Microsoft Visio Enterprise Network Tools and Visio Network Center Debut at NetWorld+Interop
May 07, 2001
Expo Attendees First to Preview New Comprehensive Network Documentation Offering

LAS VEGAS, May 7, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the debut of its Microsoft® Visio® Enterprise Network Tools, an add-on product to its business diagramming and technical drawing program, Microsoft Visio Professional 2002, and the Visio Network Center, a subscription-based Web site providing online access to the latest network diagramming solutions, network equipment shapes and network documentation resources. Available to customers this July, Visio Enterprise Network Tools and the Visio Network Center offer IT professionals the tools, information and services they need to more easily design and document network and directory services infrastructures. Both are on display this week in Microsoft Booth 5736.

"The first and most difficult step every IT professional faces when deploying any new technology initiative is understanding how it will impact the current network architecture," said Jeff Erwin, general manager for Visio Enterprise Network Tools at Microsoft. "With Microsoft Visio Enterprise Network Tools and the Visio Network Center, we are providing our customers the solutions and resources they need to more effectively document their current network topology, as well as design and deploy their future network infrastructure."

This comprehensive documentation offering, coupled with forthcoming offerings such as Microsoft Operations Manager and Microsoft .NET Management Services, illustrates Microsoft's commitment to providing customers with end-to-end solutions for running their critical business systems.

Advanced Documentation Tools Detail Network Infrastructure

Building on the Visio industry-standard platform, Visio Enterprise Network Tools gives IT professionals powerful automated network and directory services diagramming solutions that ease documentation and help network administrators better understand their network topology. A new feature in this version enables customers of Visio Enterprise Network Tools to use the AutoDiscovery engine to automatically discover Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) details in Windows-based servers and workstations. This deeper level of discovery complements the product's ability to discover Layer 2, Layer 3, Frame Relay, VLAN and Spanning Tree information via Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), which was previously available in Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition.

Windows 2000, Exchange 2000 Deployment Planning Solution

Visio Enterprise Network Tools also delivers essential solutions for understanding existing directory structures and planning for the deployment of the Active Directory™ service. Using the Directory Services diagramming solutions provided with Visio Enterprise Network Tools, network administrators can import and diagram the structure of their existing Active Directory service and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories, and then visualize changes to the directory using the intuitive diagramming tools within Visio. Users can even export changes made to the imported directory structure to LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF), which can help jump-start their Active Directory deployment efforts.

Continuously Updated Content

Customers of Visio Enterprise Network Tools receive a subscription to the Visio Network Center, a Web site where IT professionals can locate the latest network documentation content. Subscribers to the Visio Network Center have access to more than 23,000 exact-replica network equipment shapes from 500 leading manufacturers. These port-level accurate shapes help ensure that a company's network documentation accurately reflects its network infrastructure.

Previously, Visio network equipment shapes were delivered to customers on a CD three times a year. With the Visio Network Center, these shapes can be made available to customers almost immediately upon the manufacturers' release of new equipment. Each shape from the Visio Network Center is easily accessible from within Visio 2002.

With a Visio Network Center subscription, customers need not perform any extra steps to get the updated network equipment shapes they need. With the new Find Shape feature in Visio 2002, for example, users can perform detailed searches simultaneously of their local machine and the Visio Network Center simply by typing keywords into the Find Shape window within Visio 2002.

The AutoDiscovery solution in Visio Enterprise Network Tools also automatically searches for updated shapes from the Visio Network Center, ensuring that diagrams accurately reflect what is on the network. Customers can enhance their use of the AutoDiscovery solution by downloading additional templates from the Visio Network Center that are designed to simplify common documentation tasks. Each template includes a sample diagram and detailed instructions on how to use the template effectively.

In addition, the Visio Network Center includes training materials such as deployment kits for Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000, technical white papers and webcasts, and updated diagramming solutions. As additional network documentation resources are added to the Visio Network Center, users will have immediate access to this new and updated information.

"With the fast-paced nature of the technology industry today, the Visio Network Enterprise Tools clearly demonstrates Microsoft's lead in distributing software as a service via the Web," said John Dunkle, an analyst with Workgroup Strategic Services. "And with the diagramming and drawing capabilities of Visio 2002, it sets a new standard for visual communications products and is by far the best product of its kind currently on the market. We expect Visio's leadership position to remain unchallenged for quite some time."

Pricing and Availability

Microsoft Visio Enterprise Network Tools will be generally available to customers in July. Visio Enterprise Network Tools will be available from Microsoft resellers, Microsoft licensing programs and at http://shop.microsoft.com/ at an estimated retail price* of $500, which includes a one-year subscription to the Visio Network Center.

Microsoft Visio Professional 2002 is required to use Visio Enterprise Network Tools. Visio Professional 2002 has an estimated retail price of $499, with an upgrade price* of $299. Microsoft Visio Professional 2002 and Microsoft Visio Enterprise Network Tools will be sold as a package for $999. Current license holders of Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition, Visio 2000 Professional Edition and Visio 2000 Technical Edition are eligible to upgrade to Visio Professional 2002 and Visio Enterprise Network Tools for $749. More information about Visio 2002 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/visio2002/default.asp .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

* Reseller prices may vary.

Microsoft, Visio, Windows and Active Directory are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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