Tag: SmartDraw Cloud

New Release of SmartDraw Cloud Has Reviewers Talking



The Smartest Way to Draw Anything on Any Device, Anywhere at Anytime

Here at SmartDraw our collective goal is to expand the ways in which people communicate so that we can clearly understand each other, make informed decisions, and work together to improve our businesses and the world.  We accomplish this by creating software and services that make it possible for people to capture and present information as pictures while being a pleasure to use.

We must be doing something right because today more than half of the Fortune 500 and more than 250,000 public and private enterprises of all sizes around the world use SmartDraw to accomplish precisely that goal.  SmartDraw has always been a Windows desktop application. Yet by 2010, we began to see signs that we need to extend SmartDraw to the cloud as well.  That’s why six years ago we decided to build a version of SmartDraw that could run on any device, anywhere at any time . . . . we created SmartDraw Cloud.

Go behind the scenes to see the Making of SmartDraw Cloud

The Reviews Are In

We launched SmartDraw Cloud on March 15th, 2016.  Since then, we’ve received rave reviews and we couldn’t be more thrilled.  Don’t just take our word for it.  Take a look for yourself.

SmartDraw Cloud means Mac users can use the versatile illustration app, with all the functionality of a desktop app and the added flexibility of the cloud.  A streamlined work flow, thousands of time-saving templates and tens of thousands of beautifully rendered symbols, all tied together within a painstakingly designed interface –it’s all there, operating just as responsively and swiftly as any app running locally on your machine.

While Microsoft’s Visio, a legacy platform that bears the mark of its ’90’s origins, is often found in major institutions with aging computer systems, SmartDraw was built from the ground up with today’s workflow in mind. Not to mention, Visio just doesn’t run on Mac, and now SmartDraw does.”

– Staff Writer, Cult of Mac

Read more: SmartDraw Finally Makes It to Mac (via the cloud)

Nothing like this is made for the Mac. . . More than that it lets you draw intelligent pictures.  The one thing that resonated with me is being able to draw a network map.  The idea is you tell it what you’re drawing and then you don’t have to actually have to be able to draw.  They have really “smart” clipart, for lack of a better term.  I’m going to draw a network map, it will load libraries of things you want in a network map like switches, routers, firewalls and computers.  And if you want you can bring in your own symbols.  SmartDraw can do what Visio does and then some.

Dave Hamilton, President and co-Founder at The Mac Observer and BackBeat Media

Listen to the podcast: Mac Observer Geek Gab 596: Taking a SIP from Apple’s Fountain [Starts at 1:20:45]

What makes this release so unique is the ability to provide a full feature set of its Windows desktop app in the cloud without having to sacrifice any components.  With the introduction of SmartDraw Cloud, users can create visuals from Macs, PCs and mobile devices.”

– Christina Mulligan,  Online and Social Media Editor for SD Times

Read more: How SmartDraw Moved Its Application to the Cloud

The most striking thing about SmartDraw is the relative ease at which it allows you to create visuals compared to the complexity of Microsoft Visio or Adobe Illustrator.  Compared to Visio, the choice of templates, the way the templates work and both the quality and choice of symbols is outstanding.  Within each template, there is a SmartPanel which contains thousands of high quality symbols, images and clip art to work with.”

– Staff Writer, MACHOW2

Read More: Best Alternatives to Visio for Mac

It’s more important than ever for small businesses to be able to create strong visuals.  And with the newly released SmartDraw 2016 from SmartDraw Software, it’s easier than ever to do just that.  SmartDraw, a popular drawing software with more than 1 million users worldwide, now includes SmartDraw Cloud, allowing users to easily create powerful visuals from any platform, including PCs, Macs and mobile devices, anywhere.” 

– Rieva Lesonsky, CEO, President & Founder at Grow BizMedia

Read more: Best Cities for Startup Minority Entrepreneurs, Are you Overpaying Your Business Taxes?, How “Wellthy” Are You? and More Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

SmartDraw has been my go-to diagramming program for many years.  I’ve used it to create numerous diagrams and infographics for [my] blog.  Why?  Because it provides me with a comprehensive set of easy-to-use tools that help me bring my ideas to life, quickly and easily.  

Here’s the bottom line: SmartDraw is much more than a diagramming tool. It’s a visual thinking engine.  No matter what type of visual idea you’re working on, it can help you express it faster and make it look professionally produced.”

– Chuck Frey, Author and Producer of The Mind Mapping Software Blog

Read more: SmartDraw Cloud Delivers Unmatched Power for Visual Thinking and Communication

When it comes to overall features and functionality, SmartDraw cloud definitely leave it standing.  SmartDraw has 4,500 templates compared to Lucidchart’s 125 with 34,000 symbols versus 1,840.  Lucidchart supports saving to Google Drive like SmartDraw but SmartDraw also supports Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox.  But it’s from a usability standpoint that SmartDraw really excels over Lucidchart.

– Staff Writer, MACHOW2

Read More: SmartDraw for Mac Review: Visio Made Easy


Selecting the Right Software Development Tools for Your Developers


steven-profile (002)About the Author  Steve Niles is a Senior Software Architect at SmartDraw Software.  Over the course of a 30-year career, he has developed software within all types of environment — ranging form the largest of corporations to the smallest of start-ups.  His current projects include SmartDraw 2016 for Windows and SmartDraw Cloud.  Steve is a former United States Marine and lives in northern San Diego County.

The choice of tools to be used in the software development process can literally make or break a project.  Once the target environment and programming language(s) is chosen, and the requirements and end goals are well-enough understood, the next task in starting the work of a software development project is to choose the tools that will be used throughout the process.  It’s important to be aware of the types of tools that are available for use, the benefits each can provide as well as the implications for using them.

Types of Software Development Tools

There are a variety of tools available to aid in the software development process.  While this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the tools available in all environments, some of the most important categories of tools are:

Integrated Debugging Environment (IDE)

The IDE is where most developers spend the majority of their day working.  It serves as a combination code editor and debugging interface.  The IDE is also an integration point for many other types of tools.

Build Tools

Build tools include not just the compiler and link editor that translates the human-readable programming language statements into machine-executable instructions, but also the capabilities of managing dependencies.

Tools to Support Methodology

Some software development methodologies lend themselves to tools that make it easier to conform to the rules and guidelines imposed by the methodology.  For example, tools exist that allow teams to organize use cases or user stories into time-bracketed sprints and track progress in addressing them over time.

Source Control

Managing access to the source code of the project is critical in the day-to-day work of any programming team.  Concurrency must be managed so that one developer’s changes don’t overwrite other developers’ work.  Also, source control is extremely useful for creating branches/variations of the source, and merging changes between the branches.  It also provides versioning and archive access to the source code as it changes over time.

Bug Trackers

Bug tracking is essential to ensuring that defects found during (and after) the development process are addressed and then re-tested.  Bug trackers are often used as a primary interface with Quality Assurance.


A variety of tools exist to report on the resource utilization of a program.  Profilers can analyze memory usage, input/output, and processor usage in order to help developers detect and react to problems in the way their code is executing.

Automated Deployment/Continuous Integration Tools

Modern applications can be complex to deploy.  Automating (or partially-automating) this function can reduce errors and save time.  By employing a policy of continuous integration, problems in integrating the various components and features worked on by each developer can be spotted quickly and then addressed while it’s still fresh in the developer’s mind.

Testing Tools

Testing a software product is a key activity in assuring that it meets the requirements and is free of defects.  Often it is desirable (or even policy) to create a test for every function in the program, and to run that test each time the function is modified to ensure that it produces the expected output and is free from any harmful side effects.  In addition to this low-level “unit testing”, testing of the program at the user interface level is necessary.  Tools exist to assist in many different types of testing, and can often automate or partially-automate the task of performing each test.

Factors to Consider

There are several factors to consider when deciding which tools to utilize to aid in the development of a software project.  Not all tools are necessarily appropriate for a given project, while others might be critical.  Each team should consider a number of factors when deciding on the tools to use in the software development of each project.


The primary factor when deciding on whether to use a type of tool, and which implementation of that tool is the usefulness it will provide to the overall completion of the project.

Applicability to Environment

Not all tools apply to all environments.  For example, a Windows desktop application will have no use for a web deployment tool.

Company Standards

In larger organizations, and often in smaller ones as well, use of certain tools will be mandated in order to achieve goals or to comply with established policy.  Standardization of tools can help an organization move developers easily between projects as needed, and gives management an assurance that similar processes are followed among different project and project teams resulting in homogeneous product quality.

Prior Team Experience with Tool

To some degree, almost all software has a learning curve.  The selection of specific tools can be influenced by the level of experience developers may already have with it.  That specific experience can also be used as a resource in deciding whether a tool might be useful in the project or not, as developers usually form strong opinions on such matters and are usually not shy about expressing them.


How well a tool integrates into other tools can greatly impact the value it adds to the team and the project.

Some Integration takes the form of “convenience” integration (i.e., the source control utility integrates with the IDE such that a developer automatically causes a file to be checked out once he begins editing it). Other deeper integration merges information and responds to events between tools to deliver high value to the team and to other groups within the organization.  An example of this deeper integration is where source control integrates with bug tracking which in turn integrates with incident (or customer problem) tracking.  A code change checked in to source control can signal the bug tracker that a fix is available for a reported bug; that bug may be associated with an incident report, which can then be updated with the status of the work that has been done that could (eventually) resolve that incident.


All software has a learning curve, to one degree or another.   Complex tools can also require time and effort to deploy with the team and integrate into existing development software.  In addition to initial deployment and learning curve, many tools take some amount of time and effort to use. This overhead should be taken into account when evaluating the overall value of the tool.


The selection of tools is a critical step in the development of a software project.   There is a wide variety of types of tools available – many more than have been discussed here.  Within each type or category, there are many specific products to choose from.  Careful selection can have a tremendous impact on the efficiency and ultimate success of the software development project.

See how the development team at SmartDraw created SmartDraw Cloud

SmartDraw has been creating easy to use diagram software for over 20 years to the delight of millions of users. Just as the way you work has changed over the years, so has SmartDraw.  So the development team created SmartDraw Cloud: SmartDraw that runs in a web browser with the full power of our Windows version.

Learn more https://www.smartdraw.com/features/cloud.htm

SmartDraw 2016: Better than Visio. Works on Mac.

Original SmartDraw imageUntil recently, if you were looking to use Visio on your Mac, you had limited and often inferior choices.  SmartDraw Cloud changes that.  As a cutting edge web-based diagramming app, SmartDraw Cloud gives you desktop power in an online app and brings the full power of SmartDraw’s diagramming solution to the Mac.

Powerful Diagramming Intelligence

SmartDraw’s automated drawing tools are smartly tailored to specific diagrams so that SmartDraw can take all the manual hassle out of drawing almost anything.  Quickly add shapes using keyboard shortcuts and if you have to delete or move a shape, everything will realign and adjust automatically.

The really clever thing however is the way SmartDraw automatically adjusts and revises the diagram when you make changes to branches and objects.  For example, if you delete a branch in Visio, there’s a gap where it used to be and you need to manually plug that hole or re-balance the entire diagram which can be very tedious and time-consuming.  SmartDraw on the other hand automatically closes any branch gaps and re-adjusts or re-balances the diagram so that it still flows and looks professional,”

as noted by MACHOW2 in Best Alternatives to Visio for Mac

Superior Visio Import

You won’t have to recreate years of complicated diagrams by redrawing them.  Import all your old Visio files (both VSD and VSDX) and even  continue to collaborate with co-workers who may still be using Visio.  Once imported, you can continue to edit, color, or ungroup any file like it was created in SmartDraw.  Export them back to Office with just a click or export it as a PDF, PNG, or SVG.

More Content

SmartDraw has thousands more templates and symbols than its competitors. That’s 34,000 symbols and over 4,500 diagrams at your fingertips. Whether you’re drawing a flowchart or marketing matrix, you will never have to start with a blank page.  In SmartDraw for Mac Review: Visio Made Easy, an in depth review of SmartDraw conducted by MACHOW2, stated:

One of the main attraction of SmartDraw is the ease of use compared to Visio.  The development team claims that both the interface and ease of use were at the center of the development process and it’s hard to argue they haven’t achieved that.   Creating visuals is extremely easy, mainly due to the simplicity of the interface but also to the thousands of templates available.  The interface is far more streamlined than Microsoft Visio or Adobe Illustrator and therefore nowhere nears as intimidating.  It never feels like it gets in your way and it’s easy to access tools and assets when you need them.”

In a recent product review by Cult of Mac,

Another really cool thing about SmartDraw is its vector-based graphics.  Usually graphics are generated via a bitmap, which loses resolution and gets pixelated as you increase its size.  Vector graphics operate by a different principle, using angle and line calculations that mean your image remains crisp at any size.  This is a feature not often found in cloud-based software, certainly not in any cloud-based diagramming apps like Lucidchart or Gliffy — SmartDraw Software had to build it into their new platform form the group up.  


Sophisticated Integration

You can transfer completed diagrams to any Microsoft Office program with a single click.  Your diagrams will be inserted into presentations and reports quickly and seamlessly.  You can also save and share diagrams either on the web using a simple link or through third party cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.  According to Cult of Mac, in SmartDraw finally makes it to Mac (via the cloud):

What’s been added are all the functions you’ve come to expect of a cloud-connected productivity platform.  Create or change a visual on the go, and it’ll show up across all devices, automatically saved on the cloud.  Documents are shareable and interactive even with those who don’t have SmartDraw, making it unbelievably easy to collaborate with any colleague building a presentation with you.  Plus, though not ideal, it’s really helpful that you can now make adjustments to an illustration on the go via a mobile device.


New SaaS Solution: Announcing SmartDraw Cloud

Original SmartDraw imageWe’ve been creating easy to use diagramming software for over 20 years. Our software has been used by more than one million users worldwide and 75% of Fortune 500 companies. Just as the way you work has changed over the years, so has SmartDraw.

SmartDraw Cloud

Today we are proud to announce the launch of SmartDraw 2016. Included in this release is SmartDraw Cloud.  This latest addition to our product offering enables users to create powerful visuals from any platform, including PC, Mac and mobile devices.   SmartDraw Cloud is unlike any other cloud diagramming solution. It contains time-saving templates, 34,000 sophisticated symbols and all the intelligence that has made SmartDraw desktop the tool of choice of more than one million users worldwide.

With SmartDraw Cloud, you can now:

  • Create and edit diagrams on any platform or device.
  • Share your diagrams online without worrying about device or compatibility issues. Just email colleagues a link—no sign up or login required.
  • Save diagrams to your Cloud account or to third party service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive®.


Most cloud apps are hobbled versions of their desktop counterparts.  We had no interest in such a compromise and suspected our customers would not as well.  Instead, we took five years and recreated almost every feature of our popular SmartDraw business edition.  We think our customers will be happy we made this extra effort,”

– Paul Stannard, founder and CEO of SmartDraw Software.

See how the team at SmartDraw created SmartDraw Cloud

Our SmartDraw Community

Over the past 20 years, individuals looking to create powerful complex visuals have downloaded SmartDraw more than 22 million times.  Much of our success is based upon our features and functionality.  We offer 4,500 smart templates for more than 70 different kinds of visuals and 34,000 professional designed symbols.  There’s no doubt that SmartDraw is much more powerful than competitors like Microsoft Visio.

SmartDraw the Smartest Way to Draw Anything