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What is BPMN?


Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is a standard for business process modeling that provides a graphical notation for specifying business processes in a Business Process Diagram (BPD), based on a flowcharting technique very similar to activity diagrams from Unified Modeling Language (UML).

The objective of BPMN is to support business process management, for both technical users and business users, by providing a notation that is intuitive to business users, yet able to represent complex process semantics. The BPMN specification also provides a mapping between the graphics of the notation and the underlying constructs of execution languages, particularly Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).

Business Process Modeling Notation was developed by the Business Process Management Institute to provide a process modeling notation that is understood by all process modelers, users, analysts, etc.

BPMN provide a standard notation readily understandable by all business stakeholders. These include the business analysts who create and refine the processes, the technical developers responsible for implementing them, and the business managers who monitor and manage them. Consequently, BPMN serves as a common language, bridging the communication gap that frequently occurs between business process design and implementation.

A Business Process Diagram is a simple diagram made up of a set of graphical elements that depicts a business process. There are four primary elements of BPD:

  • Flow Objects

  • Connecting Objects

  • Swimlanes

  • Artifacts

Flow Objects are connected together using Connecting Objects. There are three types of Connecting Objects:

  • Sequence Flow

  • Message Flow

  • Association

In addition, while BPMN shows the flow of data and the association of data artifacts to activities, it is not a data flow diagram.


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