UML Drawing Tools

There are several tools available commercially and in the free software domain for drawing UML diagrams. Examples are Visio, TopCased, Papyrus, Gliffy, ArgoUML, Poseidon, Visual Paradigm, and MagicDraw, Rational Software Modeler. A list of some UML tools can be found on Wikipedia. Below is a select set of tools that support the modeling activities covered in our software engineering classes (e.g., CS314, CS414).

Free Modeling Tools


A modeling environment developed as part of an EU project. It was built to primarily support the development of critical embedded software.



Papyrus is intended to be the standard eclipse UML modeling environment. The UML featrures are similar to those found in Topcased.





Microsoft Visio is installed on the Windows PCs in the department. You can also get it for free as described below.

MSDN Academic Alliance Program enables CSU Computer Science faculty members, undergraduate majors, graduate students, and certain classes to acquire software at minimal cost. This service is provided using ELMS (e-academy License Management System) and supports multiple distribution schemes.

Currently there are two distribution schemes available to CSU Computer Science users:

1.    Media Sales: Under this scheme you pay for the cost of the media (cd-roms) and shipping and the disks containing the requested software is delivered to you.

2.    Download: Under this scheme you will download the desired software at no you are issued a product using either distribution scheme you are required to get approval to reacquire that product (even if attempting to use the same scheme). This means that you are entitled to only one copy of a given product.

To get started visit the ELMS website: ELMS Website:

Problems or requests should be mailed to: MSDN Contact:

If you lost or did not receive your login information and you are eligible please send an email to the MSDN contact from your CS login (or EID email if you are not in a class that gets a CS account). Your login information will only be sent to a "" or EID email address.

MSDNAA access is based on your CS email account.
Accounts are created each semester.  Login and password information are then sent to each
user's CS email account.

Anyone taking CS classes has a CS email account.
Your CS email address is your CS login added to <>
Password is the same as your CS account.

Login to MSDNAA is your CS email address.
If you have forgotten your password, you can ask MSDNAA to send
it to you:
It will be sent to your CS email account.

Quick access to CS email:

CSU eid plays no part in MSDNAA.

The UML template that comes with Visio requires some effort to use. You can download a free UML 2 template that is easier to use from the following website:


Gliffy is a free online drawing tool that provides support for drawing UML diagrams.

Umbrello UML Modeller

Umbrello UML Modeller is a free online drawing tool that provides support for drawing UML diagrams.



The Omondo EclipseUML tool is a commercial eclipse-based modeling environment. It is also installed on the linux machines in our department.

On the linux machines, type:

    cd /s/parsons/l/sys/eclipse/3.2/x86/eclipse

Note that this is a different version of eclipse than what you may have used previously ( Our department has several installations of eclipse. This one has the Omondo plugin that lets you draw UML diagrams. If the license has expired, let me know. Sometimes you can still use the software and export the diagrams even though it tells you that the license has expired.

IBM Rational Software Modeler

RSM is installed on the linux machines in our department.

    cd /s/parsons/l/sys/IBM/SDP70/


Visual Paradigm

Another option, which has both a free and a trial version (free, time-limited, but has more functionality) is Visual Paradigm's SDE.

This is a UML tool that integrates with Eclipse, JBuilder, and a few other IDEs. The more functional versions also provide code-generation, so this might help out with the implementation.


This is a commercial UML tool that supports Model-Driven Development of software (e.g., you can generate some code from your models). You can get a free trial version.