List of Software Design Programs

If you’re searching for a software design and modeling tool, here is a list of programs you might be interested in. Some of them are commercial where licenses are geared towards companies. Also listed (at the time of this writing) are free programs that looked descent for hobbyists and those doing projects on their own time:
  • ArgoUML (Free)
  • Artisan Studio
  • Enterprise Architect
  • LucidChart
  • Modelio
  • PlantUML (Free)
  • Rational Rose
  • StarUML (Free)
  • Umbrello (Free)
  • UMLet (Free)
  • UModel UML Tool
  • Visual Paradigm for UML
Enterprise Architect (EA) and Artisan Studio are great tools. One useful thing out of the box in EA is the scenario building feature and how you can extract new model elements from sequence-text you write. EA even auto-identifies existing elements you reference. You can also auto-generate sequence and activity diagrams from scenarios. The tool provides copious types of modeling elements for your hand-created UML and system diagrams (structural or behavioral). You can use it to do architecture, deployment, system, hardware, software, and even business process modeling. The help documentation is comprehensive and at the same time simple. Last but not least, if you roll up your sleeves a bit, you can make EA output your model to a document in almost structure you choose.
Happy designing!


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