IEHIAS tools for building system diagrams
- The text on this page is taken from an equivalent page of the IEHIAS-project.
At the most generic level, common word-processing packages such as Word, and presentational or grapgics packages such as Powerpoint, offer the ability to create diagrams manually, by selecting from a library of symbols and shapes. In order to ensure consistency and clarity in diagram design, however, it is often better to make use of a specialist diagram design package. Because of their widespread use in engineering, business management and the natural sciences, a large number of such packages have been developed in recent years.
The table below lists, and briefly outlines, a selection of packages. These are not presented as recommendations, but as examples of the range of tools available. In most cases, it is advisable to consider the functionality needed in the light of the type of issue being assessed, and the skills of those involved, and then to evaluate the software available through a web search.
In addition to these packages, many modelling packages include a module to design and build systems diagrams, which are then used as the basis for running the model. Links to examples are provided via the page on environmental modelling tools in the Execution section of this Toolbox.
|SmartDraw||Sophisticated integrated diagram design package, giving capability to construct a wide range of systems diagrams, including network diagrams, flowcharts and organisational diagrams. Includes a large set of templates and associated shapes/symbols.||Purchase|
|Visio||Microsoft's diagram generation package. Flexible framework within which to construct a wide range of systems diagrams, on the basis of predefined templates, and supported by a large library of shapes and symbols.||Purchase|
|Creately||On-line package for designing and constructing systems diagrams, including process diagrams, network diagrams and organisational charts. Provides core set of templates from which to work, and a large library of shapes and symbols. Gives capability to share diagrams on-line.||Subscription|
|eDraw Flowchart||Dedicated flowchart creation software, providing capability to design and build a wide range of systems diagrams, including network diagrams, cause-effect (fishbone) diagrams and organisational charts. Large library of ready-made templates and associated symbols/shapes.||Purchase|
|Gliffy||Simple but very effective on-line package for designing and drawing systems diagrams, including process models, network diagrams and organisational charts. Capability to share diagrams on-line.||Subscription (basic version free)|