Business Process Modeling Notation
with Enterprise Architect
Webinar April 2014
The Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN™) is the foremost language for documenting process models using a graphical representation that business stakeholders can easily understand and validate. The comprehensive notation allows these models to be captured not only with a high degree of precision, but optionally with sufficient detail to allow their conversion into machine executable processes.
Frank Truyen, President of Cephas Consulting Corp, demonstrates techniques for quickly modeling a multi-level business process while leveraging common artifacts such as Participants, Pools/Lanes and Roles. Along the way Frank shows some new and improved features of Enterprise Architect 11 including Element Discussions, Diagram Charts and the Relationship Matrix.
Explore the Example Model
We have provided a copy of the Enterprise Architect model that was used in the webinar.
Questions & Answers
What Version and build of Enterprise Architect was being used in the BPMN Webinar?Enterprise Architect 11, build 1105 was used during the demonstration.
This webinar introduced a number of new Enterprise Architect 11 features including Element Discussions and Charts. Visit the Enterprise Architect 11 Release Page for more information.
Will the .EAP file used during this webinar be made available for download and review?Yes. Please download and review the EAP file to explore the features discussed in the BPMN webinar.
How can you use a Chart or Dashboard on your Enterprise Architect diagram?Enterprise Architect 11 introduced the ability to dynamically generate charts and dashboards based on model data. This visual information can be invaluable for business planning and decision making.
To create a Chart or Dashboard, simply drag a Standard Chart, Time Series Chart or Model View icon onto a diagram from the common Artifacts page of the Toolbox. Modify the element properties to define the type of chart, the data source and appearance of the chart. A number of charts are available, including:
- Pie — 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional
- Doughnut — 2D and 3D
- Line Graph (Time Series)
- Table (Model Views)
- Horizontal bar — 2D and 3D
- Vertical column — 2D and 3D
What are the advantages of having a catalogue of activities to drag onto BPMN diagrams?As shown in the webinar, you should not directly drag and drop reusable Activities into context-specific BPMN diagrams. Instead, create a BPMN 2.0 Call Activity that represents (i.e. acts as a proxy to) the reusable artifact in a given context. This technique is in accordance with the BPMN 2.0 specification and ensures that the shared Activity remains context neutral.
Is it possible to lock a Pool or Lane in a BPMN diagram?Yes, it is possible to lock a Pool on a BPMN diagram.
Right-click on the element (Pool or Lane) and deselect the Selectable option. People working on the diagram will not be able to select or inadvertently move the Pool/Lane.
To unlock the element, simply right-click the Pool/Lane and click on Selectable again. You can perform this action on multiple elements at once.
How can you change a color of a model element?It is easy to modify the color of a model element. Use the Diagram toolbar or the element’s floating toolbar for changes specific to the current diagram. To change the color for an element across all diagrams use the element’s context menu Appearance option, or the F4 function key.
For more information, see Enterprise Architect's Help topic on Changing Element Appearance.
Please note that Enterprise Architect 11 has a new default look and feel for diagrams. This improved design provides high impact visuals for diagrams that is clearly showcased in this webinar.
Is there any existing reference material which covers the BPMN object linking techniques that Frank demonstrated?These techniques are covered extensively in Cephas Consulting Corp. training classes, but we are not aware of any publicly available information. That was one of the reasons for organizing this webinar.
Can you explain what Frank meant by the term Clone? Does clone mean copy in this context? How do you reuse the pools from your catalogue?The term Clone means to create a full replica (a separate copy, with its own GUID) of an existing element. Enterprise Architect supports multiple techniques for performing this action, such as copy (CTRL-C) and “paste-as-new” (CTRL-SHIFT-V), or CTRL-DRAG inside a diagram (or between diagrams).
It is possible to clone the Pools and Lanes needed in a new business process, using any of the standard copy/paste-as-new techniques.
Can we use this relationship Matrix to capture KPI's & SLA for activities? Do we have objects to capture KPI's & SLA's and other Metrics?The Strategic Modeling and Business Motivation Metamodel MDG Technologies offer a number of elements that can help define metrics. Another option is to build your own UML Profile. In either case, you can use the Relationship Matrix to build the traceability between the process activities and the metrics elements.
Are there any sample Enterprise Architect BPMN models available that we could use as exemplars / learning tools?Please find attached a copy of the .EAP File that Frank used in the webinar.
What are the advantages of using hyperlinks (like a bread Crumb trail) between all of your pages? Are there other techniques for navigating between pages?Enterprise Architect provides several techniques for navigating between open diagrams (for example: http://www.sparxsystems.com/enterprise_architect_user_guide/10/modeling_basics/view_tab_switcher.html) but once you have many diagrams open, or you are traversing deep sub-process hierarchies the manually-created hyperlinks are very helpful.
Is it possible to use a custom numbering scheme for numbering tasks?Yes, it is possible to use auto-naming and numbering conventions for the names and/or Aliases of specific types of element. You can apply those conventions to all of the existing elements of those types in a selected package, in one operation.
You apply auto-naming through the Apply Auto Naming to Elements dialog. This groups the elements that have auto-naming conventions by type, and shows the effects of applying the conventions to the element names and/or Aliases. You can change all the element names in the package, or select only certain elements to update.
For more information, please read the Enterprise Architect User Guide on applying Auto naming to existing elements.
A more intelligent numbering scheme, which is aware of the Sequence Flow connections and which automatically numbers the Sub-processes as well, can additionally be built using a script.
Can I feed in xml data to model the business process with the data relationships?If you are exporting from another tool using XMI then there is a good chance that you can import the elements and their relationships into Enterprise Architect (although the diagrams may need rework). Otherwise, if you are using a non-recognized xml format, the process will probably require a custom import script.
Why are there start events in every lane? Doesn't the customer start the process?Each Pool represents a different Participant (e.g. a different company), and hence a different business process. Within your own Pool a single Start Event is sufficient.
How can I upgrade to Enterprise Architect 11?Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a quote for Enterprise Architect 11.
Does Enterprise Architect support BPMN 2.0?Yes. Enterprise Architect supports BPMN 1.0, BPMN 1.1 and BPMN 2.0. Enterprise Architect also supports BPEL diagrams.
For more information, please read the Enterprise Architect User Guide on BPMN Models.
How do I link a BPMN process to an Archimate Business Process component? (is this even possible?)Yes it is possible to link a BPMN Process to an Archimate Business Process component. You can use the Relationship Matrix to quickly build the mapping between the two notations.
How do I contact Frank to arrange training or consulting?You can contact Frank Truyen via:
- The website: www.enterprisemodelingsolutions.com.
- Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 714-573-7112 (USA)