Business Process Management Software

9 Best Free and Open Source Business Process Management Software

9 Best Free and Open Source Business Process Management Software

BPMN 2.0.! If you have heard about BPMN 2.0, which stands for Business Process Modeling Notation 2.0, then you know how business processes have evolved in the present time within the periphery of the Industry 4.0. The diagrammatic  and graphical representations to understand the business processes in a simple and appealing way is the core concept of BPMN 2.0. As Business processes are quite complicated, the goal of BPMN is to support the Business Process Management (BPM) in easing the task. Businesses use techniques, structured processes, and various means to complete the required tasks. Business Process Management divides the tasks into smaller units called processes. The process can be anything from a strategic roadmap to a logical set of instructions that leads to the goal. The execution of all interrelated processes in proper sequence completes a given task.

            Task(divided in processes) P1+P2+P3+...Pn= Task Completion

The creation, streamlining, and optimization of business operations and processes to increase efficiency and operational agility is called Business Process Management.

The three most important processes known to businesses are:

  1. Management Process (Involves planning and execution of the company's future goals)
  2. Operational Process (Involves the day to day core business activities)
  3. Supporting Process (Involves supporting processes like tech support, Internships)

The smooth functioning of the above processes and other business activities largely depends upon how a company handles it. The Standard operating procedures (SOP) are written and documented for all to understand their roles, responsibilities, and instructions to complete the business tasks in the most optimal way. Currently, there are many software applications (BPM Software) available to handle the business processes in the most optimal way. Businesses rely on these software to enhance and improve their production capacities, designs, and operational strategy. 

What is Business Process Management Software?

A free and open-source business process management software is the Business application that provides automated solutions and capabilities so as to gain operational intelligence, and total control over the processes. BPM software is the gift of the digital transformation era. It modernizes operations to serve customers, partners, and employees better. Dynamic features of the BPM software allow businesses to break out of rigid workflows and focus on problem resolution. The software enables the integration of content and automated process. Most of the BPM software provides web-based modeling using BPMN, Design tools, interactive forms, Analytics, and Collaboration to ease the business process.

Tasks, functions and work a Business process management software does,

A very important task the BPM software deals with is Process modeling. Let us discuss in detail- what is process modeling?

Process Modeling:

Business process modeling is the graphical and analytical representation of a company’s business processes. It helps businesses understand and visually document the  'as-is' processes in a company. It analyzes what processes are already present and provides an insight to add new ones. It helps in achieving a competitive advantage, providing regulatory compliance, and ensuring that the existing processes are formalized. Business Process Modeling is the sum total of:

  1. Process mapping
  2. Process discovery
  3. Process simulation
  4. Process analysis
  5. Process re-engineering
  6. Process improvement

Why businesses need BPM Software?

  1. Business activities are very complex. BPM software makes it easy. See below:

Order flowchart, order BPM

2. BPM software reduces errors and costs. Most of the businesses that lost a huge amount of money, credibility, or the overall business had one thing in common. All of them were hit due to one common tendency-Normalization of deviance. Normalization of deviance refers to a phenomenon when businesses adopt faulty processes, and all those who are involved do not question it. The fault is evolved from within the business mostly due to error of judgment on the part of employees, ignorance, or sometimes even carelessness. NASA lost 7 of its crew members in space due to human errors and faulty processes; the Chernobyl nuclear incident was caused due to glitches in the cooling process of the nuclear reactor due to human error of judgment. A BPM software helps in eradicating such human errors. It functions as a monitoring system for manual processes where there are more chances of error and failure.

3. It removes operational glitches.

4. It helps in streamlining the processes from start to end.

5. It helps in improving existing processes rather than replacing it

6. It helps strengthen existing BPM processes

7. With BPM software companies can standardize the process across all departments

BPM Process

8. BPM automates the processes to ensure efficient execution

Features of a Business Process Management Software:

Features of a BPM software

 The list of 9 free and open-source BPM Software:

  1. jBPM
  2. Bitrix 24
  3. RunaWFE
  4. Modelio
  5. Alfresco
  6. Bonisoft
  7. Aris Express
  8. Bizagi
  9. Pipefy

Comparison table of 9 Best Free and Open Source Business Process Management Software

Comparision of BPM software

  1. jBPM

jBPM is an open-source software that automates business processes and decisions. It has Apache Software License. jBPM's business process tools allow users to model their business goals.  It helps users by detailing the steps required to achieve a particular business goal. It uses a flowchart, which improves the visibility of the business logic. The flowcharts result in domain-specific visual representations that are easily understood by business people. jBPM's workflow engine is light-weight and extensible. It is written in Java that allows users to perform business processes using the standard BPMN 2.0 specification. jBPM acts as a bridge between developers, business analysts, and end-users. The core capabilities of jBPM lie in the simplification of business logic. It converts business logic into reusable assets. jBPM offers a lot of features and tools to support the life cycle of business processes.

jBPM BPM software

(Source-jBPM)

Features:

  • History logging
  • Management console supporting process instance management
  • Integration with frameworks such as Spring (Boot), CDI/EJB, OSGi, etc.
  • Task lists and the task form management
  • Reporting
  • Optional process repository to set up your process
  • Complex business logic can be modeled
  • Pluggable persistence based on JPA/JTA
  • Transactions based on JPA / JTA
  • Can be combined with the Drools project
  • Supports one unified environment
  • Supports adaptive and dynamic processes
  • The eclipse-based and web-based editor
  • Supports the graphical creation of your business processes
  • Pluggable human task service to perform tasks that require human actors
  • It offers both frameworks-standalone service or custom service
  1. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 has become a go-to application when it comes to free Business Process Management (BPM) software.  It delivers a set of standard business processes that don’t require deployment. The processes can be modified based on your company structure. Its business process designer lets users create any custom business process. Bitrix24 is also loaded with а set of BPM tools for sales and sales management automation. It is available for iOS and Android apps, Cloud and on-premise, API, and open-source code.

Bitrix24 BPM software

(Source- Bitrix24)

Features:

  • The free version allows 12 users
  • Ready to use in 30 seconds
  • Standard BPM, Mobile BPM, Social BPM, and Custom BPM
  • Task creation
  • Free standard BPM such as Business Trips, Leave Requests, Expense Reporting, General Requests, Attendance Management, Purchase Requests, e-Orders, and Employee self-service
  • Free Custom BPM such as State-driven BPM, Sequential BPM, Visual BP designer, Documents, Calendar events, CRM events, and PHP code (Available in self-hosted versions of Bitrix24)
  • BPM with Task Automation such as Task creation from BP, Workgroups/Projects, Task templates, Tasks with subtasks, Recurring tasks, Gantt chart, Tasks with checklists,
  • Mobile and Social BPM services like Discussions, Polling, Mobile BPM, Social intranet, Workgroups and Communications
  1. RunaWFE

RunaWFE Free is a business process management system that is available to use for free. It is an open source BPM application delivered under the LGPL license. RunaWFE Free utilizes its own solutions and also some features of the JBoss jBPM project. RunWFE Free has a set of additional components to provide convenience to the end-user.

RunaWFE

(Source-RunaWFE)

Features:

  • Graphical business process designer
  • Flexible system of role executors determination
  • Web services support
  • Convenient user web-interface
  • Bots for automatic task execution
  • Portlets support
  • Support of Windows, Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD operational systems
  • Heterogeneous enterprise applications integration
  • Security system which allows integration of LDAP/MS Active Directory
  • Localization on French, German, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian languages
  1. Modelio

Modelio is a foremost modeling environment that provides model assistance for businesses. It supports a wide range of models and diagrams. It has BPMN support integrated with UML. Modelio is an open source environment licensed under GPL v3.  It combines both BPMN and UML support with dedicated diagrams to support business process modeling. It caters mostly to the needs of Code developers, Business architects, Software architects, System architects, and Analysts. Modelio is developed mostly in Java except for a small part of the code written in C++.

Modelio BPM software

(Source-Modelio)

Features:

  • Java code generator
  • Uses an RCP/Eclipse-style project file structure
  • Supports Java code generation
  • Supports reverse Javadoc generation and Java automation.
  • XMI import/export
  • Modelio provides an XMI import/export feature
  • Exchange UML2 models between different tools
  • HTML model publishing
  • RCP architecture
  • Publish your models in HTML format with the HTML Publisher module
  • Can be extended for any modeling technique, language, or methodology
  • Scripting language support (Jython)
  • Integrated support of the Jython scripting language for small scripts and macro definition, and online requests.
  • It has a flexible extension mechanism that allows users to add Modelio modules to their configurations. A wide range of existing modules is available for download. For example:
  • Java Designer: It has support for UML2 and Java 6.
  • XSD Designer: Graphical modeling of XML schemas
  • WSDL Designer: Graphical modeling of web services
  • Togaf Architect:  It has the support of the TOGAF Enterprise Architecture Framework
  • SysML Architect: Support of the Systems Modeling
  • UML Testing Profile: It has the support of the OMG's standard test modeling language
  • SoaML Designer: It has the support of SoaML, the SOA architecture modeling standard
  1. Alfresco

Alfresco's business process management software can drive consistent improvement. Alfresco provides a free 30 days trial. Alfresco’s intuitive visual tools simplify the designing, deployment, and adapting of end-to-end process mappings for non-technical users. Forms and processes, once made, can be reused to simplify and accelerate business processes. The latest BPM techniques can be applied for collaborative processes and flexible issue resolution. Integrated BPM and ECM capabilities establish content-intensive processes and thereby induce more informed decision making. Alfresco’s business process management functionalities make a strong base for an agile digital business.

Alfresco BPM software

(Source-Alfresco)

Features:

  • Powerful metadata models
  • Automatically move content through a process flow.
  • Integration with leading line-of-business and productivity applications
  • Mobile and web access
  • It enables intelligent, compliant, highly optimized processes
  • Improves service levels and deliver a lasting competitive advantage.
  • It provides simple tools that let business users design and adapt their own processes.
  • Decision tables automate processes
  • Based on simple-to-configure business rules
  • It provides insights to increase process efficiency and performance.
  • Eliminate repetitive manual steps
  • Auto-generated process summary documents
  • Process analytics, reporting, and flow charts strengthen process compliance.
  1. Bonisoft

The Business Process Modeling and Notation Standard (BPMN 2.0), when used with  Bonisoft, turn the business process into the process-based application. The drag-and-drop feature includes human and automated tasks. Bonisoft provides IT professionals with a common framework to communicate with each other. It provides operational managers with more clarity about the process models. Bonitasoft has entered Gartner iBPMS Magic Quadrant as the only open source BPM software vendor.

Bonita Soft BPM software

(Source-Bonisoft)

Features:

  • Composition of intelligent process-centric applications
  • Open extension points
  • Business transformation
  • Collect data to measure process effectiveness
  • Business innovation/continuous process improvements
  • Citizen developer application composition
  • Case management
  • Digitized process
  • Automate business processes
  • Make "live" changes to fix errors
  • Connect to databases, social platforms, web services, and SaaS offerings
  • Connect to enterprise systems such as ECMs, CRMs, ERPs,
  • Customize, modify, and personalize and application with out-of-the-box features
  • Serve multiple, fully isolated independent organizations from one multi-tenant enabled platform create personalized user experiences with graphical UI tools, a completely custom UI, or a mix of both
  • Monitor health and detect errors in running applications
  • Create extension points with dedicated tooling
  • BPM engine handles complex transactions reliably

7. ARIS Express

ARIS Express is a free BPM software based on the proven ARIS method. Its user-friendly and intuitive interface and the latest offerings in business process modeling enable quick results.  This new lightweight business process tool by Software AG provides a reasonable replacement for other drawing tools. Besides standard modeling capabilities, ARIS Express offers additional features, especially for BPM beginners. Smart design enables modelers to catch the company information swiftly.  Clients can focus on the content and don't have to worry about modeling standards or correct placement of objects. The model has generated automatically after putting in the required data. 

Aris Express BPM software

(Source-ARIS)

Features:

  • ARIS Express is free of charge
  • A perfect tool for occasional users
  • Beneficial for beginners in Business Process Management
  • Models for organizational structures, processes,
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Modelers can work productively from the start
  • Application systems, data, and more
  • All results can be reused
  • Results can be enhanced in professional ARIS Platform products
  • Free training material available in ARIS Community
  1. Bizagi

The business process management software Bizagi eliminates the need to create a centralized process repository by saving users' business models directly in the cloud. It allows colleagues to work together to review the process models. It provides users the flexibility to work from anywhere on any device and provide real-time feedback. With centrally documented process models, employees can easily learn those processes, improving compliance with your policies and procedures.

Bizagi BPM software

(Source-Bizagi)

Features:

  • Attachments - cloud-stored
  • Designed for individuals, Personal offers standard cloud-based storage and simple publishing of process models
  • Simulation
  • Import/Export
  • Mobile access in Web Application
  • Manage and organize diagrams through folders
  • Modeling
  • Basic publishing
  • Documentation in Web Application
  • Models & diagrams
  1.  Pipefy

Pipefy is a powerful free BPM software that offers great features for Business Process Management. Pipefy prevents bottlenecks with its intuitive platform that allows organizations to automate and customize business processes.

Pipefy BPM software

(Source-Pipefy)

Features:

  • Build custom processes in minutes
  • Automate processes and integrate with RPA
  • Streamline processes that RPA doesn’t cover
  • Easily streamline approval processes
  • Choose from pre-built process templates
  • Users can create useful templates from scratch.
  • Digitize unstructured data
  • Digitize and streamline data for human use
  • It provides the database (information storage system) to store important information about the company's processes.
  • Automatically trigger an action by Automation feature
  • Users can set up automation with event details; this creates a set of conditions that trigger an automated task. That way, the task is initiated through automation only when the event meets the specified criteria.
  • Email templates to send messages and update the users involved in a process

We have included one more popular Business Process Management software for discussion-Appian. Let us see its features in detail:

Appian

Appian is the right BPM software to transform your business. Appian is a market-leading BPM Software to design, manage, execute, and optimize your business processes.  According to Gartner Magic Quadrant for Intelligent Business Process Management Suites, Appian supports all routine and non-routine process styles. It provides social centricity, allows rapid innovation, and improvisational collaboration between suppliers, customers, partners, and workers. Users can track and adapt to regulatory changes, market demands, and business events using Appian.

Appian BPM Software

(Source-Appian)

Features:

  • Model Processes
  • Build processes for apps with BPMN
  • Aggregated Process History Analysis
  • Proactively identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies
  • Low-code drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Store process models for faster design implementation next time
  • Apply Business Rules
  • Define critical policies and procedures
  • Adapt to Complex Events
  • Embed Process in Your Apps
  • Rapidly create task forms
  • Instant Deployment
  • Faster Integration
  • Pre-built connectors
  • Easy-to-configure APIs
  • Mobile user experiences with no extra work
  • View performance with real-time process management
  • Create apps that work on any device
  • Secure and Scalable
  • Keep your applications continually meet your goals
  • Management Tools
  • Monitor in-flight processes and re-assign tasks
  • Task Management
  • Increase worker efficiency
  • Reduce costs with task management capabilities
  • Real-time Visibility
  • Get analytics on process and task progress in real-time for proactive awareness.
  • Automate everything, even continuous improvement.
  • Skills-based Routing
  • Get the appropriate worker the right task to maximize talent and speed the right action.
  • Dashboards with an easy-to-build, easy-to-use user interface
  • Make your processes come to life fast
  • Optimize
  • Automatically Mobile
  • Built-in enterprise mobility
  • Continuous Process Improvement
  • Apply past performance and trends to create self-optimizing processes
  • Constantly evolve business performance.
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Dynamic Reporting
  • Get real-time visibility into business operation

Conclusion:

The ability to differentiate your business from your competitors is what builds a moat around your business. Many businesses are spending their budgets on the latest technologies to enhance their approach and delivery.

BPM is very important to manage how the core business activities and tasks get completed. Defining core processes and designing the workflow associated with it is the first task that companies do, and BPM software assists companies in it. Companies that utilize the full range of BPM software capabilities are able to get better results than their competitors.  

Whether it is a matter of speed or rules enforcement, security or data integrity, analysis, or optimization, one should never forget the endless opportunities one can have by leveraging the BPM technology.  

A powerful, flexible, and scalable BPM technology can provide companies the direction and capabilities that are required to excel in the present business environment. It must be easy for the end-user to use as well as for the administrator to maintain and update processes.

It may appear challenging to find an appropriate BPM software solution for your business needs. This article has discussed the best available options in the market. One can select for one's business needs any of the free and open-source BPM software discussed in this article after careful analysis of the available features that they offer and then aligning them with one's requirements.

We will love it if you share your views about the article in the comments section below. If you have utilized any of the free and open-source BPM software mentioned above, then do share your feedback with us. 

If you wish to see the features of any other business process management software or any other software category other than BPM software, then do look at our software directory.

James Mordy
James Mordy

James Mordy is a content writer for Goodfirms. A voracious reader, an avid researcher, a logophile, and a tech geek he loves to read about the latest technologies that are shaping the world. He often articulates the very nuances of the tech world in his blogs. In his free time, he loves to watch movies and analyze stock markets around the world.

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