I have been developing a Visio interface to draw family tree drawings directly from SW assemblies. The idea is to extract directly from SW the assembly structure and object count as well as any pertinent custom property data. Then create family tree drawings that are hyperlinked to the objects in SW where ever they reside on the network. You could call it a living document of the structure.
Costed BOM's would be possible for example. Long lead items could be flagged a different color in the tree, etc etc.
If you have input as what you would like to see in a tool like this I would really like to hear about your thoughts and suggestions. I would lreally like to include some of the ideas from the SW community. I have already done the SW extraction end and pre-formatting but wanted to hear about display formatting in Visio.
I like to refer to the idea of intelligent tee charts as "Smart Charts". I think of it as analogous to a digital clock vs. an analog clock. With a simple glance at an analog clock you can very quickly decipher the time vs. a digital readout you must actually "read" it. A Smart Chart with colors and textures or gradients would quickly convey information to the observer, i.e. if they see a high percentage of red boxes as a ratio of the total number of objects then one could ascertain critical path components readily. Another take on this is to have a project manager develop the "rough" assembly structure (major assemblies, critical parts, etc) in Visio and then "push" the objects to the corresponding designers and engineers. Visio would create the SW files and place them in specified directories with pre-determined custom properties, etc. One final point since Visio is fully integrated to SW, i.e. Visio drawings can be created inside SW drawings these objects can be associative and interactive as well as managed by PDM systems.
Thanks for any input.