I'm looking for a tool that allows me to document and share processes for working. Processes can contain lots of things - work products, best practices, publications, regulations, roles, tasks and so on. The terms may vary, but the concepts tend to be uniform. This tool should allow for the work that the team does to be documented and exported in a human-readable format.

My primary use case is as an individual, so functionality and cost are my concerns. My expertise is in software process improvement and software engineering methods. As I read or learn about new processes used by organizations or process frameworks, I'd like to be able to express them in a common tool and then visualize them and identify common practices and processes.

There are some tools that do this, but they tend to have problems. Some tools that I know exist:

  • Eclipse Process Framework Composer. However, this tool doesn't see many updates. It runs on modern versions of operating systems, but still requires Java 5 (or at least that's what the documentation says, and I haven't been able to run it on newer versions of Java). The last release was in November 2016 and it's not very active with respect to development. If Java 5 becomes unavailable for an operating system, this tool may not run anymore.
  • IBM Rational Method Composer. This tool is based on the Eclipse Process Framework Composer, but supported and maintained by IBM with some additional proprietary functionality. The last release was in February 2017. There are some trials, but no cost information. I suspect that this won't offer anything to me that the the Eclipse Process Framework Composer doesn't have, but it's a good representation of the type of tool and capabilities that I'm looking for.
  • Ivar Jacobson International has tools to support working with SEMAT and the Essence projects, like Essence Enterprise 365 and the Practice Library. These are specifically tied to the Essence standard. However, they also appear to be beyond the reach of an individual. There's no pricing information, but you can set up a demo. It appears they are only targeting organizations.
  • Visual Paradigm. This tools offers specific functionalities for project management lifecycle management (including templates 1 and 2) and business modeling tools and process improvement tools. This functionality is only available in the Enterprise edition, which costs $1999 initially and $600/year to continue to receive updates.

Of the tools I've found, Eclipse Process Framework Composer is the closest to what I'm looking for. It's accessible without expensive licensing costs. However, it's also not well maintained.

Are there any alternatives to these tools, commercial or otherwise?


The Yaoqiang BPMN Editor (Sourceforge) can be used to document business processes in the Business Process Model and Notation (Wikipedia)

  • 1
    I've looked at BPMN tools, but they don't seem to fit all of my requirements. Maybe I need to become more proficient in the BPMN language. I can map our activities and processes, but identifying roles, tying external resources (regulations, standards, templates) to work products, documenting best practices seem to be beyond what BPMN and many tools are capable of. – Thomas Owens Nov 5 '17 at 17:11

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