Free Online Business Process Modeling Tools
When we started to use process modelling tools for software development, we asked our colleagues and friends what tool they use. The majority of them use free or open source process modeling software. Here, we want to introduce you some free online business process modelling tools as well as the most popular business process modeling tools comparison.
Business Process Modeling Tools Guide is your one-stop resource for all things related to business process modeling. Choose from our list of free online tools, compare the process model software products, and learn how to use them effectively.
Since several years ADONIS:CE is available for free in a cloud. Apart from BPMN diagrams you can also create process architectures, organigrams and make a comprehensive documentation containing not only interlinked processes forming a process architecture but also references to roles (using RACI approach), applications, documents, KPIs, risks and much more. Recently also free mobile application Ask ADONIS was added.
Academic edition is also available with DMN, simulation and teaching materials.
Bizagi offers unique approach to process modelling. It is a standalone (Windows) application, but also cloud “Modeler Services” are available in a freemium model. Free tier gives you unlimited models and diagrams and 10 MB of storage, while paid plans allow you to simulate processes, create process architecture, collaborate with others etc.
Since Bizagi is a process automation company it should not be a big surprise that you can use Bizagi Modeler to prepare automations. You start by modelling your processes in Bizagi Modeler, extend it with forms etc. in Bizagi Studio and finally automate it with Bizagi Automation.
BPMN.io & family
This list would not be complete without BPMN.io and its siblings created by Camunda They share many characteristics (as you will immediately see) such as possibility to create BPMN, DMN and CMMN diagrams, but have important differences.
BPMN.io is web-based modelling tool. You can use it without any registration, so I am often showing it to my students so that they can see how easily they can move BPMN diagrams between various tools (in my case I show how diagram created in BPMN.io can be saved as XML file and imported into ADONIS and vice versa).
This is a standalone tool which can be useful if you want to create BPMN/DMN/CMMN diagrams with no access to the internet or if you want to prepare your processes for automation on Camunda platform.
As the name suggests (CAmunda WEb MOdeller) this is a web modeller too. However while BPMN.io allows you to work on a single diagram and export it without storing anything permanently, Cawemo allows you to store your diagrams in a cloud repository, share them and collaborate with others.
Apart from those tools there are also many others using Camunda code – for example for putting your diagrams on Confluence or showing results of Process Mining analysis on BPMN diagrams.
This is not a totally new tool – just a rebranding of BeePMN which you may remember from 2018 edition of this post. It is also present in BPMN MIWG demos since several years.
Free version of Cardanit allows you to create 5 BPMN and DMN diagrams with up to 30 elements, so this is a good option if you are just starting and do not need a big process architecture.
If you like to model your processes using EPC this is an interesting choice. Apart from EPC, it also allows you to create BPMN diagrams, Process landscapes, organizational charts, data models, IT infrastructure diagrams and more! This is a standalone (Java-based) application, so you do not need internet access to use it. Unlike professional version of ARIS, ARIS Express stores all your diagrams as files, so there are very limited options of creating more complex process documentation with connections between various layers of organization. Last update of ARIS Express was in 2017.
Browser based diagramming tool. It allows you to create many diagram types – including BPMN, but does not allow BPMN Diagram Interchange (it only has proprietary XML).
1. Gliffy is a web-based tool for creating diagrams online; no downloads are necessary. It supports UML so whether it’s a flowchart or use case diagram you want to draw, Gliffy will deliver. It can also be used to draw interface mockups and organizational charts. See reviews by PC World and PC Mag.
Lucidchart is another web-based tool for creating flowcharts, business process models, organizational charts, mock-ups and lots more. It’s a collaborative software that integrates nicely with Jira and Google docs. See reviews from Scrumage and Chuck Frey.
Open ModelSphere is an open-source tool for modelling data, processes and producing UML diagrams. It allows the analyst decompose a process into its sub-processes and offers the functionality to drill down to the required level of detail. It is platform-independent and supports the generation of SQL scripts for integration with other databases. It also supports the creation of Entity-Relationship Diagrams, Activity Diagrams and Class Diagrams. It is useful in software development from the analysis stage through process modelling, database modelling and code reverse engineering. There’s an Open Modelsphere community on LinkedIn you can interact with, if you would like to go this route.
ARIS Express is a popular modelling tool that supports the modelling of processes using the BPMN 2.0 and Event-driven Process Chains (EPC) notations. It is Java-based and can run on multiple platforms but has only been officially released for Windows. You can use it for modelling data, processes and building organizational charts. All documents can be exported in different file formats. The user interface is intuitive, which is perfect for modelling newbies. The ARIS community provides training materials to get you started. For a more detailed review, there’s a Wikipedia page you can dig into.
Modelio is an open source platform-independent process modelling tool that supports the creation of BPMN and UML Diagrams. You can generate documents in word and your models can be exported with ease to another platform. It also supports traceability management.
ProcessMaker Open Source
ProcessMaker Open Source is more than a modelling tool. It is a BPM solution for managing workflows and is designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It is web-based and has an intuitive user interface. For more information, a full review is provided by Infoworld. See also, an initial review of ProcessMaker.
Questetra BPM Suite
Questetra BPM Suite has workflow capabilities that can be used to define, operate and monitor your business processes. It is browser-based and is fully compatible with BPMN.
BizAgi Process Modeler
BizAgi Process Modeler is a desktop application that can be used to create business process diagrams and flow charts. It supports BPMN 2.0 notation. It is easy to use, comes in different languages, supports simulation and allows you to publish documentation in a variety of formats. Bizagi Process Modeler is free and allows users collaborate in real-time. It is not web-based but users can collaborate on process diagrams via Dropbox or shared network folders. The platform also comes with the added functionality to chat during collaboration. When changes are to be made by one person, he or she can “lock” the diagram under review and “release” it when the change is complete. Users may however choose to work offline and upload the diagram when it is ready.
ArgoUML is an open source tool that is platform-independent and can be used to create class diagrams, state chart diagrams, activity diagrams, use case diagrams, collaboration diagrams and sequence diagrams. Here’s a review by Methods and Tools.
Visual Paradigm for UML 11.0 Community Edition
Visual Paradigm for UML 11.0 Community Edition is another free UML drawing tool with export and import capabilities that can help you create professional diagrams. It supports ERD and Systems Modelling Language (SysML). In addition to the supported diagrams, it offers the Requirement diagram for documenting users’ needs; requirements can be linked to one another using this diagram. This product has been reviewed by Shawn Rakowski.
Adonis is considered a benchmark tool in the field of business process analysis (which includes modelling, management and analytics). It offers multifarious uses for analysts, supports the BPMN 2.0 standard and helps in executing complex and elaborate business process analytical functions. It is targeted at new users who would like to document business processes, as well as BPM experts who want more sophisticated options like process simulation, monitoring, optimization and risk support. You can work with hundreds of models and easily see the relationships between them. These models can be published as documents or printed as-is. The community edition can be downloaded free of charge. It is user-friendly and comes with a knowledge toolkit on modelling, simulation, analysis and documentation. A review of Adonis can be found here.
Intalio provides a roadmap for complete process orchestration. The software is open-source with the community edition available for free.
Creately has all the features needed in an online, collaborative business process modelling platform. It has loads of templates so you never have to start from scratch. In addition to process models, you will also have access to other types of diagrams – UML diagrams, mockups/wireframes, etc.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are many more tools of varying standards and quality available out there. Please leave a comment if you would like to contribute to this list or add a review to any of the tools already on the list.
Business process modelling software can assist you to model your business processes. There are many BPM tools available on the market, but some of them are free. In this blog, we will help you to find some free online business process modelling tools, including free BPM software for beginners, some demo or trial version of business process modeling tools for evaluating them before purchasing, some demo available on the market, and some BPM tools with a price tag of zero dollars.