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TL at Accenture in India
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Sparx system comparing with ARIS and IBM blueworks.

What is the difference between Sparx system tools , ARIS and IBM Blueworks?

PeerSpot user
10 Answers
Mir Nayeem Ul Haq - PeerSpot reviewer
Founder & CEO at Vaadi Outsourcing
Real User
Top 5
01 September 22

In my opinion, there is no real difference between the three tools. All three are software that help organizations model and document their business processes. However, there are some key differences between the three tools.

Sparx Systems tools are more comprehensive and allow for more detailed process modeling. 

ARIS provides more support for process improvement and change management. 

While as, IBM Blueworks is more focused on business process documentation and collaboration.

Paul Parisi - PeerSpot reviewer
Enterprise Architect at Mobiliser
Top 5Leaderboard
05 November 17

Both Sparx and Blueworks have free trials so that is probably the quickest way to study them.

Sparx EA is a fantastic tool for general modeling but if you are comparing it to Sparx to Blueworks they aren't in the same space.

Blueworks is firstly cloud based only, it doesn't really model and is designed for the first stage of business process analysis rather than modeling through to execution. (it can export to a BPMS but not much more)

It is targeted at teams that need a good collaboration tool to scratch out the initial analysis of a business process solution before moving to formal process tools like a BPMS which is why it is often on-sold as a first stage tool for people also buying IBM BPM. It also can be used for modeling high level processes if a BPMS is not required. Not too good if you then want to round trip the analysis and update the Blueworks models if changes occur in the running system that need reflecting in the initial models.

Whilst I haven't used ARIS yet it seems to focus on process analysis but with a SAP twist. if your using SAP I can see the natural benefit of exploring ARIS further, but if you haven't decided on a target BPMS then you probably want to look at more generic tools.

Without knowing your requirements makes it difficult to provide advise given the products aren't really directly comparable. The easy way to look at it is Blueworks for quick analysis. As its cloud you will probably stop paying for it once the bulk of work is over, raising the question what happens to the models? If you don't specific want to model BPM then Sparx is a good one to explore and if you go down that road also look at Orbus IServer. If your using SAP then explore ARIS further.

MichaelSukachev - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Enterprise Architect at Teranet Inc.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
17 October 17

It'll all depend on your major focus: Enterprise Architecture, Solution Architecture, Software Architecture, Business Process Management etc.
ARIS model checking features are better and UML 2.x compliance look better than in Sparx.
But Sparx I find more user friendly, better documented,easy maintainable and most cases its features were was sufficient.
IBM Blueworks is web-based product that looks like a better choice for the BPM and it's web-based.

But I do like Sparx Enterprise Architect overall for it's universality, great model tractability and ...price.

So it really boils down to your objective and the the price, by my opinion.

PeerSpot user
Solutions and Integration Architect at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Real User
05 October 17

In some cases the Architecture practice was non-existent and had to be set up. So no architecture was defined or understood. In other environments, the architecture was well developed and understood with big architecture teams, but the Sparx EA tool was not previously implemented.

In both scenarios I found it easy with Sparx EA to define the architecture methodology for the organisations I worked with. Obviously it is easier to implement a methodology in Sparx EA if you already have the methodology in place in your organisation.

I hope this answers your question.

PeerSpot user
Principal at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
05 October 17

Before choosing between tools, how clearly defined or understood in your organization is the "architecture" you're chasing?

Architecture is often seen as an easy way out—with the "right tool" of course—to the magical future. How well understood is your existing "AS IS" situation? Architected or otherwise.

PeerSpot user
Solutions and Integration Architect at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Real User
02 October 17

ARIS is prohibitively expensive and not as user friendly as Sparx EA. I think it also does not have the extensive feature set that Sparx EA has. It also has quite a steep learning curve as opposed to Sparx EA. I think SParx EA is also more flexible that ARIS. ARIS is also more business process focussed in my opinion.

I have not worked with IBM Blueworks so I cannot possibly comment on the product.

I hope this helps

Learn what your peers think about Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
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02 October 17

Both are modeling tools and include BPMs engine as part of the platform (licenced separately). In my opinion, Blueworks is more simple and business user friendly to discover process. On the other side, Aris include more Enterprise Architect capabilities. I prefer Blueworks by his simplicity.

PeerSpot user
Owner at a tech services company
02 October 17

Hi Jana Benson,

if you only need BPMN modelling you can use ARIS express tah is free.
However you need to defined your requirements, and what you ill need in the future.

EA try align all organizational thinks and you need to see what you want to do.

it_user681486 - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner with 11-50 employees
02 October 17

I can only tell you the differences between SAP powerdesigner and Enterprise Architect
Best Regards
Wim Snoek

02 October 17

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architecture is a comprehensive all-in-one modelling tool. With ARIS, you need to buy different licences for Business Process and UML modelling. SSEA is a very extensive (and budget friendly) modelling tool. Includes notations like Archimate, BPMN, UML. If you are only interested in modelling Business Processes, use ARIS or IBM Blueworks. If you are looking for a SDLC type modelling tool, please use SSEA . I have no experience on IBM Blueworks.

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