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Change BPMN Element Appearance

A number of Tagged Values directly affect the appearance of the BPMN element or connector they apply to. Therefore, you can change the appearance of the object by changing the value of the tags.

You can also set the 'reference' Tagged Value for a BPMN element that refers to another BPMN element, simply by dragging the referred-to element from the Project Browser onto the referring element in a diagram. See the Set Reference Tagged Value table in this topic.

Access

Select a BPMN 1.1 element, then display the 'Properties' dialog, using any of the methods outlined in the table.

Ribbon

Design > Element > Manage > Properties

Menu

Element | Properties

Context Menu

Right-click on Element | Properties

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt + Enter

Other

Double-click on a BPMN element

Define the appearance of BPMN elements and connectors

Step

Action

See also

1

The system opens the element 'Properties' dialog at the 'General' tab and displays the child tab 'BPMN1.1'.  The 'BPMN1.1' tab lists the BPMN specific Tagged Values for the stereotype.

Where the element is a BPMN subtype, the 'Type' field shows the parent type. Click on the drop-down arrow to show the subtypes and, if necessary, select a different subtype. The list updates to show the Tagged Values for the new subtype.

2

For each 'appearance' Tagged Value, the default value is shown (where relevant). If you want to add or change values, click on the 'Value' field and either:

  • Type in the appropriate value (for a <memo> type, click on the button and type the text in the 'Tagged Value Note' dialog)
  • Click on the button and locate the defining object, or
  • Click on the drop-down arrow and select the appropriate value

Suggested values are described in the Values for Tags table.

Tags for Activity Elements

Tag

Value Description

activityType

Set to:

  • Task for no decoration
  • Sub-Process to display the plus-in-box decoration on the bottom edge of the shape

adHoc

Set to true to display the tilde decoration on the bottom edge of the shape, indicating that this is an ad-hoc Activity.

isACallActivity

Set to true to show the boundary of the Activity element as a thick line, indicating that this is a Call Activity.

isATransaction

Set to true to give the Activity element a double-lined border, indicating that this is a Transaction.

isForCompensation

Set to true to display the rewind icon on the bottom edge of the shape, indicating that this is a Compensation Activity.

isSequential

Set to true to display three horizontal bars on the bottom edge of the shape.

The loopCharacteristics tag must first be set to MultiInstance.

loopCharacteristics

Set to:

  • Standard to display three vertical bars at the bottom edge  of the shape
  • MultiInstance to display a loop icon at the bottom edge of the shape

taskType

When set to different value, the associated decoration is displayed at the top-left corner of the shape.

triggeredByEvent

Set to true to show the boundary of the Activity element as a dotted line.

Tags for Choregraphy

Tag

Value Description

choreographyType

Set to:

  • Task for no decoration
  • Sub-Process to display the plus-in-box decoration on the bottom edge of the shape.

isACallChoreography

Set to true show the boundary of the Choreography element as a thick line.

loopType

Set to:

  • Standard to display three vertical bars at the bottom edge of the shape
  • MultiInstance to display a loop icon at the bottom edge of the shape

Each element has its own MultiInstance setting.

Tags for Conversation

Tag

Value Description

isACallConversation

Set to true to show the boundary of the Conversation element as a thick line.

isComposite

Set to true to display a plus-in-box decoration on the bottom edge of the shape, indicating that the Conversation is a composite element.

Tags for Data Object

Tag

Value Description

dataInOut

Set to:

  • Input to add a light-colored arrow at the top-left corner of the Data Object, indicating that it represents a Data Input element
  • Output to add a dark-colored arrow at the top-left corner of the Data Object, indicating that it represents a Data Output element

isCollection

Set to true to add three vertical lines at the bottom edge of the shape, indicating that the object is a collection.

Tags for Event

Tag

Value Description

cancelActivity

For Intermediate Event only.

Set to false to show the Intermediate Event border as a dashed line.

catchOrThrow

For Intermediate Event only.

Set to:

  • Catch or
  • Throw

eventDefinition

Use to change the decoration of a Start Event, Intermediate Event or End Event.

isInterrupting

For Start Event only.

Set to false to show the border of the Start Event as a dashed line, indicating that the Start Event is not an interrupting event.

Tags for Gateway

Tag

Value Description

eventGatewayType

Use to define two types of Event-based Gateway:

  • Exclusive and
  • Parallel

gatewayType

Set to:

  • Exclusive to render the Gateway as a diamond shape without any marker in the middle; if you also set the markerVisible tag to True, the Gateway is rendered as a diamond shape with an X inside
  • Complex to render the Gateway as a diamond shape with an asterisk (*) inside
  • Inclusive to render the Gateway as a diamond shape with a circle (o) inside
  • Parallel to render the Gateway as a diamond shape with a plus (+) inside
  • Event to define the Gateway as Event-based

instantiate

Use only to define the Exclusive and Parallel Event-based Gateway.

Tags for Message

Tag

Value Description

IsInitiate

Set to true to make the envelope color gray, indicating that this is an initiating Message.

Tags for Message Flow

Tag

Value Description

messageVisible

Set to:

  • Unspecified to make the Message Flow connector without decoration
  • Initiating to add a white envelope to the Message Flow connector
  • Non-Initiating to add a gray envelope to the Message Flow connector

Tags for Pool

Tag

Value Description

blackBoxPool

Set to true to render the Pool element as a rectangle, which is used in a Main Pool diagram.

Tags for Sequence Flow

Tag

Value Description

conditionType

Set to:

  • Expression to show an unfilled diamond marker at the  source end of the connector
  • Default to show a slash marker at the source end of the connector

Set Reference Tagged Value

A number of types of BPMN element make reference to elements of other types, for context. For example, BPMN Activities can refer to ResourceRole elements, which in turn can refer to Resource elements. Each of the referring elements has a specific tag that identifies the referenced element. You can quickly add or update the value of the tag, in this way:

Step

Action

See also

1

Both referenced and referring elements must already exist in the model and at least the referring element must exist in a diagram.

2

Display the Tagged Values window (Ctrl+Shift+6).

3

Drag the referenced element from the Project Browser onto the referring element in a diagram. A short menu displays, the options on which depend on the combination of referring and referenced element types.

4

Select the appropriate option to set, overwrite or append the referenced element name to the Tagged Value in the referring element (if the referring element's multiplicity is greater than 1, it can reference more than one element). The referenced element is NOT overlaid on the referring element in the diagram.

5

Expand the section of the Tagged Values window listing Tagged Values for the generic element type and note the referenced element name(s) in the appropriate 'Value' field.

Notes

  • Some BPMN elements changed in appearance between BPMN version 1.0 and BPMN version 1.1
  • In Enterprise Architect releases later than 7.1, if you work on a  BPMN 1.0 model created in an earlier release, existing elements default to their version 1.0 appearance; new elements assume the BPMN version 1.1 appearance and automatically have a Tagged Value BPMNVersion set to 1.1
  • If you want a new element to revert to the BPMN version 1.0 appearance, set the BPMNVersion Tagged Value to 1.0
  • Conversely, if you want an older element to assume the BPMN version 1.1 appearance, assign the BPMNVersion Tagged Value to it, with the value 1.1