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Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)

Peter R. Egli
Peter R. Egli
Peter R. EgliSoftware Engineering Consultant at Zühlke Group and Academic at ZHAW

Overview of Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) language for modeling business processes. When implementing business processes, there is usually a large gap between the business semantics (process, activity, participant, orchestration, choreography, data items etc.) and the technical implementation languages (REST, WSDL, transport protocol, message bus etc.). BPMN has the goal of bridging this gap by providing a standard notation for describing business processes plus a standard mapping of this notation into an executable description language like WSBPEL. The BPMN 2.0 standard even allows executing BPMN business models directly without the need of a translation. The core notation elements of BPMN are flow objects to model activities and events, data objects to model pieces of information, connecting objects to model information and control flow, and swimlanes to model process participants. Four different diagram types allow the modeling of processes, process choreographies, collaboration between participants and conversations.

Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)

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© Peter R. Egli 2015
1/24
Rev. 1.60
BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com
OVERVIEW OF BUSINESS PROCESS
MODEL AND NOTATION (BPMN) LANGUAGE FOR
MODELING BUSINESS PROCESSES
PETER R. EGLI
INDIGOO.COM
BPMNBUSINESS PROCESS
MODEL AND NOTATION
© Peter R. Egli 2015
2/24
Rev. 1.60
BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com
Contents
1. What is BPMN?
2. BPMN Main Parts
3. BPMN Scope
4. BPMN Core Concepts
5. BPMN versus BPEL
6. BPMN notation elements
7. BPMN 2.0 versus BPMN 1.2
© Peter R. Egli 2015
3/24
Rev. 1.60
BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com
1. What is BPMN?
BMPN is a graphical modeling language and notation for business processes (=graphical DSL –
Domain Specific Language) with the following goals:
1. Common language understandable for different stakeholders.
2. Visualization of execution languages like WSBPEL.
3. Interchange format between tools for process description and diagrams.
<bpmn:process name="Order Process">
<bpmn:endEvent name="Send confirmation">
<bpmn:incoming>Incoming_Flow</bpmn:incoming>
<bpmn:messageEventDefinition/>
</bpmn:endEvent>
<bpmn:startEvent name="Receive order"
isInterrupting="true" parallelMultiple="false">
<bpmn:outgoing>Outgoing_Flow</bpmn:outgoing>
<bpmn:messageEventDefinition/>
</bpmn:startEvent>
<bpmn:subProcess name="Process order"
startQuantity="1" triggeredByEvent="false">
Business people
use and monitor processes
Business analysists
define processes
Developers
implement processes
BPMN = common language & notation
© Peter R. Egli 2015
4/24
Rev. 1.60
BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com
2. BPMN Main Parts (1/3)
A. Diagram types:
BPMN defines the following 4 diagram types.
ChoreographyOrchestration/Process
Collaboration Conversation
© Peter R. Egli 2015
5/24
Rev. 1.60
BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com
2. BPMN Main Parts (2/3)
B. Business process notation:
BPMN defines a common set of modeling elements to be used in BPMN diagrams.
Data
Connecting Objects
Flow Objects
Swimlanes
Artifacts
Activity
Event Gateway
Data
Object
Data
Input
Data
Output
Data
Store
Message FlowSequence Flow Association Data Association
Pool
Lane
Group
Text
Annotation
© Peter R. Egli 2015
6/24
Rev. 1.60
BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com
2. BPMN Main Parts (3/3)
C. Mapping to execution language:
BPMN defines a mapping to the WSBPEL execution language.
BPMN roughly maps to WSBPEL, but could be mapped to another execution language as well.
BPMN
Business Process Model
Mapping to
…
<bpel:assign bpmn:label="invoke" name="invoke"
bpmn:id="_Oig9ANU5Edyqa7yB__NlQQ">
<bpel:copy>
<bpel:from>$thisStartRequestMsg.body/tns:city</bpel:f
rom>
<bpel:to>$timeService1GetCityTimeRequestMsg.param
eters/TimeService1:city</bpel:to>
</bpel:copy>
…
WSBPEL to run in BPEL-runtime

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Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)

  • 1. © Peter R. Egli 2015 1/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com OVERVIEW OF BUSINESS PROCESS MODEL AND NOTATION (BPMN) LANGUAGE FOR MODELING BUSINESS PROCESSES PETER R. EGLI INDIGOO.COM BPMNBUSINESS PROCESS MODEL AND NOTATION
  • 2. © Peter R. Egli 2015 2/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com Contents 1. What is BPMN? 2. BPMN Main Parts 3. BPMN Scope 4. BPMN Core Concepts 5. BPMN versus BPEL 6. BPMN notation elements 7. BPMN 2.0 versus BPMN 1.2
  • 3. © Peter R. Egli 2015 3/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 1. What is BPMN? BMPN is a graphical modeling language and notation for business processes (=graphical DSL – Domain Specific Language) with the following goals: 1. Common language understandable for different stakeholders. 2. Visualization of execution languages like WSBPEL. 3. Interchange format between tools for process description and diagrams. <bpmn:process name="Order Process"> <bpmn:endEvent name="Send confirmation"> <bpmn:incoming>Incoming_Flow</bpmn:incoming> <bpmn:messageEventDefinition/> </bpmn:endEvent> <bpmn:startEvent name="Receive order" isInterrupting="true" parallelMultiple="false"> <bpmn:outgoing>Outgoing_Flow</bpmn:outgoing> <bpmn:messageEventDefinition/> </bpmn:startEvent> <bpmn:subProcess name="Process order" startQuantity="1" triggeredByEvent="false"> Business people use and monitor processes Business analysists define processes Developers implement processes BPMN = common language & notation
  • 4. © Peter R. Egli 2015 4/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 2. BPMN Main Parts (1/3) A. Diagram types: BPMN defines the following 4 diagram types. ChoreographyOrchestration/Process Collaboration Conversation
  • 5. © Peter R. Egli 2015 5/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 2. BPMN Main Parts (2/3) B. Business process notation: BPMN defines a common set of modeling elements to be used in BPMN diagrams. Data Connecting Objects Flow Objects Swimlanes Artifacts Activity Event Gateway Data Object Data Input Data Output Data Store Message FlowSequence Flow Association Data Association Pool Lane Group Text Annotation
  • 6. © Peter R. Egli 2015 6/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 2. BPMN Main Parts (3/3) C. Mapping to execution language: BPMN defines a mapping to the WSBPEL execution language. BPMN roughly maps to WSBPEL, but could be mapped to another execution language as well. BPMN Business Process Model Mapping to … <bpel:assign bpmn:label="invoke" name="invoke" bpmn:id="_Oig9ANU5Edyqa7yB__NlQQ"> <bpel:copy> <bpel:from>$thisStartRequestMsg.body/tns:city</bpel:f rom> <bpel:to>$timeService1GetCityTimeRequestMsg.param eters/TimeService1:city</bpel:to> </bpel:copy> … WSBPEL to run in BPEL-runtime
  • 7. © Peter R. Egli 2015 7/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 3. BPMN Scope Different model notations and languages are used for modeling business aspects. BPMN is a notation to model business processes. StrategyVision Organization Functional Breakdown Services Business Rules Business Processes Data Information Balanced Scorecards Org Chart BPMN Enterprise Architecture Strategy Map ArchiMate Entity Relationship Diagram SOMF Business Rules Model Functional Decomposition Diagram
  • 8. © Peter R. Egli 2015 8/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 4. BPMN Core Concepts (1/5) A. Orchestration / processes (1/2): A process describes a sequence or flow of activities as part of work to be carried out (=workflow). Processes contain the BPMN flow elements (events, actitivies, gateways) and callable processes. Process types: a. Private non-executable process (process for documentary purposes only) b. Private executable process (contains enough detail to be executable) c. Public process Activity Event Gateway Task Sub-Process Activity (=abstract super class) Concrete activity types Call Activity
  • 9. © Peter R. Egli 2015 9/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 4. BPMN Core Concepts (2/5) A. Orchestration / processes (2/2): a. Private process: A private process is specific to an organization. There is no interaction with another swimlane (pool = participant). b. Public process: Public processes show interactions between a private process and another process or participant (pool). Internals of public process are not shown, only the interactions with another process. PrivateProcess Start Check Credit HistoryCheck Order Completeness Calculate Price Send Notification End «BusinessPro... Approve Order «BusinessPro... Approve Order CarOwner Start Help Line Receive Request Send Service Address Receive Damage Description We'll Check What The Problem Is Check & Fix Engine End My Car is Broken The Engine Rumples Leave The Car Here Problem Is Fixed, Go To Checkout Desk Go To CarServ
  • 10. © Peter R. Egli 2015 10/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 4. BPMN Core Concepts (3/5) B. Collaboration: A collaboration shows the interaction between participants modeled as swimlanes (pool, lane). A collaboration diagram typically contains 2 or more pools / lanes. Message flows cross the pool boundaries while sequence flows connect activities within pools. PatientHealthcareContact Center/Doctor Illness occurs Contact Doctor Request Receive Request Send Appointment Receive Appointment Send Symptoms Receive Symptoms Give Medicine Receive Medicine I have a stomach acheGo see your doctorI want to see my doctor
  • 11. © Peter R. Egli 2015 11/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 4. BPMN Core Concepts (4/5) C. Choreography: Choreography shows the interactions between participants modeled as pools. Choreographies are defined outside of pools and exist between pools. The focus of choreographies is on the exchange of information between participants. In choreographies, there is no central control, responsible entity or observer. Patient Doctor Doctor Request I want to see my doctor Go see the doctor Patient Doctor Handle Symptoms I feel sick Patient Doctor Handle Prescription Pick up your medicine Patient Doctor Hanlde Medicine I need my medicine Here is your medicine
  • 12. © Peter R. Egli 2015 12/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 4. BPMN Core Concepts (5/5) D. Conversation: Conversation diagrams show the logical message exchanges between participants. Unlike process, collaboration and choreography diagrams, conversation diagrams show a "birds eye view" of the different conversations (exchange of information) between participants. Retailer Supplier Delivery Negotiations Consignee Shipment Schedule Delivery / Dispatch Plan Shipper Delivery / Dispatch Plan Carrier Insurance Coverage
  • 13. © Peter R. Egli 2015 13/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 5. BPMN versus BPEL BPMN and BPEL share common concepts, but are not tools for the same purpose. BPMN is mainly a notation that defines how business processes can be modeled graphically. WS-BPEL defines a machine-processable and –executable format for business processes. BPMN 1.2 is typically translated to BPEL 2.0 which in turn is executed on a BPMN runtime. BPMN 2.0 can be directly executed on a BPMN runtime without translation to another format. Description Language Translator Execution Language Runtime BPMN 1.2 BPMN Mapper WS-BPEL (BPEL 2.0) BPMN runtime like intalio BPMN 2.0 - BPMN 2.0 BPMN runtime Java Java compiler Byte code Java Virtual Machine C / C++ Compiler Machine code CPU
  • 14. © Peter R. Egli 2015 14/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (1/10) Activity: Activities (tasks, sub-processes) are executable elements of a BPMN process. Actity type Symbol Description Task Atomic activity within a process that cannot be broken down further. Typically a task is executed by an end-user or application. Sub-process Activity with an internal structure containing activities, gateways, events and sequence flows. Call activity Defines a point where a global task or process is called. A call activity differs from a sub-process in that it is a reference to a process while a sub-process is a process itself. This means that a call activity calls a reusable process or task. The called sub-process or task can be called multiple times by different call activities. Task Sub-Process Call Activity (Task) Call Activity (Sub-Process)
  • 15. © Peter R. Egli 2015 15/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (2/10) Task types (1/2): Task type Symbol Description Abstract task Task without any specialization. Service task Task that uses some sort of service like a web service. Send task Task for sending a message to an external participant. After the message is sent, the task is completed. Receive task Task that waits for a message to arrive from an external participant. After the message is received, the task is completed. Instantiating receive task Same as receive task, but instantiates a process ("creates process token"). Task Service Task Send Task Receive Task Process Instantiate Receive Task
  • 16. © Peter R. Egli 2015 16/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (3/10) Task types (2/2): Task type Symbol Description User task Task executed by a human with the assistance of a software application. Manual task Task executed by a human without the assistance of any process execution engine or application. Business rule task Provides input to a business rule engine. Receives output from a business rule engine. Business rule tasks connect a process or sub-process to a business rule engine. Script task A script task is executed by a business process engine. When the script is finished, the task is finished as well. User Task Manual Task Business Rule Task Script Task
  • 17. © Peter R. Egli 2015 17/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (4/10) Task markers: Additional markers add more semantics to tasks. Task marker Symbol Description Loop A looping task repeats its action as long as a loop flag is set. Multi- instance sequential The task is executed in multiple instances in sequential order. Multi- instance parallel Multiple instances of the task are executed in parallel. Compensation Compensation is used in case of errors (exceptions) to undo steps that are already executed (call of compensation handler for a "rollback"). Allowed marker combinations Multi-instance sequential & compensation Multi-instance parallel & compensation Loop & compensation Loop Task Multi-instance Sequential Task Multi-instance Parallel Task Compensation Task Task Task Task
  • 18. © Peter R. Egli 2015 18/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (5/10) Sub-process types: Sub-process type Symbol Description Transaction sub-process A transactional sub-process executes all internal activities either successfully or none (exception case). Typically, a transaction sub-process is combined with a cancel event to call a transaction cancel (rollback) handler. Event sub- process Execution of an event sub-process is triggered by an event. The execution is independent of the parent process flow, thus there are no incoming and outgoing sequence flows. However, an event sub-process is only executed when the parent process (or sub-process) is active. Transaction Sub-Process
  • 19. © Peter R. Egli 2015 19/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (6/10) Sub-process markers (1/2): Sub-processes may have the same markers as tasks. Additionally, the ad-hoc marker may be used on sub-processes to express a less strict execution ordering. Sub-process marker Symbol Description Loop A looping sub-process repeats its internal activities as long as a loop flag is set. Multi- instance sequential The sub-process is executed in multiple instances in sequential order. Multi- instance parallel Multiple instances of the sub-process are executed in parallel. Compensation Compensation is used in case of errors (exceptions) to undo steps that are already executed (call of compensation handler to "rollback"). Ad-hoc sequential Ad-hoc sub-processes have a less strict temporal ordering of activities. Internal activities may or may not have sequence flows. Ad-hoc sequential means that contained activities are executed sequentially. Ad-hoc parallel In a parallel ad-hoc sub-process, contained activities are executed in parallel. Loop Sub-Process Multi-instance Sequential Sub-Process Multi-instance Parallel Sub-Process Compensation Sub-Process Ad-hoc Sequential Sub-Process Ad-hoc Parallel Sub-Process
  • 20. © Peter R. Egli 2015 20/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (7/10) Sub-process markers (2/2): Task marker Symbol & Description Allowed marker combinations Loop & compensation Loop & ad-hoc (parallel and sequential) Multi-instance & compensation (parallel and sequential) Multi-instance & ad-hoc (parallel and sequential) Ad-hoc & compensation (parallel and sequential) Loop & compensation & ad-hoc (parallel and sequential) Multi-instance & compensation & ad-hoc (parallel and sequential) Loop & Compensation Sub-Process Loop & Ad-hoc Sub-Process Multi-instance & Ad-hoc Sub-process Multi-instance & Compensation Sub-process Ad-hoc & Compensation Sub-process Loop & Ad-hoc & Compensation Sub-process Multi-instance & Ad-hoc & Compensation Sub-process
  • 21. © Peter R. Egli 2015 21/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com Process pool Blackbox pool No process referenced Contains a process Pool types 6. BPMN notation elements (8/10) Swimlanes (1/2): Swimlanes are either pools (white-box or black-box) or lanes (=partitions in pools). Pools represent participants which are partner entities like a supplier. Participants are often responsible for a process execution in a pool. Simplified meta-model: PartnerEntity Example: Company Participant PartnerRole Example: Buyer Process <<represents>> <<represents>> <<responsible for>> Pool <<Graphical representation of>> Swimlane Lane (=Subpartition in pool)
  • 22. © Peter R. Egli 2015 22/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com ProcessPool 6. BPMN notation elements (9/10) Swimlanes (2/2): Swimlanes markers: Swimlane type Symbol Description Process ("White- box") pool Pool that contains a process. Black-box pool Pool that does not contain a process. Lane Lanes are sub-partitions in a pool or process. Lanes can be nested. Lanes do not have semantics in BPMN, i.e. lanes are a simple grouping and partitioning concept. Blackbox pool Poolwith lanes ProductionSales Swimlane marker Symbol Description Multi- instance Multi-instance pools represent multi-instance participants. Example: Multiple suppliers. Multi-instance Pool
  • 23. © Peter R. Egli 2015 23/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 6. BPMN notation elements (10/10) Gateways: Gateways are used to produce and consume process tokens (process instances). Gateway type Symbol Description Exclusive gateway or Exclusive gateways are like decisions. The process flow takes either of the outgoing directions (only 1 or none). Inclusive gateway The inclusive gateway evaluates all outgoing conditions and creates a process token for each condition that evaluates to true. Parallel gateway Parallel gateways join and fork flows. Thus parallel gateways are used to create (fork) and synchronize (join) parallel flows. No condition checking is involved with parallel gateways. Complex gateway Complex gateways are used to model complex synchronization behavior. Example: 3 out of 5 incoming flow tokens must be present to create an outgoing process token (depending on the conditions of the outgoing flows). Outgoing and incoming token semantics are the same as in inclusive gateways. Event gateway Event gateways represent branching points based on events rather than conditions. Example: Reception of different messages is dispatched into different process paths to handle the messages. X
  • 24. © Peter R. Egli 2015 24/24 Rev. 1.60 BPMN – Business Process Model and Notation indigoo.com 7. BPMN 2.0 versus 1.2 BPMN 2.0 brought a number of changes : • Formalization and clarification of the execution semantics of all BPMN elements • Extensibility mechanism for graphical elements • Refinement of event composition and correlation • Definition of choreography model (choreography, choreography diagram) • Redefinition and clarification of various BPMN elements (see table below) BPMN 1.2 Feature BPMN 2.0 Feature Reusable sub-process Call activity Embedded sub-process Sub-process Abstract process Public process Directional association to show how data objects are inputs and outputs to activities Data association connector to show inputs and outputs Message is a BPMN element Message is only a graphical decorator None task Abstract task Directional associations to show data flows to and from activities Data association connector to show inputs and outputs of activities Performer role for describing people in activities In addition to Performer role, HumanPerformer role allows to identify humans performing a task Intermediate events possible without incoming sequence flows Intermediate events must have an incoming sequence flow