I want to model a process which runs across multiple IT systems.  As I understand, these should be represented by swimlanes in BPMN.  In this case, the systems are located in different organisations, so I will be using pools.

However each pool can do various activities. I haven't started modelling yet, but I can see that there will be various message flows between the IT systems.  Is it possible to have various sequence flows within different pools (note: the sequence flows don't leave their pool) in the same BPMN model?

Or should I be considering a different bunch of models to consider this scenario? I'm using ARIS Express 2.4


Thanks in advance,


by Denis Poroshin
Posted on Fri, 02/01/2013 - 19:55


"In this case, the systems are located in different organisations" - swimlane meaning depends on your own definition. Why you think swimlane should be an organization?   I think it's ok to use pools for different IT-systems, that can have message flows between each of them and their own sequence flows within pools they are encapsulated.   Hope I answer your question, but I really confused what is the problem you are trying to solve?   BR, Denis  
by Anthony Horner Author
Posted on Sun, 02/03/2013 - 23:22

Thanks for replying,


Why you think swimlane should be an organization? 

I assumed that the way to separate organisations in a BPMN process was to use pools, there's no specific reason with going down this route other than that it is what I assumed is standard practice.

Having thought about it I guess there is nothing to stop you having various sequence flows in a BPMN, whether that makes for an easily understandable model is another question...

I'm trying to model the flow of data between various systems for a client in the transport industry which uses real-time data.  The company has various services contracted out and the data dependencies between them are causing a real headache in understanding what they can and cannot do regards to implementing their strategy.  

Is this a purely business process with people involved making decisions in the activities?  Probably not, maybe there is another model type best used for capturing this type of data flow?  (Correct me if I'm wrong but DFDs don't show organisations or IT systems? Genuine Q. I haven't looked.)




by Denis Poroshin
Posted on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 16:31


DFD as I remember comprises an object like "source/sink" that can be used as external entity no matter what kind of.

But from my point of view it isn't enough in your case. BPMN fits better to your requirements to implement some kind of strategy due  a wide range of objects like rules and intermediate events , etc. that can be used to link process and strategy. DFD is too low-level for strategy things, IMHO. In addition to it, you can use EPC to describe hi-level processes and communication.



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