A reader of my last post, Prototyping for the Masses, brought to my attention an online tool used to create simulations of web applications called Simunication. I thought it would be good to add these kinds of tools to my list of prototyping resources. Upon further Google supported research, I found that one of the authors over at Boxes and Arrows has already put together a nice summary of some of the other simulation tools for prototyping resources: Visio Replacement? You Be the Judge.
I didn't get a chance to look at every one of the tools listed, but upon inspection of a few of their demos, it seems as though many of these tools are a good fit for building out prototypes of larger data-driven web sites and web applications. A nice feature of many of these tools is that there is built-in use case and scenario support that allows you to build out your processes based on use cases that have been outlined by you and/or your clients. This allows proves to be helpful in demonstrating your prototype to the client, because the use cases are readily available and can be reviewed simultaneously with the functions of your simulation.
Some of the discussion around this article seems to center around finding a nice mid-level tool that is similar to these simulation tools but is designed more for static, content-driven site mockups - something in between a wireframe and a more high-fidelity simulation, but requires less HTML programming to end up with clickable prototype.
I'd be happy to hear from any of you who have had a good experience with these kinds of prototyping applications.