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Recommendations for software engineering programs?

Hi everybody.
I'm creating the specs for a medium software project. Now I have to write all the documentation and diagrams, but I don't know any good software for this.

Can anyone recommend me a program for drawing DFD diagrams and E/R diagrams (for the database) ?

Thanks in advance.

Tárek Zein
Thursday, October 18, 2001

Suggest ERWin by Logic Works or ER/Studio by Embarcadero

Tony McConnell
Thursday, October 18, 2001

Er, if you only want to "draw" the diagrams ERWin or ER/Studio may be overkill. If you want a complete data modelling and application generation tool, these two would be great.

Tony McConnell
Thursday, October 18, 2001

there's also Microsoft Visio, just for drawing things.

Joel Spolsky
Thursday, October 18, 2001

Depending on how big "medium" is, a radical suggestion: draw the diagrams with a pen on a piece of paper. Run it through the scanner if you need to embed it in electronic documentation.

This is assuming that coming up with this spec is not your main job -- that is, that you won't be making a living writing specs. In that case, it may simply not be worth the time to go through the learning curve on any of the specialized software packages solely for the sake of a pretty picture.

Mike Gunderloy
Friday, October 19, 2001

Well, Visio always worked for me.  Its good for modeling and just drawing things out. I usaly don't mess with a lot of the symbols that are there and try to stick with the basics.  That way its easier to read.  The only problem with Visio - pretty memory hungry - but i guess that stops you from reading JoelOnSoftware when you should be writing your spec!

Joseph Ruvel
Friday, October 19, 2001

You can get Microsoft's VisioModeler as a free download still, until the Viso 2002 full product is released.

Simon Lucy
Friday, October 19, 2001

SmartDraw's pretty good, and I find it much easier to use than Visio:


Frederic Faure
Friday, October 19, 2001

Thank you all!
I'll take a look at them. I still don't know if I'll need a complete data modelling tool or just a diagram drawer.

Mike: I thought of drawing it, but my drawing skills really suck! Besides, I'm going to need a tool for future projects.

Thanks ;-)

Tárek Zein
Monday, October 22, 2001

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