Various formal approaches to process modeling and analysis have been proposed. With the emerging importance of practicality in this held, easiness in adopting formal technology should be taken into account. In this paper, we propose a PSEE called SoftPM that is based on a high level Petri net formalism for process modeling. To overcome the difficulty in using this formalism, SoftPM exploits a multi-level modeling mechanism for the representation of software processes. SoftPM supports three different levels for process representation. They are cognitive, MAM net, and Pr/T net. Each level has different roles in SoftPM. The cognitive-level modeling provides the means of getting free from difficulties in manipulating the modeling formalism. MAM net takes the role of core modeling formalism in SoftPM. Finally, Pr/T nets support the low-level modeling formalism as an existing Petri-net class. Moreover, SoftPM offers various analysis techniques to aid managerial decision making, as well as conventional Petri-net analysis techniques. Using a Java-based thin client/server architecture, SoftPM smoothly supports execution at distributed heterogeneous platforms over the Internet. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.