The latest on Modelio.

icon contribute

This news will be of interest for any person involved in modeling activities - the launch of a complete, high end, professional modeling tool that supports the latest versions of modeling standards (UML2 and BPMN2), available as a genuine open source tool.

The modular architecture of Modelio allows the definition of modules, autonomous extension units, that can be plugged, unplugged and combined with a high level of flexibility. There already exist a large number of projects on www.modelio.org that provide modules for all sorts of purposes, including Java code generation & reverse, TOGAF modeling (Enterprise Architecture), SysML modeling (System engineering), and SoaML modeling (SOA architecture).

Although Modelio is licensed under GPL, the key APIs for modules are licensed under the highly permissive Apache 2.0 open source license. This allows contributors to develop both open source and proprietary add-on modules, to provide new specialist functionalities for the core product.

That is the core purpose of modelio.org - to be a vibrant open source community, as flexible and open as possible to all sorts of contributions.

What do you call "professional" or "serious" modeling tool? I can give a set of criteria (mine). I do not pretend being exhaustive, but these are important criteria, that I have. Most of them are sadly never seen in tool evaluation criteria.


This one is a frequent request. This means that all features defined in the supported modeling language standards (UML2, BPMN2) are properly supported by the tool. Even those that are ill defined by the standard? (well, it happens: I will come back later on this point). And these that are of a very minor interest, or of interest for a very tiny community?

Modelio provides a good coverage of UML2 and BPMN2, but does not pretend to be religiously exhaustive. I give here a first indication: UML Action semantics is very poorly covered by Modelio. We are in the "tiny community" case here: The use case for Action Semantics is that it provides a metamodel (and thus a storage model in the modeling database) that could be used by some language (additional to UML) on top of it, such as a syntactical language.

I have never encountered end users asking for it (I mean a real one, not the fake one just playying R&D). But, should this happen frequently, let's do an additional Modelio project to cover that.

There are, however, respectable communities working on Action Semantics tooling.

Several years ago, it took me a while to understand the usage of MS-Visio for building models. This is due to my "modeling tool" history: I just didn't get that Visio is not a modeling tool. I am not advocating against Visio, nor am I saying that it is a bad tool: it is just a matter of purpose and target of tools.

And then, I realized the confusion for many users: many confuse drawing tools and modeling tools. A modeling tool is roughly a database and a set of graphical editors that access to the database. The drawback that a Visio or PowerPoint user will immediately perceive, is that it is not "file" based, and that a set of models are not organized into several files, just like a set of pictures or documents. Most people accustomed to "Office" like applications are not used to that.

Page 3 of 3

^ Back to Top