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Welcome 

                   Michele Chinosi
           University of Insubria – Varese (Italy)

      BPeX: A New Approach to BPMN Model
                  Portability
Agenda

• Brief introduction to BPMN, WS-BPEL, XPDL

• BPeX: a new modeling approach

• A view of XPDL “weaknesses”

• How BPeX can aid to overcome these weak
  points

• A comparison between XPDL and BPeX

                                                                    April 21-23, 2008
             Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   2
A Brief Introduction

• BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation),
  developed by BPMI and adopted as standard
  by OMG (2006, BPMN 1.0 – 2008, BPMN 1.1)
• WS-BPEL (Web Services – Business Process
  Execution Language), developed by BEA, IBM
  & Microsoft, adopted by OASIS as standard.
  Version 2.0 (2007).
• XPDL (XML Process Definition Language),
  developed by WfMC. (2005, XPDL 2.0 – 2008,
  XPDL 2.1).


                                                                   April 21-23, 2008
            Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   3
A Brief Introduction

• BPMN is a graphical notation to model
  (represent) business processes.
  – Standard for the look of a process
• WS-BPEL is an “execution language”
  – definition of web services orchestration
  – independent from BPMN
• XPDL stores and exchanges the process
  diagrams
  – process design format
  – extended to support BPMN


                                                                     April 21-23, 2008
              Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   4
BPeX: Business Process eXtensions




         The BPMN-XPDL-BPEL value chain
    From Keith Swenson blog “Go Flow”, posted May 26, 2006

                                                                       April 21-23, 2008
                Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   5
BPeX: Business Process eXtensions




                                                                 April 21-23, 2008
          Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   6
A Comparison Between
   WS-BPEL and XPDL

                                         WS-BPEL                                   XPDL
Expressive power               Less expressive                      More expressive
Naming convention              Completely different                 Some names different
Structure of the model         Completely different                 Some relevant differences
Native referential integrity   Partially                            Missing
Execution capabilities         Full support                         No execution allowed
Graphical information          Not at all                           Full graphical support
Validation / Analysis          Complex queries                      Complex queries




                                                                                April 21-23, 2008
                         Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   7
Some XPDL Weaknesses in
Details
• Elements renaming

• Complex conceptual model

• Lack of a native referential
  integrity

• Complex queries
                                                                 April 21-23, 2008
          Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   8
Elements Renaming
XPDL 2.0:

•comes 1 year before OMG published BPMN specification

•supports all the elements provided by BPMN specification

•maintains the possibility to describe more generic workflow
diagrams

•avoid redundancy and duplicates
              BPMN                                                    XPDL
              Process                                          WorkflowProcess

            SequenceFlow                                            Transition

             SubProcess                                              SubFlow

              Gateway                                      Route / Join / Split / …

                                                                               April 21-23, 2008
                        Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   9
A Complex Conceptual Model

•   We analyzed the XML serialization
    provided with the example inside the XPDL
    specification

•   We depicted a more high-level graphical
    conceptual model of the XML tree

•   We compared the model with the Business
    Process Diagram

                                                                    April 21-23, 2008
             Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   10
An Example Process




This process is taken from XPDL specification [Document
nr. WFMC-TC-1025, Section 8.1, pp. 109-127] and
modeled using BPMN


                                                                      April 21-23, 2008
               Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   11
A Complex Conceptual Model




                                                               April 21-23, 2008
        Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   12
A Complex Conceptual Model

• XPDL was not originally developed to represent natively
  BPMN diagrams

• XPDL has to maintain a backward compatibility with its
  previous version
   – Old names, old structure, old relationships

This introduces:
   – more complexity
   – some misunderstandings
   – fragmentation of information


                                                                         April 21-23, 2008
                  Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   13
A Complex Conceptual Model

               BPMN                                                  XPDL
Processes are children of Pools               Pools are defined separately from
elements                                      WorkflowProcesses, referencing
                                              them through relationships

Tasks are specifications of Activity          Tasks are children of an
elements                                      Implementation element,
                                              descendant of an Activity block
                                              which belongs to a unique Activities
                                              element

Events are directly referenced from           Events are children of an Activity
a Lane element                                element

One Gateway is defined within a               The Route element is defined as
Lane                                          child of an Activity



                                                                               April 21-23, 2008
                        Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   14
Lack of Native Referential Integrity
Constraints

• All the elements do not have a unique ID

• ID and IDRef are of type xsd:NMTOKEN

• More than one element have the same ID

• BPMN specification requires the ID field to be
  “a unique Id that identifies the object from
  other objects within the Diagram”


                                                                     April 21-23, 2008
              Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   15
Lack of Native Referential Integrity
Constraints




                                                                 April 21-23, 2008
          Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   16
Lack of Native Referential Integrity
Constraints
• IDREFs are of type xsd:NMTOKEN

• It is possible to set as IDREF value a non-
  existent ID

• There is the need of a software tool to check
  the correctness of the values

• XPDL specification state that “The Process
  attribute defines the Process that is contained
  within the Pool”
                                                                     April 21-23, 2008
              Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   17
Lack of Native Referential Integrity
Constraints




                                                                 April 21-23, 2008
          Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   18
BPeX: Business Process
eXtensions
• ID and IDREF are defined as of types xsd:ID
  and xsd:IDREF

• We add xsd:KEY and xsd:KEYREF to enforce
  constraints
  – We can assure that a Start Event of type
    Message will have all and only the attributes
    provided by BPMN specification

• We can statically validate the model without
  using software tools

                                                                     April 21-23, 2008
              Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   19
Complex Queries
Which Lane does the Task with Id=10 belong to?

 With XPDL
 for $x in (//Activity[@Id=10]),
     $y in (//Pool[@Process =
 //$x/ancestor::WorkflowProcess[1]/@Id]//Lane/@Name)
 return $y

 Result:
 /Package[1]/Pools[1]/Pool[2]/Lanes[1]/Lane[1]/@Name - Lane-0




 With BPeX

 //Lane[//Task/@Id=10]/@Name

 Result:
 /BPD[1]/Pool[2]/Lane[1]/@Name – Lane-0


                                                                               April 21-23, 2008
                        Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   20
BPeX: Business Process
eXtensions
• Built from scratch with a clear conceptual model

• Not based on WS-BPEL or XPDL
   – BPeX can be translated to XPDL and BPEL using XSLT

   – BPeX can be extended to integrate XPDL or BPEL features

• It supports all BPMN elements and features

• It has an XML-Schema serialization

• It strengthens BPMN weak connections

• Static analysis and validation

• Constraints / Metrics / Extensions


                                                                        April 21-23, 2008
                 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   21
BPeX: success stories
• Partnership with Euranet (an European business consulting
  company) and Università degli Studi di Bologna (Italy)

• We modeled some real cases taken from several SME

• We started implementing some constraints taken from NIST /
  ISO procedures to aid users modeling processes

• We extended BPeX to support some simple time/cost metrics
  (BPM 2007)

• We successfully added privacy policies to web-based
  processes modeled with BPMN (WOSIS 2008)



                                                                        April 21-23, 2008
                 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   22
BPeX Conceptual Model
                                                      Graphical BPMN model




Graphical BPeX model

                                                                          April 21-23, 2008
                   Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   23
Example Process in BPeX




                                                               April 21-23, 2008
        Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   24
XPDL and BPeX comparison
XPDL
BPeX




                                                                      April 21-23, 2008
               Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   25
Conclusions
                                             XPDL                                 BPeX
Expressive power                More expressive                     Bijective
                                                                    correspondence

Naming convention               Some names different                No differences
Structure of the model          Some relevant differences           Few adjustments due


Native referential integrity    Missing                             Strong


Execution capabilities          No execution allowed                Not yet but planned
Graphical information           Full graphical support              Supported with extensions


Analyses                        Complex queries required            Simple queries




                                                                                April 21-23, 2008
                         Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   26
Summary

• Introduction to BPMN, BPEL, XPDL

• Our proposal BPeX

• Analysis of the XPDL weak points using a
  practical example

• How BPeX can aid to overcome these weak
  points

• A comparison between XPDL and BPeX

                                                                    April 21-23, 2008
             Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   27
Questions?
  michele.chinosi@uninsubria.it
  http://bpex.sourceforge.net




                                                              April 21-23, 2008
       Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC   28

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BPeX: A New Approach to BPMN Model Portability - Updated Version

  • 1. Welcome  Michele Chinosi University of Insubria – Varese (Italy) BPeX: A New Approach to BPMN Model Portability
  • 2. Agenda • Brief introduction to BPMN, WS-BPEL, XPDL • BPeX: a new modeling approach • A view of XPDL “weaknesses” • How BPeX can aid to overcome these weak points • A comparison between XPDL and BPeX April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 2
  • 3. A Brief Introduction • BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation), developed by BPMI and adopted as standard by OMG (2006, BPMN 1.0 – 2008, BPMN 1.1) • WS-BPEL (Web Services – Business Process Execution Language), developed by BEA, IBM & Microsoft, adopted by OASIS as standard. Version 2.0 (2007). • XPDL (XML Process Definition Language), developed by WfMC. (2005, XPDL 2.0 – 2008, XPDL 2.1). April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 3
  • 4. A Brief Introduction • BPMN is a graphical notation to model (represent) business processes. – Standard for the look of a process • WS-BPEL is an “execution language” – definition of web services orchestration – independent from BPMN • XPDL stores and exchanges the process diagrams – process design format – extended to support BPMN April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 4
  • 5. BPeX: Business Process eXtensions The BPMN-XPDL-BPEL value chain From Keith Swenson blog “Go Flow”, posted May 26, 2006 April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 5
  • 6. BPeX: Business Process eXtensions April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 6
  • 7. A Comparison Between WS-BPEL and XPDL WS-BPEL XPDL Expressive power Less expressive More expressive Naming convention Completely different Some names different Structure of the model Completely different Some relevant differences Native referential integrity Partially Missing Execution capabilities Full support No execution allowed Graphical information Not at all Full graphical support Validation / Analysis Complex queries Complex queries April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 7
  • 8. Some XPDL Weaknesses in Details • Elements renaming • Complex conceptual model • Lack of a native referential integrity • Complex queries April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 8
  • 9. Elements Renaming XPDL 2.0: •comes 1 year before OMG published BPMN specification •supports all the elements provided by BPMN specification •maintains the possibility to describe more generic workflow diagrams •avoid redundancy and duplicates BPMN XPDL Process WorkflowProcess SequenceFlow Transition SubProcess SubFlow Gateway Route / Join / Split / … April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 9
  • 10. A Complex Conceptual Model • We analyzed the XML serialization provided with the example inside the XPDL specification • We depicted a more high-level graphical conceptual model of the XML tree • We compared the model with the Business Process Diagram April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 10
  • 11. An Example Process This process is taken from XPDL specification [Document nr. WFMC-TC-1025, Section 8.1, pp. 109-127] and modeled using BPMN April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 11
  • 12. A Complex Conceptual Model April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 12
  • 13. A Complex Conceptual Model • XPDL was not originally developed to represent natively BPMN diagrams • XPDL has to maintain a backward compatibility with its previous version – Old names, old structure, old relationships This introduces: – more complexity – some misunderstandings – fragmentation of information April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 13
  • 14. A Complex Conceptual Model BPMN XPDL Processes are children of Pools Pools are defined separately from elements WorkflowProcesses, referencing them through relationships Tasks are specifications of Activity Tasks are children of an elements Implementation element, descendant of an Activity block which belongs to a unique Activities element Events are directly referenced from Events are children of an Activity a Lane element element One Gateway is defined within a The Route element is defined as Lane child of an Activity April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 14
  • 15. Lack of Native Referential Integrity Constraints • All the elements do not have a unique ID • ID and IDRef are of type xsd:NMTOKEN • More than one element have the same ID • BPMN specification requires the ID field to be “a unique Id that identifies the object from other objects within the Diagram” April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 15
  • 16. Lack of Native Referential Integrity Constraints April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 16
  • 17. Lack of Native Referential Integrity Constraints • IDREFs are of type xsd:NMTOKEN • It is possible to set as IDREF value a non- existent ID • There is the need of a software tool to check the correctness of the values • XPDL specification state that “The Process attribute defines the Process that is contained within the Pool” April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 17
  • 18. Lack of Native Referential Integrity Constraints April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 18
  • 19. BPeX: Business Process eXtensions • ID and IDREF are defined as of types xsd:ID and xsd:IDREF • We add xsd:KEY and xsd:KEYREF to enforce constraints – We can assure that a Start Event of type Message will have all and only the attributes provided by BPMN specification • We can statically validate the model without using software tools April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 19
  • 20. Complex Queries Which Lane does the Task with Id=10 belong to? With XPDL for $x in (//Activity[@Id=10]), $y in (//Pool[@Process = //$x/ancestor::WorkflowProcess[1]/@Id]//Lane/@Name) return $y Result: /Package[1]/Pools[1]/Pool[2]/Lanes[1]/Lane[1]/@Name - Lane-0 With BPeX //Lane[//Task/@Id=10]/@Name Result: /BPD[1]/Pool[2]/Lane[1]/@Name – Lane-0 April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 20
  • 21. BPeX: Business Process eXtensions • Built from scratch with a clear conceptual model • Not based on WS-BPEL or XPDL – BPeX can be translated to XPDL and BPEL using XSLT – BPeX can be extended to integrate XPDL or BPEL features • It supports all BPMN elements and features • It has an XML-Schema serialization • It strengthens BPMN weak connections • Static analysis and validation • Constraints / Metrics / Extensions April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 21
  • 22. BPeX: success stories • Partnership with Euranet (an European business consulting company) and Università degli Studi di Bologna (Italy) • We modeled some real cases taken from several SME • We started implementing some constraints taken from NIST / ISO procedures to aid users modeling processes • We extended BPeX to support some simple time/cost metrics (BPM 2007) • We successfully added privacy policies to web-based processes modeled with BPMN (WOSIS 2008) April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 22
  • 23. BPeX Conceptual Model Graphical BPMN model Graphical BPeX model April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 23
  • 24. Example Process in BPeX April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 24
  • 25. XPDL and BPeX comparison XPDL BPeX April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 25
  • 26. Conclusions XPDL BPeX Expressive power More expressive Bijective correspondence Naming convention Some names different No differences Structure of the model Some relevant differences Few adjustments due Native referential integrity Missing Strong Execution capabilities No execution allowed Not yet but planned Graphical information Full graphical support Supported with extensions Analyses Complex queries required Simple queries April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 26
  • 27. Summary • Introduction to BPMN, BPEL, XPDL • Our proposal BPeX • Analysis of the XPDL weak points using a practical example • How BPeX can aid to overcome these weak points • A comparison between XPDL and BPeX April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 27
  • 28. Questions? michele.chinosi@uninsubria.it http://bpex.sourceforge.net April 21-23, 2008 Michele Chinosi - Architecture & Process - 2008 Renaissance Washington, DC 28