Free BPMN modelling tools – 2020 edition

Since last post some things changed, so I prepared an update for you πŸ™‚

As in the last edition it is clearly visible that cloud tools are very popular. However it is still possible to find standalone BPMN modelers – pretty commonly they are offered by vendors of the process automation/workflow software. Please note that while some tools mentioned below are simple diagramming tools, others are more advanced and allow you to do much more than create BPMN diagrams.

So, let’s see what are the options:

 

ADONIS:Community Edition

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 Modeler

Bizagi offers unique approach to process modelling. It is a standalone (Windows) application, but also cloud β€œModeler 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 πŸ™‚ 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).

Camunda Modeler
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.

Cawemo
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.

Cardanit

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.

Honorable mentions

Apart from the tools described above there are also many other interesting tools. Below you can find an overview of the selected ones.
If you are using other free tools which support BPMN let me know in comments!

ARIS Express

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.

Draw.io

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).

BPMN MIWG capability demonstration 2020

As you may recall from the earlier posts about BPMN Model Interchange Working Group live interoperability demonstrations we usually had part of modelling and exchanging BPMN diagrams among participating tools and at the end session where automation was shown. In 2018 and 2019 we did not have time to show the automation.

In 2020 edition of our demo automation is back πŸ™‚ As previously this presentation will be part of Object Management Group technical meeting (during BPMN in action slot).

As you may guess this event does not take place in Orlando as it was planned, but is virtual so you can easily join us live by registering on OMG website for the event (or using direct link to GoToWebinar registration page). It takes place on Monday June 22nd 11.00 am – 12.30 pm ET.

For the first time we will be streaming the event using GoToWebinar and not Hangouts/YouTube, so keep your fingers crossed!

This year we will have 11 participating vendors: BOC Group, Camunda, Cardanit, Case Agile, Itesoft, KnowProcess, OMNITRACKER, Signavio, Software AG, Trisotech, and Viadee. 6 vendors (BOC Group, Camunda, KnowProcess, OMNITRACKER, Signavio, Trisotech) will be showing automation.

Our demo scenario will be based on a (fictive) EU Bank which documents the current state (AS-IS) processes and develops future state (TO-BE) for the recruitment. If you are using ADONIS probably you will recall those processes since they are (again πŸ™‚ ) based on ADOmoney Bank example.

Here is the overview process architecture which was not part of the interchange demo as it is not BPMN πŸ˜‰

This demo covers three processes:
a) Advertising job vacancy

b) Current (AS-IS) application process

c) Improved (TO-BE) online application process.

UPDATE:
The recording is now available on YouTube, so you can watch all the session plus Q&A.

You can also download our diagrams from Github:
https://github.com/bpmn-miwg/bpmn-miwg-demos/tree/master/2020-06-omg-technical-meeting-orlando

Below you can find few screenshots where Denis presents models used in the demo.

As you can see first model was extended a bit with Data Objects and object names were shortened (since during our demos it turned out that we don’t have time to type everything πŸ˜‰

PS. To learn more about BPMN MIWG and watch recordings of past demonstrations visit our site: http://www.omgwiki.org/bpmn-miwg/doku.php
You will also find there test cases and list of tools participating in MIWG tests.

BPM Skills in 2020 – Hot or Not (part 1)

BPM Skills in 2020 – Hot or Not (part 1)

January is often time when we come up with resolutions for a new year. While it is easy to decide that we want to change something, change will not happen unless we start doing something differently.

That’s why, like in the past years, I prepared for you post with suggestion regarding skills which will be useful for process professionals.

You can also check the 2019, 2018, 2017 part 1, 2017 part 2, and 2016 version of this post.

Keep reading →

Start 2020 strong with knowledge about Fundamentals of BPM

Every year is a chance to learn (and use in practice) something new. I believe in learning from the best – this is why on this blog you can find world-class BPM experts sharing their knowledge with you πŸ™‚

I think that one of the best sources of knowledge about Business Process Management is the “Fundamentals of BPM” book along with the MOOC courses based on it.

You may recall from my post “Back to school 2019: free online courses for BPM professionals” that while awesome MOOC course “Fundamentals of BPM” (run till 2017 by QUT) is not available anymore in an interactive form, video recordings are available.

Professor Marcello La Rosa kindly allowed me to present them in a form more convenient than the original PDF (available on http://fundamentals-of-bpm.org/mooc/).

Below you can find links to pages with videos.

Keep reading →

Token in BPMN

Token in BPMN

Recently I had a chance to discuss concept of token in BPMN with my students and thought you may also find this topic interesting.

So, first of all – what is a token? As opposed to other elements of BPMN like Tasks, Events or Gateways, tokens do not have visualizations.

Specification defines Token as: “a theoretical concept that is used as an aid to define the behavior of a Process that is being performed”.

Keep reading →

BPMN MIWG capability demonstration 2019 – Data Inputs, Data Outputs, Compensations, Event-based Gateways and more

Previous post about BPMN MIWG demo from 2018 showed you how to use Data Objects in practice. But, as you know, plain Data Objects and Data Stores are not everything you can do with data in BPMN.

That’s why our next capability demo which took part on June 17th 2019 during Object Management Group conference in Amsterdam covered other types of Data Objects. However this was not everything as we covered too other more advanced BPMN aspects.

Keep reading →

BPMN MIWG demonstration 2018 – (nearly) everything you always wanted to know about Data Objects, but were afraid to ask

For many people BPMN is only about modelling process flows. However there are also elements, which allow you to show the data perspective: Data Objects.

They were one of the main topics of the BPMN Model Interchange Working Group demonstration in December 2018 in Seattle and will appear again in June 2019 demonstration in Amsterdam.

Keep reading →