How to do diagramming on a wiki

This week, I will like to share with you my experience with Gliffy. Gliffy is a online diagramming tool which is also available as a plugin for the Confluence wiki.

Before Gliffy and Confluence, we were using Microsoft Visio or Microsoft Word and a number of other tools to draw diagrams (process flow diagrams, flowcharts, UML diagrams, etc.) for our work. It was very tedious to work then. We have to open Microsoft Visio to draw the diagrams, and then copy and paste into the word documents. Finally, we can email it to our colleagues or external parties for review. However, the story does not end there. Sometimes, the other party do not have Microsoft Visio or the tools to view or edit the diagrams, we will  have to convert it to pdf format and the original author will need to spend time to understand the comments and integrate the changes into the diagram. That was very tedious for collaboration.

The moment I saw Gliffy for Confluence, I immediately recommended my boss to buy it.

After we installed Gliffy on our Confluence wiki, collaboration became much more easier. We can create diagrams easily on the fly without having to install applications like Microsoft Visio on our computer. It can be easily done on any computer with a web browser. It is easy and simple to use with a user friendly interface. We can edit the diagrams without worrying overwriting the original files as it keep tracks of the history automatically (it’s a real chore to restore overwritten diagrams). And the diagrams created with Gliffy look professional without much formatting effort.

Indeed Gliffy is an useful tool for working with diagrams. As a matter of fact, I think Gliffy helped us to pull more people onto the wiki bandwagon as it enabled people to do things in a fast and efficient way. If you are curious, I have embedded a short video demo on Gliffy below

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