Monday, August 13, 2007

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)

A standard notation for drawing business processes in a workflow, now maintained by the Object Management Group (OMG). BPMN aims to provide a notation understandable by all business stakeholders bridging the communication gap between business analysts and technical developers. The four basic categories of BPMN elements are:

Flow Objects:

  • Events - a trigger or result represented by a circle, can be Start, Intermediate or End
  • Activities - a task or sub-process represented by a rounded-corner rectangle
  • Gateways - decisions or forking/merging of paths represented by a diamond shape

Connecting Objects:

  • Sequence Flow - the order which Activites will take place represented by a solid line arrow
    Message Flow - messages between to participants represented by a dashed line with an open arrowhead
  • Association - used to associate flow objects represented by a dotted line


  • Pool - organises different activities into categories using a big rectangle
  • Lane - organises activities more precisely as a sub-part of the pool


  • Data Objects - shows what data is required or produced in an activity represented by a page with folded corner
  • Group - used to group different activities with a rounded-corner rectangle and dashed lines
  • Annotation - used to give the reader more understanding

Business Modeling & Integration Domain Task Force (BMI DTF)

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