I hate spending lots of time preparing graphics. I would recommend skipping any fancier alternatives. Most people might benefit from adding quality visuals to their documents but don't have design skills. In that case, I recommend using Visio instead.

As long as you don't have excessive expectations, it will do what you need it to do and do it for a reasonable cost.

I would rate Visio an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Visio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,089 professionals have used our research since 2012.
TH
Director of Mortgage Banking Projects at a writing and editing position with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
Easy to set up, simple to navigate, and offers good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a very meat and potatoes type of product and isn't overly designed. It's very easy to find your way through the solution, as it's not too complicated."
  • "Occasionally, the automation feature that helps you easily add the "next step" goes crazy and it will move a bunch of stuff."

What is our primary use case?

My use case could be anything. What I like to use Visio for is business process design work. Even when we're doing a systems implementation project, I'll use it. One of the things that I tell my clients is that "Before you implement a system, you really need to check your business processes that the system is automating, to make sure that you're not automating a bad process." Therefore, we have a whole methodology on how to do business process design sessions, facilitated sessions. The outcome of those sessions is documented largely in Vizio. 

Sometimes, for example, if I've got a good person working on my team, I'll be with the client, facilitating the session and we'll have sticky notes on the wall that represent the process steps, and the outcomes, and the inputs, and all that stuff. We'll be moving those around. And then somebody on my team will be sitting there with Visio, recreating it as we go. If they aren't able to do that, we just take pictures of it and then recreate it in Visio. We clean it up and make it nice looking. However, we use Visio primarily for business and/or project process flows. 

How has it helped my organization?

It's a very good visualization tool that helps package everything professionally. It helps clients see where we're going. We're able to capture what we need to capture and we're able to manipulate it the way we want and make it look the way we want, and present it to our clients the way we want. 

What is most valuable?

One of the features I like is the automation involved in creating a process. It's really improved over the years. At this point, when you have step one - let's say it's a rectangle with step one in it - and then you're ready for step two, you can just hover the cursor over one side, and then it will automatically add an arrow going to the next box and automatically add a new box. It saves a bit of time there. It's one less aggravation to deal with when you're creating things.

The solution hasn't changed much in 20 years. It's a very meat and potatoes type of product and isn't overly designed. It's very easy to find your way through the solution, as it's not too complicated.

What needs improvement?

Occasionally, the automation feature that helps you easily add the "next step" goes crazy and it will move a bunch of stuff on me. Usually, that's very easily recoverable, however, that's just a little aggravation we have to deal with. It's like an ongoing glitch of sorts. You need to be careful when you are moving the whole image.

If there was a way to make the finished product more interactive somehow, that could be interesting.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for decades. It's been a very long time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. To my recollection, I haven't really had to deal with any crashes or big bugs. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm just a small consulting firm. Basically, it's just me and a group of trusted subcontractors that I network with across the country. The biggest project and the biggest team of people I've ever had on a project is 25.

We don't have enterprises that we deploy to. We just put it all on our computers or on our laptops and that's it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't ever recall using technical support, and if I did, it was likely well over ten years ago at this point. Therefore, I can't really speak to their knowledgeability or responsiveness.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. All you do is implement or install it on your laptop. It has a few defaults that I don't like, however, that I can change. For example, the process boxes might be colored purple or something, and I just want them clear, so that's not a big deal. There are some pre-settings you can adjust so that it defaults to how you need it to look every time.

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

I have a subscription to Microsoft 365 that automatically updates all of the versions to whatever is the most recent. I have to have a special subscription to get Visio though. Therefore, I've got one subscription to Microsoft that has all of the basic Office products, and then another one for Visio and Microsoft Project.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did run across at one of my clients several years ago, another process building software. I don't remember the name of it. I'd have to look it up, however, I recall it was really slick and nice and cool. In my mind, it was a little too over-engineered and overly complicated for what I like to do. I'd have to be careful that we're not losing sight. We're not missing the forest for the trees when we get into the business process design. Therefore, I didn't really feel I was missing out by not adopting it.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a consultant.

I tend to use the latest version of the solution. I try to keep everything up to date. That said, I'm unsure as to which version I'm on right now.

We're a small consulting shop. Right now, there's three of us and the roles are generally around facilitating business process design sessions. That's what we usually do is. Typically, I will stand up and facilitate with the client. We'll have a room full of clients - maybe 10, and sometimes it has the vendor - and our team. I will facilitate, we'll capture all of the discussions. We'll put everything on sticky notes, on a wall, with our methodology. And then my folks will capture all of that on Visio and on Microsoft Word. Then we go back to clean it all up and make it presentable. 

Overall, it's very easy to use. It's very intuitive and if you're documenting business processes, it does the trick. It's not like there's no other software out there that will do something similar or something as well. However, I've used Visio for so long. It's just a habit and I don't see any reason to try anything else.

I'd rate it ten out of ten. There's a reason I've been using it for so long. It does everything I need it to do without having too many confusing bells and whistles

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MM
Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to set up with good technical support and excellent stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is pretty easy."
  • "The application could be lighter or it could be faster with documents."

What is our primary use case?

I'm an architect; I primarily use Visio for drawing diagrams.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspect of the solution is the exterior interface. The exterior application interface and the keyboard shortcuts available help me to do some major work and diagrams.

Since Microsoft did some updates a while back, I've found the solution to be very stable.

Technical support seems to be pretty good.

The initial setup is pretty easy.

What needs improvement?

The application could be lighter or it could be faster with documents. That just comes down to the user's CPU power and how big your document is. 

I'd like it if there was some sort of web integration, where you can deploy VST diagrams or at least SVG diagrams or something to the web. It might be useful. I'm not sure if it does it right now, I haven't looked recently. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've likely dealt with the solution for 15 years or so. It's been well over a decade. It's been a long time. It's likely been for however long it's been on the market or for however long Microsoft has had it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution's stability is quite good. It struggled a bit in older versions, however, Microsoft has update dit and it's been very, very good. There are no crashes or freezing. There aren't bugs or glitches. it's reliable. The performance is good. Ever since we've been using it on Windows 10, it's been great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. I've used it and try to compare designs, so it's a fairly simple environment, and it's roughly the same. Again, that kind of depends on your GPU, on the power of your workstation that you're using. If you don't have as powerful of a workstation, you have issues with larger jobs.

Those that use it in my organization are mostly architects. There might be around 100 or so users in my company, although I don't have exact numbers.

I'm not sure if we have plans to increase usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's my understanding that the solution has pretty good technical support. I haven't dealt with it personally, however, my colleagues have and it's always been very positive in terms of the comments we've received regarding Microsoft tech support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex. That said, I've been using it for so long that I'm fairly comfortable with it. It's my understanding that the setup today for that tool would be fairly easy for a new user. It should be noted that that's coming from myself, as a person who's dealt with the product for so long.

The deployment of Visio to my workstation was as simple as requesting the download from our central section and it downloads within 10 to 15 minutes. The deployment for my workflow is fairly trivial for me. That's due to the fact that we're using an internal package from the site.

I'm not sure what kind of maintenance is required. It would be an automated packaging process. We would have some sort of a tool chain, where the tool is packaged, and then unpackaged and then deployed to our location.

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

I don't deal with billing or licensing aspects of the product. I can't speak to the actual costs or if it is expensive or cost-effective.

What other advice do I have?

I'm not sure what type of business relationship our company has with Visio. My role usually revolves around working with Visio and various website engines.

I'm not sure which version of the solution we're using.

One of the key things for a company considering Visio would be to establish some guidelines for how Visio should be used and how it's used to augment existing workflows for the customer company. For users, it would just be to gain comfort with the tool shortcuts and get to know the tools, strengths, and any weaknesses. That you may perceive and just understand them and the solution becomes easier to work with.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. It's just a reliable workflow for me so it's a pretty good tool. Lately. it has also been pretty stable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Stanislav Drastich
Mentor at Agricultural Paying Agency
Real User
Top 20
Good stability, and scales well, but has a lot of patching that you need to keep up with

Pros and Cons

  • "If you are a knowledgeable individual, the initial setup isn't too difficult."
  • "There are a lot of patches that sometimes change how one version will interact compared to another."

What is most valuable?

It's been an extremely reliable solution for me for a very long time. It's quite mature.

If you are a knowledgeable individual, the initial setup isn't too difficult.

There are plenty of very good third-party tools.

The stability is fairly good.

The solution can scale to meet the needs of any project.

What needs improvement?

The issue I have with this solution is the same issue I have with all the products by Microsoft. They depend on many solutions by third parties for too many things, from my point of view. Maybe there should be more basic, fundamental resources incorporated into their products in general - not just this product.

A basic user may have issues trying to install the solution.

There are a lot of patches that sometimes change how one version will interact compared to another.

It would be great if, in the future, we would be able to use numerics and graphics cards. If there already this functionality, they need to make it more publicly known, as I don't see it right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with Microsoft products for 30 years or so. With this product, I've used it from time to time, when I've needed it. I'm not sure the exact amount of time I've spent with it over the years. It's likely much more than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution, for the most part, is very, very stable. There is one problem in that there are so many upgrades and patches and so on that are critical and must be applied that it makes for a few issues in terms of practical use. I was facing such a very specific problem. The project was functional in an older version, yet the same code was not functional in the newer version. Therefore, to troubleshoot, I used both older and newer versions of the software and had to acquire all the patches for both. There is no clear answer as to why the same code behaves differently within these two APIs. That's a problem. However, it's not really a stability issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable, and great to use for any project of any size or scope.

How are customer service and technical support?

I only use the solution for my personal use and therefore don't have access to technical support. I can't speak to how helpful they are, or how responsive, as I do not use them. I don't have any practical experience to speak to.

That said, having dealt with Microsoft technical support in the past with other solutions, I can say that, in general, they are very capable and have many experienced people on staff to assist. I've been satisfied with them in the past on other products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty simple and straightforward for those with knowledge or training. Basic users may have problems, however.

For myself, with so many years of experience with many types of Microsoft solutions, I found everything very straightforward.

It's not that the process isn't intuitive, it's just that, if you don't know what to do or look for, it can become a bit confusing. You must study many new terms and methodologies before you can get around to beginning the process as a completely new untrained user. There may be ways to watch videos online to learn a few tricks and to help you visualize the process.

What about the implementation team?

I have many years of experience with Visio and Microsoft, therefore, I can handle the installation process myself.

What other advice do I have?

I primarily use the solution myself for my own projects. I'm a customer and end-users.

In general, I would rate the solution at a six out of ten.

I would recommend this product, however, at the same time, I suggest to everybody to know and practically use several tools, so as to keep up their overall knowledge and skills. For some purposes, it is easier and more reliable to use one tool, and for other purposes, it is more reliable to use another. I do not recommend to anybody globally to work alone with one tool, separately from all the world.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DL
Principal Architect at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Stable, easy to set up and a very popular product within the market

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is pretty straightforward."
  • "There are too many features."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used for diagramming. I use it for a couple of different things, however, it's mostly for diagramming and documenting data center infrastructure including racks, wide area networks, logical designs, physical designs, and conceptual models.

How has it helped my organization?

The ability to clearly demonstrate and create labels has helped the organization immensely. To be able to create and to provide detailed configuration guidance on what ports to plug wires into, et cetera, is useful.

We use it to discuss design, network, and configuration options, as well as provide detailed guidance to the engineers on how to connect and how to configure our data centers.

What is most valuable?

The product itself is useful due to the fact that it's widely accepted. I can go out on the internet and I can pull down stencils in VisioCafe. I can easily get pre-drawn stencils for whatever I need and that makes life a lot easier.

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

The solution is stable. 

What needs improvement?

There are too many features. One of the things I find most annoying about Visio is the automatic connections. They're just like everything Microsoft does. They overdo it. There are too many features - especially when I have people who are not familiar with the tool. 

Users will start creating text boxes for objects that already have a text feature. For example, if you've got a computer and you take a picture of a computer or a stencil of a rack-mounted server, people wind up putting text boxes next to it instead of double-clicking on the box and adding the title there. It's mostly user error, however, it's overwhelming for new users. They don't realize what can be done.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Visio since before Microsoft bought it. It's been anywhere from 15 to 30 years. I've definitely used it for more than a decade. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable for the most part.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I use the desktop version of the product and cannot speak to how scalable the product is. It's only limited by the resources of the laptop itself. 

In our company, we have 10,000 users on the product. It's used extensively. All departments use it.

I can't say if the organization plans to increase usage or not. 

How are customer service and support?

I never need to call technical support. I cannot speak to how helpful or responsive they are. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our organization has used the solution for decades. We haven't used anything else. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. That said, I've also been doing this for three decades and therefore have had a lot of experience handling the process.

It's installed pretty cleanly. It's a Microsoft install and there's not really a whole lot of issues. If I don't have a stencil for what I'm drawing, I can go on VisioCafe and a couple of other websites to get them. You can get stencils for network devices, switches, routers, hubs, servers, and all sorts of fun stuff.

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

I cannot speak to the exact pricing. It's not an aspect of the solution I handle. 

What other advice do I have?

We're a customer and an end-user.

Visio is one of the only approved products where I work, and it's one of the best.

I don't know if there's a newer version out, however, the only one I'm allowed, the only one the government provides me with is, is the 2013 version.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. The only real problem is that there are too many features and it's somewhat overdesigned. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Kerry Smith
Sr. Industrial Hygienist at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Helps with organization by facilitating diagramming of complex procedures

Pros and Cons

  • "It works really well for flowcharting, it can label."
  • "It should be easier to transition into a new version without having to spend so much time in just one area."

What is our primary use case?

I am a health and safety professional. I use it for flowcharting, but I also use it for drawing diagrams. 

I will do a technical assessment of a workplace scenario of equipment as well as noise measurements, and I will use Visio to draw out the scale.

There are many images that you can put in there and data to create images of workplace exposures.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the way our organization functions.

It's a tool that helped me diagram complex procedures. More as a picture versus words. 

It also for training and letting other people know how to do that same procedure.

What is most valuable?

It works really well for flowcharting, it can label.

Also, being able to pull the finished drawing out and put it in a Word document is easy, and very useful.

It allowed me to do some things and save them really well. And I found many different things to do with it. It's beyond flowcharting.

The latest version has taken some transitioning and it's a bit of a workaround, but it's also been good. I found the ctrl 1,2,3 buttons that I didn't know about and have been very useful. If you hit ctrl 3 it lets you do your line draw.

What needs improvement?

I just uploaded the latest version and using it now, and I'm struggling with it. It's very different than the other version I have used, and I haven't done any tutorials. 

The previous version was easier. It was easy to intuitively figure out what it did. I learned it on my own and it didn't require the review of tutorials. But with this updated version, I am definitely struggling with it. I need to go through the training and go through the tutorials. So far it seems more complex, but maybe it's just different.

It may handle images well, but I don't know yet. It is something that I would like to see in this solution.

It should be easier to transition into a new version without having to spend so much time in just one area. Providing information on what has changed and how to do it would be very helpful.

I would like the option of going back to the way of doing things in the previous version. I don't understand the block system. I had the favorites that I have to build again because somehow they got lost with the upgrade.

In my favorites, I had shapes, fans, and other things. You pull up all of your basic images or search for them, and you could drag them over into your diagram.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for approximately eight years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any issues with stability. It's a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never contacted technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I did not use another solution. It was a discovery. 

I came across Visio, I saw what I could do with it, and I just continued to expand my uses.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. With this new version, it is a bit confusing. 

With the previous version, I was able to have all of my favorites, I was able to pull objects and do an arrow as a connector, and I had to stop and learn how to do that.

I like the way it was earlier, but it could be just my learning curve.

What other advice do I have?

If you have a need for flowcharting, organizing, or creating diagrams, I think you should check it out. It's worthwhile.

Based on my previous experience with the previous versions, I would rate Visio a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Alberto Hidalgo
Project Development at INECO
Real User
Top 5
Intuitive with an easy setup and a good interface

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution makes it very easy to make exciting pictures and designs. Everything is very intuitive and simple to figure out."
  • "The user interface could be more robust."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution to make new core designs. I connect the designs to the projects I'm involved with. 

What is most valuable?

I love that interface a lot. I've been involved with design my whole life, and this solution is an excellent program in terms of assisting with design projects. You can work on quite large projects with Visio.

I've used the solution for so long, and I have so much experience with it, I'm quite comfortable using the technology.

The solution makes it very easy to make exciting pictures and designs. Everything is very intuitive and simple to figure out.

What needs improvement?

I'm not sure of the features that are missing. It's a pretty complete solution.

In some instances, I do feel that AutoCAD is a better solution to use. I find AutoCAD makes better lines and has a few better capacities.

The maintenance of the solution could be better. It might be better on a PC. I'm not sure.

I'm not sure if Visio is the best for 3D designs. One does have to make a bubble. It's typically better to do such designs in AutoCAD.

I find that, in order to get money, advertisers, etc., AutoCAD is a better solution.

The user interface could be more robust. It can export to AutoCAD, however it doesn't do so very effectively. You really struggle with exports as they end up exporting in different forms. It doesn't translate exactly. What is white in Visio ends up being black in AutoCAD. Ultimately, you have to go and fix everything. It's not that easy. You end up losing quality.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Visio in the past 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In general, the solution is pretty stable. However, occasionally, we do experience a bug or glitch. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution depends on the project. You can only put it on so many devices. We have a rather large company, so we have quite a few people on the solution. Not everyone in our organization uses it. It's just specific departments. We're in telecommunication, and we use it in our department specifically.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm a big fan of support. They've been very helpful in the past. I'm satisfied with the level of service they provide to me.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm also used to AutoCAD and I can make beautiful designs with it. AutoCAD is more complicated, the final drawings are not better than with Visio. That's the main difference.

However, when you have to sell something like Architectura, the screen isn't as clean on AutoCAD.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't too complicated. It's straight forward.

You have to spend your time with it in order to funny understand the solution in the beginning. It can be a little crazy at first due to the fact that there are a lot of rules we don't use. That said, it's not difficult to learn.

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

I'm not sure what the pricing is for the solution. I know that AutoCAD is very expensive, therefore, it's possible Visio is comparable.

What other advice do I have?

I'm using the latest version of the solution.

I use Visio now, and I'll use it going forward. I imagine I'll always use it. I have used AutoCAD, however, I prefer Visio. It's my favorite as I'm so comfortable with all of the aspects of the solution after working with it for so long.

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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