Previously: Enterprise Architect and StarUML

EPF Composer

We were coding our products in Java Eclipse, and when we looked for add-ins to Eclipse we accidentally bumped into EPF Composer. This is an XML based tool for Eclipse that is able to handle all types of objects necessary to describe processes. First I did not want to get rid of UML, but I had to change my mind. EPF Composer is able to contain both text and process flow diagrams, and maintain the links between the objects. I really loved working in EPF Composer! It had a template for processes, containing fields for all interesting aspects, like summary, description, roles, WBS, and even best practices, templates and guidelines. It’s a really powerful tool! Generally I was really satisfied with EPF Composer and its features. The designed process definitions appeared in an HTML based report what we were able to share on our HTTP server. But, of course there were issues. It works well only if you use the same structure that has been defined in the software. This structure is too complex, because it needs to be able to store everything. We wanted to simplify that, but when you skip an object between two others (like process – roles – role definition path you want to get rid of role level, as role definition is enough) you cannot hide the intermediate object, therefore users need to click twice to find the appropriate object. In other words: you have to use and maintain all objects, which were defined in the application. We gave up using EPF Composer.

Will be continued…