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I love ARIS Express, why should I care about ARISalign?

Thomas Stoesser's picture
by Thomas Stoesser in ARIS BPM Blog posted on 2010-03-23

I am pretty sure that there are many, many happy users of ARIS Express that visit ARIS Community regularly and I suppose that at least some of those have already started to wonder about the noise around ARISalign and how it fits together with ARIS Express.

Putting myself into the shoes of someone who has been using ARIS Express for a while now, I would ask “I can do basic modelling with ARIS Express just fine. Why should I care about ARISalign?”

Let me give you three answers to this, a short one, one from an ARIS Express user that I met at CeBIT and a long one (with screenshots).

Short answer
ARISalign gives you additional capabilities that complement ARIS Express really nicely. You basically get a free project-based collaboration environment that helps you to get a better understanding of what it is that you actually want to model and the ability to discuss and rate your work within your team.

Answer from ARIS Express user that I talked to at CeBIT
“A few weeks ago a few people in my team downloaded ARIS Express and we really like it. It is easy to use, pretty intuitive and offers the right level of sophistication for the modelling requirements that we have. The problem that we now face is that the modelling activities happen pretty disconnected and that there is no central place to store what everyone is working on locally. So now the “ease of use” aspect of ARIS Express actually contributes to a problem as many models are being quickly created but there isn’t a good way for us to share and manage those.
It seems like ARISalign is a great way to address these problems as it gives us a central and secure place to store models, to discuss them and to brainstorm what we actually should work on. I can see how ARIS Express and ARISalign become a great combination.”

Long answer

If you haven’t taken a look at Sebastian’s post on Collaborative Process Discovery, you should.

Apart from project-based working, whiteboarding and process modelling as described by Sebastian, I would like to expand a little on different helpful capabilities that you find in ARISalign.

Inviting project members
After setting up your project, you invite your colleagues and you can start sharing processes, documents or any other kind of file with each other.

As part of the invite you can let them know some context about the project and why you invited them in the first place.

Assigning different member roles
When inviting a member to your project you can specify which role the person should belong to.

Obviously, you can change the role membership later on again.

Project Administrators and Project Owners can:
Perform all the actions in a project including archiving, changing project settings and changing project member roles.

Project Contributors can:
Contribute to the project, for example, by adding stages, activities and attributes; commenting on stages and activities; and working on process models for the project.
They can also fully contribute in the project library and discussions.

Project Reviewers can:
View information in the project, but may not make any changes. They can make comments on the whiteboard and they can participate in project discussions.

Project-based discussions
Have discussions with your team members about your project. ARIS Community members are well accustomed to discussions and groups, so this is nothing new. But here you can have private discussions within your project and you decide who gets access and who doesn’t.

Project-based file sharing

Share any kind of file with your project members and rate uploaded contents to get a quick overview of what is useful and what isn’t.
Right now I am using this capability to share ARIS Express models with others, but it works just as well for office documents or images.

What is missing?
From my point of view there are still a few things missing to make the combination of ARISalign and ARIS Express a smooth experience:

• Ability to import ARIS Express models into ARISalign (just like we do now with XPDL and .process files)
• Ability to view & edit ARIS Express models in the ARISalign process editor
• Ability to lock an “online” model in ARISalign when it is being downloaded for offline editing in ARIS Express

What other things would you like to see?


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Michael Muenster posted on 2010-03-23

I am using the split view for White Board and Process Editor in ARISalign. I cannot find something similar in ARIS Express.

On the other hand ARIS Express White Board allows display of Stages, Activities, Goals, Details and KPI Instances in parallel. This is not possible in ARISalign.

Parveen Jaswal posted on 2010-08-23

Sometime back I was thinking something on a very similar line. Quite interesting to see an implementation around this.

I am big fan of Collaborative and Social BPM, lets see how ARIS align is enabling these features.

Thomas Stoesser posted on 2010-08-23

Would love to read your comments after you have tried it out!




David Hinojosa posted on 2011-01-19

Hi Thomas,

Would you please help me to understand why does ARISalign only support BPMN notation and not EPC?
What would be your suggested approach for a company that uses ARIS to manage its processes, but using mostly EPC notation for the modeling, in order to get the collaborative benefits offered by ARISalign.
Thanks in advance,
David Hinojosa
Thomas Stoesser posted on 2011-01-20

Hi David,

Very valid question!

ARISalign is a platform that was developed by Software AG under a different name before the IDS Scheer acquisition took place. Hence, ARISalign is not using the ARIS modelling technology under the covers and this is the reason why it doesn't support EPC at this point.

We are, however, working on a more comprehensive solution that will combine collaborative, web-based concepts with the ARIS modelling toolset. So having said that I would suggest to regard ARISalign as a stepping stone to a future platform that will provide much more than collaborative process discovery based on BPMN.



Sebastian Stein posted on 2011-01-20

Hi David,

in addition to what Thomas said, I would like to add some more details. ARISalign is most useful to get a BPM effort started. It is an easy to use tool to involve BPM stakeholders in a very early phase. For example, ARISalign doesn't require any installation, but is completely web-based. Therefore, you can invite your fellows to the platform and collect ideas on a whiteboard.

As soon as your BPM effort gets more serious, you take those whiteboards and all process blueprints you created in ARISalign and refine them in ARIS Express. At a later stage, you may even switch over to the professional ARIS Platform tools, which brings you all capabilities needed for business process analysis.

In that sense, ARISalign is used in front of ARIS Express and not vice versa.

David Hinojosa posted on 2011-01-23

I see. Thank you both for your kind answers.