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At my job in this period I’m working on a new possible project our company would develop. The project is about a payment system between the National Institution for Public Employees Welfare and “Banca d’Italia” (Bank of Italy). It seems a cool project with some important security (and not only security) constraints to consider.

In the first part, the project analysis part, I have to read through all the paperwork we received and try to extract good workflow charts about the existing system and the functions we should add. So I realized I need a good Workflow/UML drawing software that helps me to create good charts in a fast way.

Naturally my working OS is Linux (Fedora 16 to be precise), and I needed a software that can run on it. In the past I used to use ArgoUML, an UML diagramming application written in Java and released under the open source Eclipse Public License. It’s a good solution I have to say, but heavy to use, if you know what I mean.

I decided then to look for an alternative using this nice “software-alternative-finder” website (that by the way I recommend to try) called AlternativeTo, and that’s when I fell in love 😛

I have fallen in love with Lucidchart, “a web-based diagramming software which allows users to collaborate and work together in real time to create flowcharts, organisational charts, website wireframes, UML designs, mind maps, software prototypes, and many other diagram types”.

In the era of cloud computing, it should not surprise you if one of the best alternative to build Workflow/UML diagrams is a completely web-based software that requires no installation, which, taking full advantage of the new HTML5 and JavaScript, is fast and so much pleasant to use.

Lucidchart offers compatibility with Microsoft Visio, the current leading desktop application for diagramming, but, more importantly, it also has robust version control with full revision history. Chek this funny video out, it presents Lucidchart in only one minute:

I have yet to try all the Lucidchart’s features, but I’m sure this service will only be able to positively surprise me. So? What are you waiting for? Try it (you can sign it up for free) and let me know your opinion 🙂

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