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Configuration Inheritance

When you define a BPSim configuration it can contain a lot of data, some relating to each of the three separate Perspectives, and some being base data for the configuration grouped on three pages or tabs of the 'Configuration' dialog. A major objective of performing simulations of a business process using BPSim is to observe the effects of varying the values of certain parameters, whilst leaving others unchanged. It would be very useful, then, to maintain all of the standard data in a single place where it is created only once, and work on the variable data in one or more separate places that refer back to the base data. This would also mean that if you changed any of the standard data, the changes would be reflected in all the configurations that refer to it.

In BPSim, you can achieve this arrangement using inheritance between configuration Artifact elements.

In essence, you would define the standard data in a base configuration, and the data you are manipulating (and only that data) in configurations called, say, Resource Scenario 1, Resource Scenario 2, Timing Scenario A, or Control Scenario B. You would then create Generalize connectors from the scenario configuration Artifacts (the sources) to the base configuration Artifact (the target).

When you run a simulation on a scenario configuration, it will inherit the data defined in the base configuration and the simulation will perform as if it were processing a single configuration containing all the data. If the scenario configuration contains data that is also defined in the base, the (changed) values in the scenario take precedence.

Comparisons

To keep track of how the base and scenario configurations have been set up, and what the differences are between them, you would run a 'BPMN Simulation Configuration' report on one of them and drag the other(s) into the same report.

Whether or not you select the 'Show Only Different Items' option or the 'Highlight Different Items' option, you will see all the base configuration data in one column and a much smaller volume of scenario data in another. Where the data occurs in both columns, you can compare values and check what the scenario values have been changed to.

Similarly, when you run simulations on both configurations, you can display the 'BPMN Simulation Report View' and compare the results of the simulations. In this case if you select either the 'Show Only Different Items' or the 'Highlight Different Items' option, you will see a much smaller data set where the scenario values differ from the base configuration values, because in the simulation the scenario will have inherited all of the base configuration data and will produce substantially the same output.

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