jens.lauer's picture


With the shipment of ARIS SR 2010_05 also the integration with webMethods 8.0 (SP1 with Fix pack 2) was officially released.
There were already some questions in the community about the scope of the integration or the next steps. In this article I want to give you some insights and show how the integration approach works in detail.
The first integrated use case we support is “Process automation”. That means customers can use their business processes as direct input for the IT department so that the IT guys can implement these processes.

The business analyst can define business processes in form of EPC process models. He can browse the repository for appropriate business services supporting the process or organizational elements (roles, person types, organization units, etc) carrying out certain process steps. Further it is possible to define KPIs (which were set up in the strategy phase of the project) to measure functions in the process.

from ARIS EPC business process to webMethods XPDL execution
After the business analyst finished his work, the process can be transformed to a logical process (this process is more concrete, but does not deal with any technical stuff). This step is fully automated by a transformation from EPC to BPMN 2, which is based on the ARIS transformation framework. As the details about this transformation would go beyond the scope of this article, I would like to dicsuss this topic in another post. The transformation considers the complete control flow, services, KPIs and organizational elements, which were defined in the business process.
Afterwards the BPMN 2 process can be reworked by a role we call process engineer. His job is to add information about software services which are realizations of the business services used in the business process. Additionally he can define further steps which are not business relevant, but are a meaningful input for the later implementation.
The BPMN 2 process can now be exported to webMethods BPMS. Currently the data exchange between ARIS and webMethods BPMS is based on XPDL 2 due to the fact that the BPMN 2 serialization format is still under development.


So let’s have a look at a small example which is also available as a step by step example shipped with ARIS (see ARIS help „Work with objects and models/Create service-oriented models/Example – SOA implementation with ARIS SOA Architect and webMethods designer”).
The business analyst starts and designs a process for booking an invoice.
In order to book the invoice it is necessary that the debitor already exists. In case the debitor does not exist a new one should be created. In order to keep track of the number of newly created debitors the analyst defines a KPI and associates it with the process step. In case the invoice amount is greater than 100 000 € the financial accounting must approve the invoice. Last the invoice is booked. This step is supported by the business service “Invoice management”.

invoicing process as EPC process model
The business analyst transforms the process to BPMN so that the process engineer can perform the steps necessary to share the blueprint with the IT.
As you can see the transformation automatically creates lanes based on the services and organizations participating in the process. Further we can easily distinguish between service tasks and user tasks by just having a look at the symbols being used.
invoicing process as BPMN collaboration model
The KPIs are also attached to the steps in BPMN in an allocation diagram as BPMN 2 does not cover any constructs for defining KPI information.
The diagram can now be exported to an XPDL file which contains infomation about

  • The process flow also including visual information like diagram coordinates or colors
  • Web services used in the process
  • KPIs used in the process
  • Organizational elements used in the process

The developer can import the XPDL file into webMethods Designer. The import automically detects referenced services and imports them into thewebMethods Integration Platform. Also participants that are carrying out process steps are imported into the designer as well as the information about KPIs as shown in the screenshot below.

invoicing process automated in webMethods BPMS

I know that the future roadmap is also a hot topic for a lot of people visiting ARIS Community. As soon as we have defined it completely, we will give you an overview of what is coming with the next releases.

preview of ARIS and webMethods integration (ARIS BPM Blog)
Tags: webMethods EPC BPMN ARIS