Design tools


Thread Starter

Ronny A

I would like to know if there's any good and easy to use tool for designing a flow in a process. It should look like SFC in the structure with a lot of space for conditions and comments. It should be a tool for me to design a system and also it should be easy for the programmer/ process engineer to see how the flow should be. In this way all of us can discuss the flow before any coding is done. Best regards /Ronny
UML, the Unified Modeling Language seems to be very popular now. You can very easily make nice UML pictures with Microsoft Visio (Professional, I think.) Rose Analyst from Rational will create more rigorous UML diagrams and Analyst has connections to other software engineering tools but at a higher price. Best, B.O. Jan. 10, 2001 -- Robert Old, System Architecture, [email protected] Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., HVAC Division 1000 Deerfield Pkwy., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-4513 USA Phone: +1(847)941-5623, Fax: +1(847)419-2401

Hullsiek, William

Look at Microsoft Visio. Enterprise version is $700 to $900, plus can import Autocad. It has VBA, so you can interface to HMI and other components. UML (Unified Modeling Language), supports state-charts, and is THE standard for describing behaviour of a system. ISA used UML in their ISA SP95 document. - Billiam -


Just out of curiosity, does anyone know of an open-source / shareware / freeware product to do this? --Joe Jansen

Curt Wuollet

There are several aimed at various uses and with varying degrees of automation. Try searching Freshmeat or SAL for flowchart. I use XFIG but that doesn't have any automation. I have used XCircuit, a program I use for drawing schematics. Between the two I haven't needed anything special for what I do. I think there's a visio clone Wisio. Regards cww

Rob Hulsebos Philips CFT

A really nice (and free!) one is ArgoUML, in Java. Check it out at It evens gives comments on your design, which it why it is called a "cognitive" CASE tool, in contrast to some other CASE tools which are not more than gold-plated drawing+database+printing tools. Rob Hulsebos
Greetings to the List Members, Can any one help me by giving details about "SLGMS", which is used by many HMI Vendors for developing process displays? Thanks in advance, Girish
A little web research did turn up some information on SLGMS. Quoting one description of SL-GMS, "The SL Graphical Modelling System (SL-GMS) is a high-performance dynamic-graphics system produced by the Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation (SL Corp). It is widely used for real-time monitoring and control applications in industry areas such as process automation, network monitoring, power distribution, and intelligent traffic control." Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation: According to their website this system is used by Honeywell Hi-Spec, ABB, and GSE Systems. Jeff