It is a well-known secret that Microsoft Office tools are extensively used in software and systems engineering. Word documents are used to write specifications or Excel sheets to capture requirements for example. But unfortunately, the integration with the rest of the development tools is poor and mostly targeted on the generation of documents. A similar situation exists with Microsoft Visio. It is often used to draw system design diagrams because of its straight user interface which does not require to be an UML expert for simply drawing some boxes and lines.
The ModelBus® Adapter for Microsoft Office extracts knowledge from existing documents and tables into respective models and allows the processing of those models in ModelBus® and other tools respectively. Of course, this becomes easier when the input documents and tables are well structured. On the other side, the generation of tables and documents is supported as well. The integration in the user interface of Microsoft Office is achieved by using the Add-in mechanism.
The ModelBus® for Microsoft Visio allows the import and export of Visio files to ModelBus®. In particular, by using only the simple UML stencil of Visio the adapter creates respective Papyrus/UML models, which preserves also the diagram information. In this way Visio files can perfectly be used as early sketches of system design, which is refined by experts in respective tools later on.