BPMN Interchange takes on Data Objects and Call Activities

Tim Stephenson,

BPMN process map divided into segments performed by each tool

Amazing to think this is the fifth year of the BPMN Model Interchange Working Group (MIWG). Yesterday as the annual demonstration and once again there was a room full of BPMN practitioners and vendors as well as a live stream. The demonstration took the form of ten vendors each modelling an additional part on top of the previous tool’s contribution. In other words at each handover the model was interchanged between two tools carrying forward all standard model elements and vendor extensions.

The scenario required a customer data object to be used by numerous tasks. For those unfamiliar with this aspect of BPMN, this requires a single, non-visual, Data Object to be contained in the model and several, visual, Data Object References to be placed on the diagram and linked with the task consuming them. Each Data Object Reference is typically assigned a state that describes what is expected at that point in the process. 

Excerpt of process model and the property sheet for the selected Data Object Reference
Data Object Reference and underlying Data Object it refers to.

A Call Activity is a vital construct that allows process reuse. This scenario showed separate tools creating the called and calling process and a third connecting them together.

Excerpt of process model showing callActivity and process called
Call activity invokes independent process

And this is the called process

This marked a milestone year for KnowProcess as Tim demoed the process modeller modifying processes as opposed to viewing and executing models created in other tools for the first time. More on that in a future post. For now here is the completed process re-imported into KnowProcess.

2018 BPMN MIWG scenario in full
2018 BPMN MIWG scenario in full

Watch the live stream recording, with all the ‘fun’ of co-ordinating participants in 10 countries in real time below.

BPMN in Action: BPMN MIWG Capability Demonstration Seattle 2018