Thanks to all for the input. To clarify my reasons for not including Visio; I was not impressed with the price @$400 U.S. particularly when MS is planning to move to a rental model as mentioned earlier. Somehow I am disturbed by the idea of a company remotely disabling my software, particularly with UCITA looming over the U.S. (Orwell anyone?) I have also heard from several different sources that Smartdraw performs all the same functions with a price range of U.S. $70-200.
I was drawn to Allclear by the outlining feature where text is converted into a flow, which would seem to save time with formatting and possibly allow some interesting database interaction. Unfortunately the save is disabled in demo so I haven't gotten far enough to see how functional this really is. I also dont see any good way to integrate it other than hyperlinks.
ConceptDraw seems fairly impressive, but nothing really stands out over Smartdraw and it is priced @U.S.$275
Igrafix Flowcharter sounds impressive as it includes VBA which would be great for interacting with Access, Excel etc. however the demo is only available by mail and I have yet to receive it. This one is priced @U.S.$400 (Same as Visio) but it may be worth it if it can really integrate as well as claimed by Igrafix.
My goal here is to have most level 2 & 3 documentation in flow chart form. I would like to be able to flowdown from level 1 by clicking on any referenced sequrence or document into level 2 or 3. And from level 2 or 3 into the level 4 forms which are mostly Excel.
I am also in the process of converting much Excel stuff into Access with the goal of having a central repository for data rather than 8 zillion different files. Maybe someday we will even have a paperless system for inspection records & SPC
. So any program that works well with Access would already be a step ahead.
Sorry to be so long-winded but hopefully I clarified what I am looking for.