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Tom Sawyer Software Releases New Incremental Orthogonal Layout

New Graph Layout Toolkit for C++, Version 5.1, Solves Major Technical Challenges

Oakland, CA, September 6, 2002—Tom Sawyer Software, the leader in high-performance graph analysis and visualization solutions, is pleased to announce it has overcome longstanding technical hurdles in incremental orthogonal layout. This breakthrough software supports global and incremental layout with fixed and movable attachment points for edges and produces more compact diagrams with fewer edge crossings.

Orthogonal layout produces diagrams using only horizontal and vertical edge routing. It is used in biochemical pathway diagrams, database design diagrams, software engineering diagrams for the UML standard, business process reengineering diagrams, IT infrastructure diagrams, and electrical and mechanical engineering schematics.

The inability to interactively and incrementally update existing orthogonal diagrams as changes are made has been a major inhibitor to productivity within many technology sectors. When a designer adds new nodes and edges in an existing diagram, placement and spacing specifications must be maintained. Traditional diagramming systems try to "plough" the nodes out of the way and reroute the edges while maintaining fixed node positions. Over several operations, such an approach can destroy the node placement and cause severe crowding and overlapping edges, making the diagram difficult to understand.

Tom Sawyer Software's new incremental layout system does not have these shortcomings. This sophisticated incremental layout "opens up" the diagram, making room for new objects. It then recompacts the diagram while carefully preserving the user's original diagram. This enables the interactive design process to continue seamlessly, producing high-quality drawings, while respecting the layout and diagram specifications.

This high-speed software performs both global and incremental layout of large diagrams with hundreds of nodes and edges in a few seconds. Each node can have an arbitrary number of attached edges, and nodes can grow, if permitted, to satisfy the minimum horizontal and vertical parallel line separation. Further, the specification for attachment points for edges is respected.

Additional enhancements include improved speed for dense graphs and edge attachment point support in hierarchical layout, more accurate node and edge labeling, star spiral placement in symmetric layout for high-degree nodes and performance improvements.

Tom Sawyer Software's Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Madden, said, "Since 1995 we have worked on our unique Three Phase Method approach to incremental orthogonal layout design. We are pleased to finally see strong and practical results that support our main design criteria, which are high-quality, high-speed global and incremental layout, support for high-degree nodes, and very good connector support for routing edges to fixed points on nodes, along with very good node and edge labeling."

About Tom Sawyer Software

Tom Sawyer Software is the leading provider of software and services that enable organizations to build highly scalable and flexible graph and data visualization and analysis applications. These applications are used to discover hidden patterns, complex relationships, and key trends in large and diverse datasets. Tom Sawyer Software serves clients with needs in link analysis; network topology; architectures and models; schematics and maps; and dependencies, flows, and processes. We help clients federate and integrate their data from multiple sources and build the graph and data visualization applications that are critical to analyzing and gaining insight into their data.

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