Free BPM Modeling Tools


I was recently asked by a customer if I know of any free process modeling and automation tools. This got me thinking of how many vendors provide a free edition of their software for unlimited use i.e. no trial basis or try before you buy editions. After some research I came up with the following short list.

 Free BPM and Process Modeling Tools:

I have not evaluated each application so could not comment on their strengths and weaknesses but would be interested to hear about other free BPM and/or Enterprise Architecture tools so I can add them to my resource list


BPM and SOA – Leading Modernisation Initiatives during the Downturn

In a recent article from CBR it states that research shows evidence that many organisations are focussing their modernisation initiatives around BPM and SOA technologies and

CIOs are abandoning the rip-and-replace culture in favour of modernising existing systems, research from Software AG has revealed. 

The research, which quizzed over 150 IT directors, revealed an appetite for implementation of BPM and SOA initiatives as organisations try to cut costs and improve service delivery in the tough economic climate. “Strategic investment in modernisation will deliver cost cuts and free-up talented IT staff to concentrate on business critical projects and fight the downturn,” Jim Close of Software AG said. 

A priority in ensuring success with modernisation is to choose a preferred set of common tools. In cases where organisations have many disparate data integration tools, rationalisation is required to esure a fit for purpose toolset. Not doing so increases maintenance costs, licensing and having to have a diverse and often specialist skills and resource pool.

Software AG found that 21% of respondents to its poll see application modernisation as a top priority with some 24% of the sites surveyed viewing business process management initiatives as the top choice to fight the downturn.  They said that sloppy process management damaged customer service delivery. 

In further research from Software AG, it found that in Germany companies report that business flexibility supported by IT is a key concern.

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Are we there yet..EA and BPMS convergence? – Forrester Wave:BPA and EA Report Q1 2009 Released

For those of you are not always following the analysts and vendors so closely to stay up to date on new reports, I thought I would share with you the new Forrester WaveTM: Business Process Analysis, EA Tools, And IT Planning, Q1 2009 report.

In this second release of Forrester’s assessment of enterprise architecture and business process analysis (BPA) tools, Forrester assessed nine leading vendors in a 93-criteria evaluation. We found that IDS Scheer, Casewise, MEGA, Metastorm, and Troux Technologies lead the pack for general EA tool usage. For the more specific IT planning usage category, these Leaders are joined by the most powerful vendor in this specific category: alfabet. The Leaders are followed by IBM, a Strong Performer in all three categories; iGrafx, a Strong Performer in the business process analysis category and the general EA category; and Sybase, a Contender in all three categories. 

Source: Forrester Wave Report, Executive Summary 

One aspect of the report that struck me was that their seems to be a very mixed set of vendors with similar functionality (Enterprise asset modelling , BI, repositories, integration meta models etc.) but many very different/diverse areas of focus and associated value for adoption by the business and IT. There does not seem to be any major suprises/changes in the terms of the vendors postions listed in the report but this left me wondering:

  • I recognise that not all BPA/EA tools are created equal, but where are all the other EA vendors in this area and what type of adoption do they have e.g. Qualiware, Promis, Sparx Systems, Orbussoftware etc. not to mention any of the Open Source (OSS) tools e.g. iteraplan, ADONIS, Prote’ge’?

  • How long before BPA vendors such as IDS Scheer, Casewise etc. start extending their BPA capabilities into areas that have traditionally been the sole domain of EA modelling , repository and BPMS tools? Since the  Proforma acquisition, Metastom have an end to end BPA/EA/BPMS capability that should put them in a very good position in my opinion.

  • Will this toolset convergence (if any) be seen as the next evolution in the convergence of SOA, BPM, EA and by extension what value will be delivered to organisations?

  • Will this convergence (if any) be too big a leap for organisations to adopt, given that many are finding the individual adoption of EA, BPM and SOA initiatives challenging?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts…

A copy of the Forrester report can be downloaded here or from many of the vendors sites listed in the report.

A copy of the Gartner BPMS Magic Quadrant 2007 can be found here.

 This post is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
Individual reports and their contents are under Copyright of Forrester and Gartner respectively.