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visual thoughtPlot & whatNot


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I am curious as to how everybody brainstorms or visualizes in early development-

Does anyone use software to make ERDs?

I've been learning alot from Petrowsky's site. Extremely useful stuff for a beginner like myself. He uses EXCEL to plot out tables and fields initially. That is not for me.

I'm a pretty analytical guy but I have to use spatial diagrams that I can manipulate quickly and intuitively. I can't find any free programs that actually reflect cardinality and optionality as I understand them but I've been using CMAP Tools to conceptualize my entities and potential relationships. It can export to many useful formats (.svg, pdf, html etc). I've attached an example.

I've also used FreeMind , but I find it roughlooking. Call me superficial, but for me clear and concise beats flexible and detailed, at least at the very very beginning.

Commercial products like SmartDraw ($200) make me feel dirty and resentful- they help me with something I should be able to do with crayons.

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"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." - GK Chesterton, 1930

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schema2.jpg

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lol.

Is that what a 'kitchen table' is for? I've always wondered. My mother used to insist we put food on ours; I could never understand it.

Ender - does ConceptDraw let you add ERD/DB format by default or are you taking advantage of the vector drawing? It looks beautifully functional, but it's about $299 more than free. "Free" being the arithmetic mean of what I'm currently willing to pay.

Still, if I was a professional developer...hm

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Ender - does ConceptDraw let you add ERD/DB format by default or are you taking advantage of the vector drawing? It looks beautifully functional, but it's about $299 more than free. "Free" being the arithmetic mean of what I'm currently willing to pay.

It comes with various ERD and flowchart tool sets (libraries), among other things. I didn't find my tool set in the newest version, but I believe you can group your own objects together and add them to a library.

The latest version has a nice feature for automatically moving the line to the closest side as you move the tables around. Unfortunately, this feature was buggy when I tested it; it kept crashing the app. When they get this fixed, I will probably upgrade.

As to what such an application is worth; I guess if they had a version specifically for ERD modeling that cost half as much, it would be better. Since they are lumping a lot of features and libraries into the application, I guess they think it should cost that much. I suppose it might be fun to diagram our network, put together floor plans, and do all sorts of goofy business diagrams, but who has the time?

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I suppose it might be fun to diagram our network, put together floor plans, and do all sorts of goofy business diagrams, but who has the time?

Elected officials? :B

Thank you for the details.

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"It is terrible to contemplete how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

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