• United States
by Staff

In brief: Microsoft to extend Visio to biz intelligence

May 26, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoftSAP

Plus: SAP to ship new supply-management software.

Hoping to expand its use beyond the desks of technical users and into corporate offices, Microsoft is adding features to Visio that aim to turn it into a business-intelligence tool and says a beta of the product will be available midyear.

IT professionals are familiar with Visio and use the software for tasks such as network diagramming and Web site mapping. Microsoft Office Visio 2003, due out in the third quarter, will have a host of new features that connect the application to enterprise applications and help companies analyze their business processes, Microsoft says. With support for XML and Microsoft’s .Net Web services platform, users will be able to tie diagrams to live data sources. For example, changes made to a Visio diagram could be reflected automatically in a database and vice versa.

Microsoft plans to start its first public Visio 2003 beta in mid- to late June. Users can sign up for that beta starting this week at Pricing has not been set.

Next month, SAP is scheduled to ship a new version of its supply-relationship management software with several enhancements, including live auctions and supplier portals. The enhanced version of mySAP SRM will let customers, for instance, operate live auctions that can track supplier bids graphically in real time, the software company says.

The new release also will support procurement of services, such as temporary labor and consulting, with new processes for cost management, while offering an adaptive user interface that could cater to varying skill levels, according to SAP. A new supplier portal will streamline buyer-supplier relationships by facilitating the ordering process, in addition to providing optional links to additional SAP modules for design and inventory collaboration.

Pricing hasn’t been set.