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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...


Last edited by bclohesy; 2012-09-27 at 05:49 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 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!
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.
Please log another request to the que.
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.


[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.)
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:

- 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

- 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.
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, our recommendation is that 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.)
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.)
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.

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