Home > Agile > Getting started with Aris Express

Getting started with Aris Express

Yesterday, I finally got started with ARIS Express. I’ve worked with current files before but this was the first time I was actually going to create something. So, here are my first impressions.

The installation…

During the installation, I was prompted to include a shortcut on the desktop. I hate desktop shortcuts. I’m the kind of gal who keeps at the most 10 e-mails in my Inbox (perhaps 20 in GMail) and try to keep my desktop clean. So I declined and couldn’t start the program since it cannot be found in the applications folder. I scanned Google and the Aris community for the command line command before giving up and installing again. So my first impression was not positive.

As a note, I was prompted to upgrade the other day but after that the shortcut on the desktop stopped working. Fortunately, there was a shortcut in the Recent folder. It seems like the application does not understand that I’ve upgraded and now I’m prompted to upgrade every time I start ARIS Express. Annoying.

The ALM people have some potential improvements to work with…

The startup

And then the application started. Not the quickest one around. I actually thought the application didn’t work but finally I was up and running. And now it was time to select model. I had no idea which to pick. I’m not used to the different types of models and was in vain looking for an UML diagram. No luck.

I finally settles for the BPMN type, fully aware of that I’m not used to the notation.

And then I waited. And waited. Again I thought that there was a problem. Perhaps I don’t have the quickest of computers but it’s not that bad. You might guess that I was a bit skeptical by now.


And then I started working. The UI is simple and in most cases intuitive – if you’ve used VISIO and such programs this is not so hard, but there are some functions that are well hidden.

But I soon get to really like it! It actually felt more intuitive than VISIO and I came to feel well at ease. Of course my lacking knowledge of the notation probably makes my model impossible to understand for an seasoned BPMN expert.

But here is the result:

So, what is the final take on my first impression? The installation is a shame but the functionality after that is better than expected. I will probably pick ARIS Express over Visio in the future.

Categories: Agile
  1. 2010/09/01 at 7:16 am


    thanks for reviewing ARIS Express. Indeed, during installation, it is very confusing to have this option for disabling desktop integration. At the moment there is no way around it due to the technology the installation is based on. However, we are working on that. The same is true for startup time. We know, that it takes to long and we are working on that one too, even though I don’t expect any quick results here.

    I’m glad to see that in the end after all those obstacles you still like working with ARIS Express.

    • Anna Forss
      2010/09/01 at 6:18 pm

      Glad that you are aware of it since I really think that there is some real potential there and I was really surpriced that you’ve solved many small annoyances in other programs. I will stick to it and keep you posted.

      Great that you take such interest in customer experience.

  2. prasad
    2010/12/13 at 5:12 pm

    It seems the ArisExpress App is downloaded in Java Cache folder… it’s not installed as such, and if cache is deleted it’s downloaded again! Probably that’s why even I found that initially the startup was very slow. But, I think one can copy the cache somewhere else, and change the command line to run it from that location as well…

    Have you used the new Visio – Excel tie-in functionality. I think Aris mentions that as the key advantage, I was looking for feature to be simpler, but it’s not not that intuitive as Visio is, check the MS sample files for same…

    • Anna Forss
      2010/12/16 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you for the insight. This explains things. No: I’ve not seen the new functionality. I must say I’ve not used Aris Express enough to have said I’ve learned enough. But next year, I’ll give it some more time

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