If you're a Visual Basic programmer looking for an ActiveX Control which incorporates flow charting, vector drawing and raster-imaging tools, then you may have to take a trip to Eastern Europe.
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Well, not really.
Fortunately, users outside of Europe are able to get their hands on Polar Draw ActiveX Control 2.0 from Split, Croatia's Polar Software.
"Polar Draw ActiveX Control 2.0 is a powerful drawing tool that incorporates diagramming, vector drawing abilities and raster imaging tools similar to those of MS Visio, the Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW software," said Polar Software sales manager Mirela Kotarac.
The program also allows for the creation of database connections, hyperlinks and object models. It is compatible with any 32-bit programming environment that supports ActiveX components.
Programmers who try version 2.0 will discover several new features. Perhaps the most advantageous revision to the program is the more logical and intuitive object model, allowing shapes and events to be manipulated faster and easier.
"You can group shapes so that they function as a unit," Kotarac said. "Grouping is useful when you regularly use more shapes together because you can treat them as one shape and you can add that grouped shape to other drawings."
Kotarac said manipulating groups or individual shapes includes formatting, moving, rotating, flipping and reversing. Behaviors can also be set for how an individual shape acts in relation to the group to which it belongs.
Polar Draw contains a variety of enhancements for manipulating text. A programmer can use plain text for titles, logos, or other bits of short text, which need to be rotated, stretched, or manipulated in some way. Alternatively, text boxes can be employed to manipulate larger blocks of formatted text.
Added flow charting functionality enables Polar Draw to become a powerful flow-charting tool.
"The link object is a special object that has the sole purpose of connecting shapes together," Kotarac said. "Since it is a real shape, you can set properties for it," like arrowheads, style and size, line color, thickness and style.
Kotarac said versatility is what makes Polar Draw universally attractive to individual programmers and enterprise programmers alike.
"As developers ourselves, we understand how time-consuming and complicated application development can be," said Polar Software CEO Stanislav Prusac.
"The combination of flow charting and vector drawing abilities we added will go far to ease the programming burden of businesses applications developers," he said.
The Polar Draw ActiveX Control 2.0 promotional price is $495, but users upgrading from version 1.1 can get the new features for $249.
The product is available through Polar Software and through resellers, including Vbxtras, ComponentSource, and the United Kingdom's GreyMatter.