Friday, March 31st, 2006 – Web-based Flowcharting/Diagraming Application

Category: Showcase

In their ever-continuing quest to release one Ajax application a week, the folks over at AjaxLaunch have posted their latest creation – AjaxSketch.

It’s an object-oriented drawing program suitable for creating flow charts, org charts, simple diagrams, maps, etc. ajaxSketch can open, edit and save files in SVG, an open standard graphic format, making it compatible with Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Visio, Open Office Draw, Corel Draw, Inkscape, and many others, all of which support SVG. Additionally, there are growing archives of SVG documents with liberal-use licenses, such as ajaxSketch today doesn’t compare with the more mature drawing programs, but it does provide basic object design and text tools and serves as a quick way to examine and edit existing SVG documents.

In the same vein as their previous application, AjaxWrite, this one has a Microsoft-style interface around it, and seems to function well (baring any bandwidth issues that might come up later). Creating, dragging and dropping, and removing objects on the workspace flows smoothly, with just a touch of lag. Saving the results of your labor as an SVG is nice. It’s a portable format that, as they mention, is able to be imported by just about any other similar flowcharting application. Having the output in a vector graphic style is a very nice thing.

I can’t see AjaxSketch replacing any standard outlining/flowcharting desktop application, but it is nice if you need to work up something simple and only have an internet connection, not your tools around.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 8:24 am

3.1 rating from 35 votes


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Flowchart and Diagram Software – Free

ajaxSketch is an online application that allows you to create Visio-style flowcharts and diagrams.  It is free and you don’t even need to register to use it.  While not as full-featured as Visio, of course, it provides the basics for c…

Trackback by VA Journal — March 31, 2006

Althought it’s cool and neat, I don’t see anyone being patient enough to ever use this.

There’s a reason why people have individual computers — their own processing power. I can’t imagine (even with parallel computing) how live applications like this can scale.

Comment by Jonathan — March 31, 2006

It wouldn’t allow me to do anything beyond creating a new document. I’m using a Mac running Firefox.

Comment by Bill Snebold — March 31, 2006

This, like AjaxWrite, is just for FireFox 1.5 or higher. It uses XUL for the interface, don’t see exactly what is considered AJAX except for Michael Robertson using the current buzzword to garner some attention. If it was true AJAX Web 2.0 it would be cross-platform and usable by everyone.

Comment by punkcoder — March 31, 2006

Hmm, yah, I’m sorta tired of the Robertson hype. This might be ok for flowcharting, but the fact that it can’t rotate images and such (or not at least now and in a timely manner) doesn’t make it very useful at all. For that, I don’t think you can beat Gliffy.

Figures Robertson would do this…

Comment by JL — March 31, 2006

Agreed. Nothing “Ajax” about this that I can see. It’s even sandboxed to Mozilla, hardly an “open” application either. Alex Russell has dubbed this “ajaxWrong”:

Comment by Jeff Schiller — March 31, 2006

One, I could rotate the images. Two, I think they are all — including AjaxWrite — are good starts. I’m not bothered about Web 2.0 or X.n, but I think with increasing connectivity, more and more people will be able to use remotely hosted applications. They are of course not going to replace the conventional applications, at least not this year, but for people who do not want to/cannot invest in expensive word processors and image editing software, I think these are going to be good options.

Comment by Amrit — April 1, 2006

Woa, lately this is all full of “not true Ajax”, “not Ajax enough”… Kinda makes you wonder…

But anyway, the problem with AjaxSketch is not about that. The problem is the application is quite bad as it is. Maybe it’s a “good start” as Amrit says, but it needs a lot of work. It’s very frustrating e.g. that you can’t group things to move them together. Also some properties can not be modified so you’re forced to delete and re-create.

Comment by Gonzalo — April 1, 2006

It appears the author is just attaching the ‘AJAX’ buzzword to rally attention. You cannot serious expect these apps to be fully polished works when the author is releasing one per week. Real application take much much much longer to make. These are more proofs of concepts.

Comment by Mario — April 1, 2006

Yesterday I have found this :

with it you can make diagrams and flowcharts like that :

I gave it a try and I was walking around with a silly grin because it turned out as a very nice application.

And, when I take look at that software above I’m smiling too … but because of a completely different reason… I mean, why would one produce such a software with such a rudimentary functionality ? And why would one use it ? Because “it works in your Browser , yay !!” ? Why don’t they use this work as a base and develope a “real” application ?

Comment by p_metz — April 1, 2006

edit :
the second link should be :

Comment by p_metz — April 1, 2006

If it isn’t cross platform, it shouldn’t have AJAX in the name. Should be XULWrite and XULSketch.

Comment by John — April 2, 2006

Of course there are are many applications that will perform better on your own computer but the real advantage is using in an environment, for example in education, where users may not have their own computer or need to create a document quickly while in class. The user or teacher can click on the save button to have it displayed to everyone instantly using a single application. The key point is it is seamless.

Comment by tokyonami — May 15, 2006

Where from can I download the AjaxSketch and is is compatible with most of the latest browser versions?

Comment by rajeevraina — March 3, 2011

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