Mindjet has released MindManager Web, a software-as-a-service application allowing users to collaborate and use its MindManager planning package online.
The standalone version of MindManager has also been upgraded to version 8, giving users the ability to view maps with an Adobe Flash-based player, and to connect to a variety of back-office databases.
MindManager takes a different approach to planning from standard project management packages, such as Microsoft Project, by using the 'mind mapping' technique pioneered by education consultant Tony Buzan.
Users map their ideas and information visually, branching out from a central topic and creating a diagram in which all information related to the project, from text documents, sound files, URL links and connections to back-end databases, are immediately accessible and not stored individually.
Mindjet EMEA vice president Uwe Richter said that version 8 allows users to produce dynamic, read-only maps called Player files.
"People not having MindManager installed on the desktop can look at maps contained in a read-only PDF or PowerPoint document, or can export to a Shockwave file and make maps accessible through a web server," he said.
Other new functions in version 8 include the ability to dynamically drag Google Search results directly into the map, according to the company.
"We can also now open Microsoft Office files like Excel and Word and drag and drop parts of that straight onto a MindManager map," explained Richter.
MindManager 8 also allows users to link to databases and run reports. "Say I run a report against my customers. In the database itself it's not easy to add a comment. So the user can attach to a SQL Server database and pull the data straight into MindManager and work with that," said Richter.
Database support includes IBM DB2, Microsoft Access, Excel and SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle.
MindManager 8 is available now for £199 + VAT. MindManager Web costs £8 per user per month for a one-year subscription.
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