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teepee
2008-04-17, 02:21 AM
Hi,

I'm trying to create a rather complex swimlane process diagram. I didn't find a ready template or any "wizard" as in MS Visio.

It's relatively easy to create a simple swimlane diagram by first creating lanes and then dragging the process elements on top of them. However, the lanes created by this manner don't automatically resize when the elements within them grow or shrink (f.ex. process forks to two parallel tasks within the same lane). Also reorganizing them is a pain in the butt, as I can't just drag and drop the whole lane, but I have to select the lane and all of its elements before moving it.

Any pointers or hints? Or will this be on the "next release"? :)

oblomow
2008-04-17, 04:02 AM
That would be a great feature. (that and the automatic numbering of
flowchart symbols so that you can refer to them in a separate document).
I just made several pages and resizing the lines and numbering the elements
was a real pain.

rajrsingh
2009-02-03, 01:14 PM
There's one here:
http://nform.ca/blog/2008/04/more-about-the-swimlanes-docum

Ken Case
2010-04-08, 09:06 PM
OmniPlan (http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omniplan) uses a swim lane diagram for its resource view. You can drag tasks from one swim lane to another to change assigned resources.

skippingrock
2011-04-01, 11:25 AM
OmniPlan uses a swim lane diagram for its resource view. You can drag tasks from one swim lane to another to change assigned resources.

Thanks for your suggestion about OmniPlan (which I have) but this is not really what we want. (Or at least I). We want to be able to produce a swimlane diagram that is not specifically based on a specific date in time, but rather a non-specific amount of time and not linked to an actual date.

I want it more for the resource and process flows, not the timelines.

Can this be done with OmniPlan?

riverchik
2011-08-28, 02:14 PM
Hi new user here. I thought I saw a swim lane tool or template but now I can't find it. Thanks so much.

SimpleCharts
2011-08-30, 07:47 AM
I was looking for Swim Lane tools/templates yesterday myself. I didn't find anything, but if you have the Pro Version, you can convert from Visio. Google "Visio Swim Lane" for a starting point.

bforeste
2011-08-30, 09:21 AM
Thanks for your suggestion about OmniPlan (which I have) but this is not really what we want. (Or at least I). We want to be able to produce a swimlane diagram that is not specifically based on a specific date in time, but rather a non-specific amount of time and not linked to an actual date.

I want it more for the resource and process flows, not the timelines.

Can this be done with OmniPlan?

Plus 1 to this thread...swimlanes are a must for anyone who's designing systems integration...

Brian
2011-08-30, 03:17 PM
I want it more for the resource and process flows, not the timelines.

Can this be done with OmniPlan?

OmniPlan doesn't require events to be tied to particular calendar dates. You can set your project timeline to be "Undetermined" in the Information tab of the Project inspector. This lets you know that Task B starts a week after Task A, but there are no actual dates tied to either.

Hope this helps!

rlieving
2011-09-19, 02:06 PM
Where are the Swim Lanes Omni? They are not in the standard Stencil packs. I didn't find them in the extras or on your Omnitopia page.

Swim Lanes are key for any Management Consultant. It looks like your product is more geared towards designers and programmers, which is a huge disappointment.

From what I can see, Swim Lanes are a feature a lot of people have been asking about.

rlieving
2011-09-19, 02:07 PM
Here's a link (http://forums.omnigroup.com/archive/index.php/t-7807.html) where someone claims that another Omni product (Omniplan) uses Swim Lanes, but that Omnigraffle doesn't include them
Here's a link (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=22011) where someone says to Google for a VSD and use that. (Is this for real?)

Brian
2011-09-19, 03:03 PM
If what you need is swim lanes and only swim lanes, OmniPlan is going to work much better for your needs. Looks like the "Swim Lanes" request was first filed back in 2006 - since then, we've gotten <20 customer requests.

The items at the top of the most-requested list have about five times as many customers attached. In the case of the item at the top of that list, the request is actually much younger - it was first filed in 2010.

We try to prioritize the most popular changes as much as possible, so our updates help as many customers as possible. This would be a fine thing to add to OmniGraffle someday, but at the moment, customers are telling us there are other things they'd like to see added first. Hope that makes things more understandable!

WoollyCoo
2011-10-15, 06:05 AM
Hello All....

Most of what I do is process mapping with multiple resources. As these change frequently, having the ability for swim lanes to resize automatically is critical.

If I had the time of Leonardo Da Vinci I would use Omnigraffle to make something wonderfully pretty straight from scratch... I am not I already work over 14 hours a day....

If I wanted something that looked like it was rushed out by jiggling with MS Project I would use Omni PLan.

Therefore I use MS Visio.... As a Mac user that grinds but until the massive pool of apps from Omni is complimented by the inclusion of a workable user friendly swim lane tool my systems integration work needs something else...

Given all the positive comment re Omni I was surprised that such basic functionality is not delivered in a more user friendly fashion....

HaroldH
2011-12-06, 02:07 AM
Swimming lanes are a must-have for a tool like OmniGraffle Pro.
I know that many business analysts are using OG to design and document business processes, only to find out that they need to lend VSD's from Visio

Having a strong template and example database would be a key driver for using OmniGraffle Pro IMHO.

oblomow
2011-12-09, 03:45 AM
I want swimlanes too! (so, that's one more vote on the request list)

Sophie
2011-12-09, 11:04 AM
Me too.

lewen7er9
2012-02-29, 06:39 PM
They're not as user-friendly as you'd expect, but BPMN 2.0 stencil has some shapes from which you can construct a swimlane diagram.

Still, I would love for this type of diagram to be supported natively. How do I vote for this feature to help bump it's priority?

DerekAsirvadem
2012-03-15, 08:41 PM
Reviewing all the comments carefully. OG is by far the easiest tool to use for "swimlane" diagrams. For reasonably modern ones, you will need to use several different Stencils, and Insert a reasonable number of graphics or images. Cartoons are cute, but for professionals who want to draw Roles or Actors, a couple of good standards already exist, and those would simply be used in the "storyboard" or "scenario" "lane". "Swimlanes" are not new by any means, they are merely a horinzontal or vertical categorisation (in columns or lanes) of responsibilities (Actors, Roles). Now what you put in the lanes after that is pretty much up to you and the expected audience: you can keep it technical and standards-oriented or you can make it quite friendly and cute.

The point I am making is that the "swimlane" diagram is not a type of diagram, for which there needs to be, or can be, a native implementation. The diagram is a composite of other formal diagrams, which have specific types, laid over "lanes". And those specific types of diagrams already have perfectly good tools. Hell, you can make one of the lanes a timeline for budget or project approvals (and then we are approaching a Project Plan).

The only feature that is "missing" is OG (that allegedly exists in Visio), is the automatic re-sizing of the "lanes". Personally, I cannot see the "problem": either re-sizing the "lanes" to fit the new set of objects, or resizing the group-of-objects to fit into the "lane", is really really easy in OG. The lanes would be a layer beneath the objects in the lanes. There are various things to consider, such as whether the resulting text is comparable to the other text on the page; the error of changing the size of symbols; etc, so really, I would want to do that myself anyway, and avoid having it done automatically for me.

Sure, if you keep resizing the lanes all the time, and it is a pain, then evidently you have not drawn each original integral diagram (flowchart, process flow, etc) correctly or completely; you need to do that first, before you can use such in a composite diagram (such as "swimlane"). It is a problem in the way you are working, not in the tool.

There are lots of other features that I would prefer Omni addresses before they address the requirements identified here. And that is if someone can actually define the requirement, which is not clear yet.

The way I would describe it is, we need an attribute on a target object or group, that let's us "pour" any number of objects or a group of objects or text into the target object, and:
either resize the target object to contain the unchanged total size of the source objects
xor resize the total size of the source objects as a group, to fit into the target object

For me, it is no big deal to review the entire doc and do a bit of both, to maintain the overall context and relative object sizes. But I would draw the source diagrams completely, first.

DannyC44
2012-04-18, 03:49 PM
Me three! Any updates on when we'll see swimlane templates in Omnigraffle?

jaybna
2012-09-26, 02:38 PM
Might I add another vote for swim lanes? Visio does these superbly. OmniGraffle is otherwise a better program. Drawing process diagrams by hand is no fun!

Thanks in advance, Jay

bclohesy
2012-09-27, 12:30 PM
For me this was one of the biggest surprises after digging into OG - that there is not the capacity to do simple swimlanes. Like one of the other posters I end up using Visio on Crossover to my process work - and I always find it a bit depressing as I've installed all these beautiful Omni products that don't really cut it for work :( I've tried all manner of different combinations and tried to set up my own templates etc - but I just don't have the time to fiddle with OG all the time.

Simple, easy swimlane functionality in OG for processes would make me a very happy user...

Cheers
Ben

Brian
2012-09-28, 02:51 PM
We've got a feature request on file for this in OmniGraffle, but it's on the "Maybe, possibly, someday" list - we don't have any plans in the foreseeable future, in other words. In the meantime, our recommendation has been to use OmniPlan (http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omniplan/) for this sort of thing.

Of course, if there are reasons why OmniGraffle would be better for some reason, we'd be happy to file that feedback against the existing OmniGraffle request. Thanks!

slyraskal
2012-09-29, 08:23 AM
I highly recommend the addition of the swimlane template to OmniGrafflle (OG). I can't tell you how many times I've recommended OG as a pseudo-replacement for Visio on OS X. The swimlane template is one of a few templates that is most heavily used templates at the organization I work at and to add it to OG would make it [hopefully] easier to adopt at larger organizations.

SrPedro
2012-11-08, 10:58 AM
Please log another request to the que.

bmehling
2012-11-27, 03:58 PM
I don't understand the confusion over "why a swimlane[1] template belongs in a diagram tool?".

It appears obvious to many here that OG is a diagramming tool, in fact the OmniGroup homepage says that, among many of the OG features, it can "draft a diagram".

The handful of other diagramming tools I've used (Visio, gDocs, etc.) generally include some template to create a VERY standard process diagram...

In other words +1 for creating a swimlane template.

Thanks!

[1] (I tried to paste a link to the swimlane definition on wikipedia... I can't until I've posted more here. Search on wikipedia for swimlane.)

ddri
2013-02-07, 08:41 PM
Swimlanes are an essential part of diagramming and I'm glad to hear that they are at least being triaged in some manner. I'd like to add my support for getting them on the roadmap, and I would point towards the freeware (sadly not open source) yED as an example of an "almost there" implementation.

In term's of yED's version:

PROs
- Automatic Swim Lane template
- Right-click contextual "Add a Column" and "Add a Row" customisation
- Some control over the default variables of the Swim Lane template

CONs
- Inserting rows and columns occurs at the end of the existing ones, with no "Insert Above" or "Insert Below" options as we come to expect from similar functions in spreadsheets
- No way I could see to control the dimensions of all of the lanes (resulting in manual click-drag-adjust)
- No automatic resizing
- Difficulty in positioning the objects/actors/nodes in the lanes, requiring back-and-forth between vertical and horizontal positions
- Lots of manual effort

This might be something niche to business analysts, but it's an important and popular tool. Having the positioning of the nodes as automatic and responsive tot he adjustments of the swim lanes is important, but so is the inverse in perhaps having the option to have the swim lanes adjust to fit around the nodes inside.

As it stands, we're left using alternative tools, or else being drawn back to Visio. I'm certainly not the only one that moved TO OmniGraffle as a Mac user wanting to move AWAY from Visio. To have to use Visio as well... that's an incentive to drop my OmniGraffle license. Hopefully we see swim lanes this year (2013). I would be happy to provide DC/RC/Alpha/Beta testing on any efforts.

mathclou
2013-02-11, 05:14 AM
Hi, I want to draw a business process diagram with swimlanes. I'm quite new with OmniGraffle and I wonder which stencil/tool I must use to do so easily ?

Thanks in advance.

Mathieu.

Brian
2013-02-11, 05:03 PM
Mathieu, our recommendation is that OmniPlan (http://www.omnigroup.com/omniplan) is currently a better tool for creating this kind of diagram.

That said, we do have a feature request open on adding support for this sort of thing to OmniGraffle; I've double-checked that all the feature requests in this thread have been added to our item on this in the development database and added yours as well. Thanks, everyone.

(Whenever possible, we try to organize our work around the most-requested features and changes. Just for reference, swimlane support currently has around 1/4th the number of requests as the items at the top of that list.)

gshenaut
2013-02-13, 02:57 PM
I too am interested in this. I tried using OP in this way, but having to think in terms of specific units of time is just too annoying. Even if dates are undetermined, you still have to specify the duration of each task. If OP could use “undetermined” as the effort/duration of some or all tasks, but keep the sequences and dependencies, it would be great. Alternatively, there could be a kind of timebase based on non-time units, like “chunks” or “steps” or whatever. Being able to mix determined and undetermined duration tasks would also be great. Obviously this would be a pretty big change to OmniPlan. (I agree that OP is probably a better tool than OG for this, by the way.)

jfdouble
2013-02-19, 01:37 PM
Please add my vote for swimlane support as well.

OmniPlan is too monolithic of a tool - I just want to be able to quickly create simple diagrams at a high level, like I do when I diagram on a whiteboard. And since it's a diagram, I want to use the right tool, which is OmniGraffle.

It is not about resources and dates and dependencies, it's about visualizing some processes at a high level.

EmilR
2013-02-27, 06:05 PM
Please add my vote for cross-functional flowchart template or feature of some kind comparable to Visio. I just bought OmniGraffle and I guess I just assumed you could easily make swimlane diagrams as they are such a common type of diagram in my line of work. If it were a "Pro" feature I would understand and be willing to pay the premium.

I am sure OmniPlan is quite good but I have no need for PM tools in my personal life, so it is unlikely that I would purchase it just to do quasi-swimlane diagrams.

EricE
2013-03-22, 11:04 AM
If what you need is swim lanes and only swim lanes, OmniPlan is going to work much better for your needs. Looks like the "Swim Lanes" request was first filed back in 2006 - since then, we've gotten <20 customer requests.

Here's another request. I used Visio primarily to diagram business processes, and if OmniGraffle want's to bill itself as a Visio replacement I echo other posters who indicate this is indeed important.

It's good to know OmniPlan has them - I may just go see if I can figure that out. I really need to utilize OmniPlan more anyway so maybe this will get me started. Hopefully there's a way to bring them in from OmniPlan for furtrher editing in OmniGraffle. It sounds like OmniPlan automatically builds and maintains them, which is more than Visio does - Visio just provides templates as a starting point.

marktatham
2013-03-28, 09:17 AM
Swim Lanes are key for any Management Consultant. It looks like your product is more geared towards designers and programmers, which is a huge disappointment.

From what I can see, Swim Lanes are a feature a lot of people have been asking about.

Please add another vote for swimlane functionality in Omnigraffle. If we are to set OG up as an alternative to Visio, it should at least have comparable capabilities.

hurricanemb
2013-07-18, 04:30 PM
Add me to the list. Swimlanes please!

andrewdcross
2013-08-05, 01:08 PM
Please add another vote for swimlane functionality in Omnigraffle. If we are to set OG up as an alternative to Visio, it should at least have comparable capabilities.

I am really surprised that Omnigraffle doesn't have swim lanes. Please count my vote for this fundamental feature.

Ken Case
2013-08-08, 08:45 AM
Has everyone looking for swim lanes reviewed Derek Asirvadem's earlier post in this thread (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?p=108392#post108392) which describes how swim lane diagrams are made in OmniGraffle with its existing feature set?

Beyond those current capabilities, what specific additional features are you looking for?

BrianTH
2014-05-16, 11:55 AM
I just want the speed and simplicity of creating swim lanes that I am used to with Visio - I like to create business process diagrams as I'm thinking the process through so don't want any clunky workarounds to achieve what should be a basic function of any business drawing package.

While Graffletopia can be used to quickly create attractive graphics, as a process modelling tool it's inadequate.