CS Odessa has flown all the way from the Ukraine to present ConceptDraw 5 at MacExpo.

This new cross-platform product is "a comprehensive redevelopment of our existing product," said marketing director Vera Zvereva. The award-winning product (which is used by some scientists at NASA) is employed for technical diagraming and flowcharting and has been custom-made for business and technical designers.

New in this release is ConceptDraw Basic, a built-ion scripting language developers can use to create customized visualizations based on the application's drawing engine.

The product ships with hundreds of libraries containing a selection of ready-to-use shapes for use in a variety of projects, including engineering, science, education and business-related tasks. These shapes can be scripted, so they can intelligently reflect parameter changes.

ConceptDraw 5 has customizable toolbars, floating dialog boxes, and anti-aliasing. This new version has been rebuilt to make it is less processor- and memory-hungry require less hard-drive space, CS Odessa says. The product also adds support for XML, meaning users can import drawings from other applications, can access ODBC-compliant databases and visualize their data graphically. Password protection and auto-save also appear.

Zvereva told Macworld: "I have never worked with a development company like this one. Engineers are forever developing new features, and it took a lot of work to convince them to meet scheduled release times for the product, as they are always identifying and then implementing new features for ConceptDraw."

ConceptDraw 5 is available in Standard and Professional versions. The Standard version costs £99 (including a free copy of MindMap), while the Professional version costs £249.99. An upgrade path also exists. Prices exclude VAT. Educational discounts are available.

The company is also showing ConceptDraw MindMap ($179; UK price unavailable), its brainstorming tool for collaborative projects. This is aimed at project managers, business specialists, educators and others who need to outline projects, plan activities, assign tasks and identify the resources they'll need to get the job done.

It offers tools such as: Gantt charts, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) charts, and mindmap views. It includes a project assistant to help users get their project off the ground fast by swiftly defining project goals, risks and obstacles. The results can be exported to PDF or the Web.

Demonstration versions of both products are available.