ActiveWin: During the development
of Microsoft Visio 2000 Professional, did you overcome any setbacks or set
Lance Delano: Developing a product and
getting it ready to launch is, of course, the stuff of war stories. In
general, shipping on a platform (i.e., the Visio platform itself) always
hold surprises. The individual setbacks and milestones probably aren't
that interesting to hear about. The Visio software and database modeling
development team is composed of fairly senior software designers and the
team has been working together for a very long time. The result is that
we have become very efficient at responding to the inherent challenges
of software development. Instead of panicking about X or
Y, we feel confident that we have the experience and creative energy to
solve that problem.
ActiveWin: If the next version of
Microsoft Visio Professional were released today, what features would you
include that are not in the current version?
Lance Delano: Well, specific features are
difficult to talk about (because we try to keep those confidential as we
plan our next version). But an important theme for us going forward will
probably be increased interoptibility. Visio's always been recognized
for its ability to work with Microsoft's products. And the acquisition
by Microsoft this past January just expanded our ability to integrate
with other Microsoft teams. Since I work on database and software
modeling technologies, I've gotten to work closely with Microsoft's
Visual Studio group. So we're really hoping to be able to capitalize on
these new synergies with Microsoft and increase interoptibility even
ActiveWin: Are there any service
releases planned for Microsoft Visio 2000 Pro? If so, what problems/bugs
will be fixed?
Lance Delano: Service
Release 1 (SR1) is already out for Visio 2000 Professional. For more
information about it, you might want to look at one of the articles from
Microsoft's Knowledge Base. The article is located at:
ActiveWin: How has Microsoft Visio
2000 Professional been accepted by the IT/Business industry?
Lance Delano: Extremely
well. Professional remains one of Visio's best-selling editions, along
ActiveWin: How does Microsoft Visio
SmartShapes assist users in IT Diagramming?
Lance Delano: Many IT Professionals need
a way to document what their existing IT infrastructure looks
like--whether its how their databases are organized, the modeling schema
for their software, or how their network is configured. SmartShapes are
well-suited for this task because they are customizable, so they make it
possible for users to modify their drawings to look like the components
that they represent.
ActiveWin: What is the favorite
part of your job?
Lance Delano: As I mentioned earlier, the
development team has worked together for a long time. So I get to work
with a group of people that I know well, on technologies that I really
like. (In my case, software modeling and database schemas.)