Mapping BPMN Graphical Objects to WF Activities

(Draft, to-be-updated post)


BPMN Windows Workflow Foundation
Sub-Process Maps to any CompositeActivity.
Loop Sub-Process Maps to a WhileActivity.
Multiple Instance Sub-Process Maps to a ReplicatorActivity.
Ad-Hoc Sub-Process
Compensation Sub-Process Maps to a CompensateHandlerActivity.
Task Maps to any atomic Activity that has only implementation semantics (e.g. CodeActivity or InvokeWebServiceActivity)


BPMN Windows Workflow Foundation
Start Event [None]
Start Event [Message]
Start Event [Timer]
Start Event [Rule]
Start Event [Link]
Start Event [Multiple]
End Event [None]
End Event [Message]
End Event [Error] Maps to a ThrowActivity.
End Event [Cancel] This type of End is used within a Transaction Sub-Process (aka inside a TransactionScopeActivity). Maps to a ThrowActivity.
End Event [Compensation] Maps to a CompensateActivity. The attribute Activity:object maps to property TargetActivityName:string.
End Event [Link]
End Event [Terminate] Maps to a TerminateActivity. BPMN does not has an equivalent of the property Error:string.
End Event [Multiple]
Intermediate Event [None]
Intermediate Event [Message]
Intermediate Event [Timer] When used within the main flow, acts as a delay mechanism: Maps to DelayActivity.When used for exception handling it will change the Normal Flow into an Exception Flow.Either the attribute TimeDate:Date or the attribute TimeCycle:string are mapped to the property TimeoutDuration:TimeSpan
Intermediate Event [Error] When used within the main flow, maps to ThrowActivity.The attribute ErrorCode:string maps to properties FaultType:Type and Fault:Exception.When attached to the boundary of an activity maps to FaultHandlerActivity.
Intermediate Event [Cancel] This type of Event MUST be attached to the boundary of a Sub-Process. Maps to CancellationHandlerActivity.
Intermediate Event [Compensation] When used within the main flow maps to CompensateActivity. The attribute Activity:object maps to property TargetActivityName:string.When attached to the boundary of an activity maps to CompensateHandlerActivity. The attribute Activity:object is ignored.
Intermediate Event [Rule] Maps to a PolicyActivity. The attribute RuleName:Rule maps to property RuleSetReference:RuleSet.
Intermediate Event [Link]
Intermediate Event [Multiple]


BPMN Windows Workflow Foundation
Exclusive (XOR) Gateway [Data-Based] Maps to a IfElseActivity.
Exclusive (XOR) Gateway [Event-Based]
Inclusive (OR) Gateway
Parallel (AND) Gateway Maps to a ParallelActivity.
Complex Gateway
Posted in BPMN, Workflow Foundation | 2 Comments

XAML vs. Standards

John Evdemon (Microsoft Architect) notes in a recent forums post:

Regarding WF, the underlying XML representation is XAML.  Why did we choose XAML instead of BPEL or some other standard?  Simple – XAML enables us to avoid the constraints imposed by a focusing on a single standard (e.g. BPEL lacks human workflow and sub-processes).  WF is capable of supporting multiple standards

  • A BPEL 1.1 import/export tool is currently being tested and will be released later this year.
  • We are in talks with partners to add BPMN modeling for WF
  • I am aware of a couple of projects looking at XPDL and BPSS for WF
  • The custom loader (I believe it becomes available in Beta 2.1) enables us to directly transform a BP standard to an executable representation, possibly enabling support for executable BPEL.
Posted in Workflow & BPM, Workflow Foundation | Leave a comment

BPM Think Tank: BPMN Technology Roundtable

Sandy Kemsley blogs her notes for the BPMN Technology Roundtable of the BPM Think Tank 2006. Two important quotes:

OMG is not recommending XPDL for serialization of BPMN, but recommends the use of BPDM.

[There are] some ideas about defining aspects of a process, such as security, escalation and exception handling, in order to simplify the primary representation. The aspects would be invoked whenever an activity is executed, but represented on separate diagrams. In that way, an aspect would effectively be a template for activities that could be overlaid on any of the activities in the main diagram and extend the meaning of the main diagram. Each activity in the main diagram would need a mechanism for passing some number of parameters to the instance of each aspect that may execute for that activity, for example, some measure of the time-criticality of an activity in order to trigger an escalation at the approriate time.

Posted in BPMN, Workflow & BPM | Leave a comment

On the differences of BPEL and XPDL


Swenson [Fujitsu] came back to the issue of XPDL versus BPEL, which he doesn't see as competing. XPDL is about process design, about serializing and saving what you drew in BPMN, and not so much about execution. He sees XPDL as a way of moving a process from one design/simulation/analysis tool to another (about 30 tools support it today), whereas BPEL is about the nuts and bolts of sending messages from one location/service/system to another. As Evdemon [Microsoft] said, XPDL is like XMI for business processes. Swenson states that XPDL will continue to track and adjust to any changes to BPMN.

Posted in Workflow & BPM, XPDL | Leave a comment

Is Workflow “Back”? (Did It Ever Go Away?)

Bruce Silver's opinion for the usage of the term "workflow":

So… is workflow “back”? In one way I think it is, with the growing recognition among the orchestration-style vendors that the action today in the BPM market is focused around human work, not application integration. I think that’s what motivated BEA-Fuego, why IBM and SAP are now behind BPEL4People (when they could have done human tasks in BPEL from the start), and why Oracle is putting so much into its human workflow capabilities. So, yeah, workflow is back. But just don’t call it that.

Posted in Workflow & BPM | Leave a comment