Learning BPMN: a 6 part eLearning Series and an Eclipse STP Tutorial

by Jean-Jacques Dubray on Mar 11, 2008 |

Last week we reported some interesting statistics about BPMN's adoption in the industry. While the relationship between BPM and SOA is no longer a question, we presented in this article a possible relationship between BPMN, and the standards of SOA: WSDL, WS-BPEL and SCA.

It is no surprise that the activity surrounding BPMN is also increasing rapidly.

In January, the OMG released BPMN v1.1.

About a month ago, Tyler Anderson, published a detailed tutorial on how to "Execute Business Processes with Eclipse" (free after registration) which details how to use the Eclipse SOA Tools Platform (STP) to:

  • Install Eclipse STP, Eclipse ATL, the BABEL BPMN2BPEL tools, and Apache ODE
  • Model a business process in Eclipse STP
  • Transform the Eclipse STP's BPMN format to BABEL's BPMN format
  • Transform BABEL's BPMN format to BPEL
  • Create an Apache ODE deployment descriptor
  • Write Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) for your business process
  • Prepare the generated BPEL for deployment Deploy to Apache ODE

Last week, Michael zur Muehlen and Jan Recker published the results of a survey investigating the utilization rate of BPMN constructs. Michael argues:

BPMN is a complex language. [It] consists of 52 distinct graphical elements: 41 flow objects, 6 connecting objects, 2 grouping objects, and 3 artifacts [detailed in a 300 pages specification]. That’s a lot of vocabulary to learn, given that each graphical elements has meaning and rules associated with it. So what is the minimum subset of BPMN that a process modeler should know? The answer: Less than you think.

Bruce Silver, an independent industry analyst and consultant, disagrees somewhat with the approach of this survey.

Stepping back, what he calls the core set of BPMN has, to me, absolutely zero BPMN-ness to it.  It’s just flowcharting.  In fact, except for message start event, his core plus extended core set is still just swimlane diagrams that have been around for decades.

Bruce also published recently on SAP's Business Process Expert community (BPX) a comprehensive 6 part elearning series on BPMN (free after registration). The second part of the series provides a 20 minute introduction to BPMN.

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The BPMN Wish List Revisited by Jean-Jacques Dubray

Antoine Lonjon, from MEGA, just published a white paper on this topic.

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