BPEL Models


Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) is supported in the Business and Software Engineering and Ultimate editions of Enterprise Architect.

The following text is derived from the BPEL entry in the online Wikipedia :

Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), short for Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL), is an executable language for specifying interactions with Web Services. Processes in Business Process Execution Language export and import information by using Web Service interfaces exclusively.

Web service interactions can be described in two ways :

  1. Executable business processes, which model the actual behavior of a participant in a business interaction.
  2. Abstract business processes, which are partially specified processes that are not intended to be executed. An Abstract Process may hide some of the required concrete operational details.

BPEL is an Orchestration language, serialized in XML, which specifies an executable process that involves message exchanges with other systems. This messaging facility depends on the use of the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.1 to describe outgoing and incoming messages.

Although there is no standard graphical notation for WS-BPEL, Enterprise Architect uses BPMN version 1.1 as a graphical front-end to capture BPEL 1.1 process descriptions. The BPMN specification includes an informal and partial mapping from BPMN to BPEL 1.1.

For further information on the concepts of BPEL, refer to the Wikipedia item and its linked sources.

BPEL in Enterprise Architect

Enterprise Architect currently supports generating BPEL from executable processes. With the help of the BPMN version 1.1 Profile, Enterprise Architect enables you to develop BPEL diagrams quickly and simply. The BPEL facilities are provided in the form of:

  • A BPEL Model Template in the Select Models dialog
  • A BPEL diagram type, accessed through the New Diagram dialog
  • A BPEL Process element in the BPMN 1.1 Core Toolbox pages, which acts as a container from which BPEL can be generated; you also use other elements from the BPMN 1.1 Toolbox pages for BPEL modeling
  • Custom dialogs for BPMN elements, highlighting the BPMN Tagged Values relevant to BPEL generation.

BPEL Example Generation

The Enterprise Architect Example file (EAExample.EAP) has a sample BPMN 1.1 model from which BPEL can be generated. If you have installed Enterprise Architect at the default location, open this file:

    C:\Program Files\Sparx Systems\EA\EAExample.EAP

The BPMN model package, within EAExample.EAP, is in: System Model -> Implementation Model (PSM) -> BPEL Example.

Modeling Restrictions

  • Every BPEL Process and Sub-Process should start with a StartEvent and end with an EndEvent.
  • A StartEvent or an EndEvent should not be attached to the boundary of a Sub-Process.
  • SequenceFlow Looping is not supported - only Activity looping is supported. All SequenceFlows should flow downstream and not upstream.
  • Mapping of an IntermediateEvent with multiple triggers to BPEL is not supported.
  • Mapping of multi-instance parallel While loops to BPEL is not supported.
  • Mapping of Independent sub-processes to BPEL is not supported.

See Also