Monday, October 30, 2023 - 07:00
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As businesses and organizations embrace digital transformation, the need for web-based graphical modeling applications has grown exponentially. To cater to the requirements of rapidly developing lightweight modeling tools, the Eclipse Sirius project has embarked on a transformative journey towards the web. And within this open source project at the Eclipse Foundation, Sirius Web is revolutionizing the world of graphical modeling by offering an accessible, modern, and highly customizable technology.

Growing Need for Modeling in a Web-Centric World

Graphical modeling has evolved significantly over the years. Modeling tools serve as essential aids for designing complex systems, formalizing business requirements, mapping out intricate processes, or analyzing architectures. While office-based applications struggle to synchronize data and visual representations, graphical modeling applications natively ensure this consistency.

Historically, such modeling applications were primarily desktop-based, which imposed limitations in terms of deployment and ease of use. With the increasing demand for web-based solutions, there is a need to rapidly develop new web-based modeling applications or modernize existing desktop ones. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure these applications adopt modern user interface and user experience (UI/UX) designs and can support both established standards and domain-specific languages (DSL).

Applying Low-Code Principles to a Modern Cloud-Based Stack

To address these challenges directly, Obeo has introduced Sirius Web, a sub-project of Eclipse Sirius, the open source project hosted at the Eclipse Foundation that focuses on graphical modeling. Sirius Web is a reimagining of the original Sirius project, tailored to address the demands of deploying modeling tools on the web.


Sirius Web remains true to Sirius’ low-code principles, aiming to simplify the development of modeling tools. This approach significantly reduces the number of lines of code required to build a modeling tool, enabling developers to focus more on defining modeling concepts, graphical representations, and value-added functionalities. The technical foundation of Sirius Web is built on the latest web technologies, such as React, Spring, PostgreSQL, and GraphQL, ensuring it stays at the forefront of web development.

Sirius Web Supports Both Existing and Emerging Standards

Modeling applications created with Sirius Web are mainly defined by configuration. The platform provides built-in editors to interactively specify the structure of your data (the Domain Definition) and the way it can be graphically visualized and edited (the View Definition). Combined with custom code using the platform APIs, it forms a domain-specific studio that can be deployed on a web server.

Sirius Web is designed to support both existing and emerging standards in the modeling domain. This flexibility ensures users can work with a wide range of modeling languages and methodologies. Domain-specific languages are also a crucial aspect of modeling. Sirius Web facilitates the integration of DSLs, allowing users to tailor modeling tools to their specific needs.

Once the studio is defined, end users can start it directly from a web browser, without any specific installation on their desktop. From this environment, they can create projects that contain synchronized data and diagrams according to the concepts defined by the creator of the studio. These projects can be accessed from anywhere, using a unique URL, promoting collaboration and enabling remote work. Sirius Web emphasizes modern UI/UX principles, making the studios natively more intuitive, visually appealing, and user-friendly.

Successful Real-World Use Cases

Several projects have already harnessed the power of Sirius Web to build innovative web-based modeling solutions. Here are some notable examples.

Eclipse Papyrus: UML Modeling in the Web

Obeo and CEA LIST are currently developing web-based editors for the Papyrus project, a popular tool for UML modeling. These editors leverage Sirius Web’s capabilities to provide web-based UML modeling, bringing the power of Papyrus to the web.

Eclipse SysON: Open Source SysML v2 Implementation 

The new SysON project relies on Sirius Web to deliver an open source implementation of the emerging SysML® v2 standard defined by the Object Management Group (OMG). This demonstrates the project's ability to support industry-specific standards.

Obeo SmartEA: Enterprise Architecture Modeling

Obeo SmartEA, a product for enterprise architecture modeling, integrates web-based ArchiMate® editors developed with Sirius Web. This integration enables organizations to create and manage complex enterprise architecture models efficiently.



Siemens: Component Fault Tree Editor

Siemens has used Sirius Web to develop a web-based "Component Fault Tree" editor for one of its in-house safety analysis tools.



Help Shape the Future of Graphical Modeling Capabilities

Sirius Web is a testament to the power of open source collaboration in addressing the evolving needs of graphical modeling in today's digital landscape. By embracing lightweight deployment, modern UI/UX, standards support, DSL integration, and low-code development, this project empowers organizations and individuals to create and deploy web-based modeling tools with ease. 

Thanks to the contributions of industrial partners following open innovation principles, Sirius Web continues to mature and expand its capacity to support increasingly advanced needs.

We anticipate a future where graphical modeling becomes more accessible, versatile, and tailored to the unique requirements of diverse industries and domains. 

Whether you are designing complex systems, formalizing business processes, or delving into any other form of graphical modeling, Sirius Web promises to be a game-changer in your toolkit. Join the community, explore the possibilities, and shape the future of modeling with Sirius Web.

About the Author

Mélanie Bats

Mélanie Bats

Mélanie Bats is the CTO at Obeo, a committer to the Eclipse Sirius project, and an Architecture Council Strategic Member Representative.