The BMPN symbolism allows you to create business processes templates – Business Process Diagrams (BPD) for documentation and communication purposes. These models follow a standard notation, developed by the Institute of Business process management – The Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) and was released to the public in May of 2004.
The BPMN specification represents more than two years of efforts the Working Group BPMI. The first objective of this effort was to provide a notation that was easy to read and understand for all business users. Since business analysts, who create the initial models of business processes, technical developers, responsible for technology implementation, and finally to the people in the business, which will manage and monitor these processes.
The BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) is designed to be easy to use and understanding and also provide the ability to model complex business processes. The BPMN is one of three specifications developed by BPMI. It uses an open standard, defined by the OMG, currently at version 1.1. The others are process modeling languages: Business Process Modeling Language (BPML) and a language to query for processes, the Business Process Query Language (BPQL).
The BPMN is a notation that aims to generate a business process diagram called a Business Process Diagram (BPD).
The BPD is built using a basic set of graphics. These elements allow the development of diagrams that are usually quite familiar to most business analysts, because they are quite similar to flowcharts.
One of the challenges of BPMN is to create simple mechanisms to build business process models, but with the ability to deal with the inherent complexity of business processes. The BPMN takes a minimalist approach to deal with these two conflicting requirements, using a small set of rating categories, so that the reader of a BPD can easily recognize the basic types used and so understand the essence of the diagram. The four basic categories of elements are the flow objects, connecting objects, rays and artifacts.
The BPMN describes a set of three objects: events, activities, and gateways. Events are represented by circles and show events in the course of a process and affect the flow of a process and eventually may have a cause or impact. The activities are represented by rectangles with rounded corners and are used to demonstrate some sort of work done in the company. The gateways are represented by a diamond, and are used to control the divergence and convergence of a control flow, determining traditional decisions and also parallel paths or paths junctions.
Connection objects, or objects are connected to the flow diagram to create the basic structural skeleton of a business process. There are three basic types of objects to provide this function: the sequence flow, which is represented by a solid line and a solid arrow, used to demonstrate the order that activities are performed in a process. The message flow is represented by a dotted line, with an arrow at his end and is used to demonstrate the flow of messages between two participants of separate processes of organizational form, such as different industries, different business units, or even other companies. The Association is represented by a dotted line with an arrow at the end and is used to bind data, texts and other artifacts with objects from the stream.
The BPMN as well as many other notations to represent processes, uses the concept of swimming lanes (swimlanes) as a mechanism to organize activities in different categories, in order to illustrate different functional capabilities or responsibilities. These categories are supported by BPMN through two types of constructs, pools and lanes.
Finally, the BPMN specification defines three types of artifacts: data objects, annotations and groups. The data objects are mechanisms that demonstrate how data is required or produced by activities. They are connected in activities through associations. The groups are represented by a dotted rectangle and can be used with the purpose of featured, documentation or analysis, but does not affect the sequence flow. Annotations are mechanisms that provide the styler the ability to describe additional textual information to the reader of the diagram.
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