I had been tasked to create some sort of a system architecture diagram. Now everyone knows that the best tool to pull this off is unarguably Microsoft Visio. Or so I thought.
Considering the prohibitive license cost ~ it’s listed as $559 for the professional version, I began looking for alternatives. I wanted to try out Gliffy, but they don’t let you keep the diagrams private. Not a great idea, if you are documenting the points of security interception on your network. Then I tried Dia. I’ve used it one time in the past, but found it not upto the mark this time. Maybe my diagram was a bit complicated :-)
Then I thought of giving Open Office a shot. I downloaded and installed it. It gives you a nice granular installation option. I didn’t install anything other than the Visio equivalent, what they call as Draw. I was impressed with it. While it is no Visio, it is a decent alternative at an unbeatable price – FREE. Yes, it is free and it works like a charm. I am still working on my diagram and will let you know if I run into any walls, but for now it does the job pretty well.