BPMN - The Business Process Modeling Notation

BPMN: what is it?

BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) is a standard developed by the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI). The primary goal of the BPMN effort was to provide a notation that would be readily understandable by all business users, from the business analysts who create the initial drafts of the processes, to the technical developers responsible for implementing the technology that will perform those processes, and finally, to the business people who will manage and monitor the processes.

BPMN is supported with an internal model that will allow executable BPEL. Thus, BPMN creates a bridge between business process modeling and business process execution. BPMN defines a Business Process Diagram (BPD), which is based on a flowcharting technique tailored for creating graphical models of business process operations. A Business Process Model, then, is a network of graphical objects, which are activities (i.e., work) and the flow controls that define their order of performance. There are three basic types of business processes that you can represent in a BDM: private, abstract, and collaboration.

BPMN: what can you do with it?

Why a new modeling language called BPMN? What can you do with BPMN in ActiveVOS? You can use BPMN to:
  • Create a BPMN model that includes events, gateways, sequence flows and tasks to meet your requirements
  • Existing models from other tools can be quickly and easily imported into a BPMN designer
  • Use sophisticated BPMN simulation capabilities to determine process requirements, throughput and required resources
  • BPMN is a standard, easy-to-learn and use modeling.

BPMN Benefits

  • BPMN is a standard, easy-to-learn and use modeling language. With BPMN, business analysts only have to learn one modeling system
  • BPMN can be made into an executable language by transforming it into BPEL
  • Executable processes can be easily transformed into BPMN, allowing business analysts to document running processes using the standard BPMN notation.

BPMN: an example of a visual designer which allows BPMN to be graphically created

A BPMN model in the ActiveVOS BPMN Designer
(click image to view BPMN 2.0 screenshot tour)

BPMN 2.0 Resources

BPMN 2.0 is a recurring topic on CTO Tuesdays -- a regular weekly educational webinar covering topics of interest to project managers, enterprise architects and developers (register for upcoming topics here).

Previous BPMN 2.0 topics have included: