BPMN Interchange takes on Data Objects and Call Activities

By 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

BPMN Interchange Demo at OMG Technical Meeting and bpmNEXT

By ,

I am pleased to be demoing Activiti and Yaoqiang process modeling tools as part of the following event.

BPMN MIWG Logo Do you need to move your business process models from one tool to another as part of your process improvement lifecycle? Would you like to learn more about BPMN interoperability and how BPMN can benefit your organization? Interested in meeting BPMN experts and being among the first to know about current and future technologies in business process modeling and automation?

A live demonstration of BPMN Model Interchange will concurrently take place during the OMG Technical Meeting and bpmNEXT. Sign up for either event to witness this demonstration in person.

The event will be hosted by Denis Gagne of OMG BPMN Model Interchange Working Group (BPMN MIWG) featuring a multitude of BPMN-based tools and platforms. Do not miss the opportunity to see a smooth and complete interchange of process models between leading software vendors.

Cannot make it? Then join the live stream of the interchange demo via this link: Live-Stream

Participants of the demonstration include:

At a glance:
Live Stream

Register for the Live Stream

Provided by the Business Process Incubator


When: March 25th-27th, 2014
Where: Asilomar Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, United States
Interchange Demo: March 26th, 2014 at 11:00hrs (PT)

OMG technical meeting

When: March 24th-28th, 2014
Where: Hyatt Regency Reston
Lake Thoreau room (2nd floor)
1800 Presidents Street, Reston, VA 20190
Interchange Demo: March 26th, 2014 at 14:00hrs (ET)

bpmNEXT will showcase what’s next in the area of business process management from 25-27 march. Witness the latest developments in the BPM area and see how to ensure your organization’s ability with the commitment to standards, interoperability and sustainability. Learn how to continue to use the systems and technologies you currently have in place and be ahead with future technologies. Find more information about the program and the speakers at the bpmNEXT website.The OMG technical meeting on 24-28 march brings together IT architects, business analysts and government experts as well as vendors and end users. Every meeting is a great opportunity to meet and network with these experts and to get a firsthand insight about how to influence the direction of future standards. Connect directly with standards specialists of the tech industry, and learn about the future landscape of enterprise technologies. Find more information on the OMG website, and save the date now!

Berlin, Business Process – and a Fish Tank

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This Wednesday I had the pleasure of visiting Berlin on a gorgeous summer’s day to join the other members of the OMG’s BPMN Model Interchange Working Group. As you might surmise from the name, the main objective for the group is to make a reality of BPMN model interchange. And if you’ve had cause to exchange models between tools you will know this is quite a quest though hopefully a noble one.

It should be said up front that this work is still in its early stages: assembling a set of test cases that exhibit visual features, the conformance classes and ultimately the exchange of executable models. Another piece of work under way is to create tools that automate comparison of different vendors’ models. In time it should be possible for everyone to use these tools to evaluate and self-certify their own products.

The morning was filled with the glamorous business of poring over specifications, spreadsheets and so on, son in the afternoon we decided we were in need of some light relief! No it was not an early exit to the bar but rather a practical test of the current state of the art. We were able to assemble a chain of 5 modelling tools that each elaborated on a single process model and then with further elaboration executed it.

It should be said that this was not the most complex process known to man but neither was it a ‘tame’ one defined for the purpose. It is, in fact, a pre-existing process used by one of the participants. Well judge for yourself…

This executable model was returned to the first modelling tool where we could see the proprietary executions extensions were preserved though the first tool had no knowledge of them.

We recorded the session and hope to provide a short video summary shortly.

Also on Wednesday as it happened, the Activiti team made a new release and as you can see on Tijs’ blog a key highlight of this release is a dramatically reworked REST interface. So curiosity forced me to see if I could import the executable model using that new API – and indeed I was able to but I think I’ll save the details for a separate post as this is quite long enough.

So what was that about the fish tank? Ah yes, quite the most remarkable lift I’ve seen in the conference hotel. And yes, that is a scuba diver about half way down.

Now THAT'S a fish tank

Now THAT’S a fish tank