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Computer users love to challenge each other by starting totally useless "flamewars". Just think about how emotion comes up if people discuss Windows vs. Linux, Extreme Programming vs. classical software development, iPhone vs. Android, PHP vs. Ruby or EPC vs. BPMN. Wait, EPC vs. BPMN? Yes, I noticed several times that people have very strong feelings about both process modeling notations and tend to favor one over the other. For example, both groups (EPC lovers and BPMN lovers) claim that their notation is more expressive than the other one. But how could that be? Is one group lying? Or is there just a big misunderstanding?

In this post, I like to give a detailed analysis about the advantages and disadvantages of both notations. I try to be as objective as possible. Still I know that people won't consider me as being objective, because I'm working for the company founded by one of the inventors of the EPC notation. In that sense, let the flamewar begin ;-)

Points of View

If we take a scientific view on process modeling, we will notice that a process notation deals with different dimensions:

  • control flow specifying the order of process steps
  • data processed in the course of the process
  • people involved in the process
  • resources involved in the process
  • input and output of the process
  • ...

If a BPMN lover says "BPMN is more expressive than EPC", we actually have to ask "concerning which dimensions"? But people usually don't do that and that's how flamewars start...

But today, we want to do it. The good thing is that we can simplify a little bit. We only need to distinguish two points of view:

  • control flow expressiveness 
  • linking to other dimensions

Let's go through both of them and see, which process notation is more expressive in each case.

Control flow expressiveness of BPMN and EPC

BPMN and EPC both use the notion of tokens flowing through a set of interconnected activities (i.e. tasks, functions or steps). In the most simple case, an activity receives a token, performs an action and outputs the token after completing the action. In BPMN, there are some special kinds of activities, which for example repeat the action several times for each token received. Tokens can be split to flow on different parts using gateways (i.e. rules or connectors). For example, a token could be split into two separate tokens or only one token is forwarded based on some decision taken.

This simple mechanism of tokens, interconnected activities, and gateways can be used to model complex flow structures like loops or conditions. Some years ago, some clever people around Prof. van der Aalst came up with the 20 so called "Workflow Patterns" categorizing the different flow structures. Later on, they detailed those patterns further, but this list was too complicated to get any real traction in industry. Therefore, I stick to the 20 workflow patterns.

To evaluate the control flow expressiveness of BPMN and EPC, we check which workflow patterns can be modeled with both notations. As I'm a lazy guy, I don't have to do this analysis by myself, because others have done it before. The analysis of BPMN's support of the 20 workflow patterns was done by Wohed et al. and for EPC by Mendling et al.

The following table shows for both notations, which workflow patterns they support. A plus sign (+) means the workflow pattern can be modeled, a minus sign (-) means the workflow pattern can't be modeled. In some cases, there is a +/- meaning that it is possible to model the workflow pattern even though the notation doesn't contain a direct element for it. So some kind of workaround is needed.


No. Pattern BPMN EPC
1 Sequence + +
2 Parallel Split + +
3 Synchronisation + +
4 Exclusive Choice + +
5 Simple Merge + +
6 Multiple Choice + +/-
7 Synchronising Merge +/- +/-
8 Multiple Merge + +
9 Discriminator +/- -
10 Arbitrary Cycles + +
11 Implicit Termination + +
12 Multi Instances without Synchronisation + -
13 Multi Instances with a priori Design Time Knowledge + -
14 Multi Instances with a priori Runtime Knowledge + -
15 Multi Instances without a priori Runtime Knowledge - -
16 Deferred Choice + -
17 Interleaved Parallel Routing +/- -
18 Milestone - -
19 Cancel Activity + -
20 Cancel Case + -

The table shows clearly that BPMN supports far more workflow patterns than EPC. So yes, BPMN is more expressive than EPC concerning control flow structures. This doesn't come as a surprise, because BPMN was strongly influenced by workflow languages. With the upcoming BPMN 2 version, BPMN diagrams are even directly executable by a process engine. In contrast, EPC was originally not designed to describe processes to be executed on a process engine. Instead, it is meant as a language to capture and visualize business processes.

So it is 1:0 for BPMN. Now, let's take a look how both notations compare with respect to linking other dimensions in the process model.

Linking other dimensions in BPMN and EPC

The control flow of a process just describes how tokens are passed between activities. But a real business process is more than just a set of interconnected activities. For example, a vacation approval process involves people (someone asking for vacation, a boss, and maybe a delegate), documents (vacation request, approval sheet, vacation record), IT systems (intranet portal, project management software), etc.

A process notation must be able to express this kind of information, too. Someone working with a process description has to know in which activities he is involved or which forms to use. Enterprise architecture frameworks such as Zachman, ArchiMate, but also ARIS group such information into different dimensions. The enterprise architecture frameworks don't agree on the number of dimensions, but at least all recognize the fact that it is useful to group similar information. ARIS as enterprise architecture framework suggests 5 dimensions:

  • organization
  • data
  • function
  • process
  • product

For example, the control flow of a process belongs to the process dimension. Forms to be used belong to the data dimension and people involved belong to the organization dimension.

To evaluate how BPMN and EPC allow linking to other dimensions, I used the 5 dimensions above and mapped the elements provided by both notations to them. I have done this analysis for BPMN 1 and for the EPC notation used in ARIS. Please note, the EPC notation available in ARIS contains way more elements and modeling constructs than originally described by the EPC inventors. This is another good point to kick off a flamewar, because you might say it is not fair to compare BPMN to an extended version of EPC. But here I would argue that this is ok, because almost all vendors offering EPC modeling also added their own extensions compared to the original description more than 15 years ago.

Comparison of EPC and BPMN notation concerning linking to other dimensions

The picture above, which is also attached to this post as ARIS Express model, clearly shows that EPC is far more expressive than BPMN concerning linking other elements. Of course you could argue that a pool/lane can also be used to represent an IT system or some other kind of resource. Still, the overall picture doesn't change. There are many elements in EPC notation, which are not available in BPMN at all. For example, in BPMN you don't have elements to express process outcome or to model risks. Also, BPMN doesn't allow you to model KPIs.

Again, this result is not really surprising. EPC is most often used to model high level business processes. Here, it is important to specify things like KPIs or risks involved. On the other hand, such constructs are not important if you want to model an executable process, which was the origin of BPMN.

And the winner is

The analysis shows, there is no clear winner, because it always depends what you are looking for. But does my analysis imply that BPMN can't be used for business process modeling? No, you can use BPMN for business process modeling. But you will need to complement it with additional elements. In ARIS, this can be easily done by assigning a function allocation diagram to a BPMN activity. In this diagram, you can add all those elements, which are not available in the official BPMN notation.

Another implication of my analysis might be that EPC can't be used to describe executable processes. We have shown in the past that this is possible by introducing new attributes, but by also putting in place clear modeling conventions. It might be true that EPC can't be used to express all 20 workflow patterns, but one might also ask if it is necessary to use all of them.

In some weeks, I will post how I would make use of EPC and BPMN in an enterprise modeling effort. Till then, what is your view on EPC and BPMN? Which notation do you prefer? Why do you think EPC/BPMN is useless? It is time to start a fine flamewar!

Note: See this post for a list of other articles about BPMN 2, e.g. modelling the 20 workflow patterns in BPMN 2. You might be also interested to join the BPMN discussion group at ARIS Community.

ARIS model
by yoshinori ichikawa
Posted on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 06:32

I also think so. And Bruce Silver says;

... In fact, BPMN barely touches on what the activity is or

who performs it. ...

in BPMN Method and Style.

I sometimes need BPMN which is embedded in ARIS House.

I tried it last year.

(Sorry. It's Japanese only)

by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 09:15

Hi Yoshinori,

the sad thing is that many business users were hoping BPMN 2 will bring this kind of linking to other elements of an enterprise architecture. Unfortunately, the development of BPMN 2 mostly focused on making BPMN executable. This is an important topic, but probably not what business users were hoping for.

by Evellin Cardoso
Posted on Sat, 04/17/2010 - 00:19

Hi Sebastian,

I agree with your remarks. I think the design of both language has been strongly influenced by the issues you have point out (ARIS is more suitable for business communication, while BPMN is strongly oriented to implementation issues). Although they have been developed for different purposes, i think it is a valid effort to compare them so that one can know (in advance) which language to use in each situation.

Particularly, in my experience with ARIS and BPMN (with respect to the behavioral perspective), i've noticed that learning ARIS was much easier than BPMN. I believe that this difficulty can be explained by the high amount of concepts of BPMN which makes it harder to learn (BPMN is too expressive!). In the counterpart, although ARIS has been easier to learn, in some situations, i had the need to model complex behaviour and the language had limited me :(

(to solve this problem, i had to extend the language in the ARIS filter with the introduction of some concepts borrowed from BPMN, such as multi-instance activity).

With respect to the linkage with the other viewpoints, EPCs are really more expressive than BPMN (in particular, the way how the ARIS toolset organizes the other information about enterprises around the EPCs, such as, the assignment relation of the activities with its respective FADs, significantly improves the navigation among the models).

I also agree with your conclusion that, in modeling activities, one must have in mind why he/she is producing some model. In particular for process modeling languages, i believe that there is a trade-off between the expressiveness (in terms of the level of granularity of information that one can capture, or in rigor of capturing complex behavior) and the ease of use/learn. In fact, the most important (in my opinion) is to make the criteria for comparing both languages explicit. For instance, some works in research investigate the quality of process languages in terms of rich real-world semantics (what includes the assessment of these languages in terms of a reference ontology, as in this paper - SANTOS JR., P. S. ; ALMEIDA, J. P. A. ; GUIZZARDI, G. An Ontology-Based Semantic Foundation for ARIS EPCs. In: 25th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (Enterprise Engineering Track), 2010, Sierre, Suíça. 25th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (Enterprise Engineering Track), 2010). An analysis in terms of these expressiveness criteria would certainly produce different results about the better language for process modeling than your analysis. Then, besides concluding that ARIS is better than BPMN (or vice-versa), before, the criteria for judgment must be explicit!

Well, i write too much :) I hope that my opinion had contributed to enrich the discussion :)

Ps: If it could be possible, I would like you to post some remarks about the relation between ontologies and EPCs.


by David Hinojosa
Posted on Sun, 04/18/2010 - 17:58

Hi Sebastian, thanks for this highly useful explanation.

You mentioned that your BPMN vs EPC diagram is based in BPMN 1, and also that BPMN 2 mostly focuses on making BPMN executable, and not in a better linking to other elements of an enterprise architecture. Anyway, how would your BPMN vs EPC diagram change if updated to reflect BPMN 2?


by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Mon, 04/19/2010 - 11:12

@Evellin: The term "ontology" is a beast, because everyone has a different understanding of it. I have done research in the past to transfer the content of EPCs in the sEPC ontology. So in that sense the "ontology" is just a tool to make the content of an EPC accessible to machine reasoning. There is also an ontology for BPMN. So EPC/BPMN models contain a lot of semantics, but those semantics are not explicit. Here, ontologies are a great tool.

by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Mon, 04/19/2010 - 11:14

Hi David,

so far I had no time to do a detailed analysis about how the picture would change for BPMN 2. Therefore, I wrote that the analysis was only done for BPMN 1. As far as I have seen I don't think the picture will change. BPMN 2 has not introduced any new elements, which you could use to express additional links to other EA dimensions.

by Marcus Jennings
Posted on Mon, 04/19/2010 - 17:10

Interesting discussion, but as Evellin seems to suggest the criteria under which a particular notation is 'best' depends entirely on the objectives of a modeling program or project. So for some the conflict of choice between EPC and BPMN does not exist as their relevance to modeling objectives has been defined. For example we have modeled workflows using BPMN as detailed children to high level EPC business processes that conform to our general EA guidelines.

I have recently moved from a complex IDEF0/BPMN modeling environment to a simplistic EPC only methodology and I’m in the process of promoting BPMN as a valuable asset to our architectural strategy.


by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Mon, 04/19/2010 - 17:15

Hi Marcus,

that is exactly my point, too. There is no best language at all but instead it depends on what you are going to do. I would say if you are targeting process automation, go with BPMN. But if you are just interested in conceptual business process modeling, consider EPC.

by Geoff Hook
Posted on Tue, 04/20/2010 - 18:04


I like this analysis, clearly people should understand what BPMN is best used for and when other modelling notations (e.g.EPC) are stronger. The point about BPMN and linking (or not) to the other dimensions was very apparent to us from a simulation standpoint....there was no information on who performed the task, or even reference to the piece of work that flows through and its characteristics. Modelling notations also often omit the 'time dimension'...which of course is crucial for our simulation analysis.

Knowing what you are building the model for is so obvious in hindsight, but often gets missed in my experience.



by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Wed, 04/21/2010 - 09:18

Hi Olaf,

could you please share the key points of the report, because not everyone would be willing to sign up to get access?

by Jose Luis Vazquez
Posted on Thu, 04/22/2010 - 18:46

I agree with Marcus in the form that he use every kind of model. EPC for high process views and BPMN for detail.

Sometimes we need custom  BPMN docs, we need explain it from business viewpoint, and many documentation about it it's mixed with a lot of IT/SOA vocabulary,



by Igor Fiodorov
Posted on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 12:06


Dear Sebastian, 1.       You compare ARIS (not EPC) with BPMN. To be precise please compare ARIS with BPM or EPC with BPMN. 2.       Despite the fact that both EPC and BPMN belongs to the same diagramming type (see «12 Different Ways to Model Business Processes» at they serve different needs. I would say that EPC is a high level diagram that gives a general impression of process and does not provide details while BPMN is an execution level that has to have all important details about a process. 3.       Please note BPMN is not good to provide a conceptual process model. B.Silver  recommends to have a «top level diagram» (see. «BPMS Watch: Organizing Complex BPMN Models»). BPM systems I saw have no tools for such diagramming. 4.       I would suggest to position EPC and BPMN in ARIS like EPC is a top level model. 5.      I hope, when SAG will add possibility to execute ARIS BPMN in WebMethods this option will be much appreciated by community. Regards,


by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 14:48

Hi Igor,

I guess your first point is based on the old papers about EPC. It is true that those old papers don't have many extra symbols defined. But today nobody is using this old kind of EPC anymore. Not just ARIS, but also other tools have extended the EPC notation heavily. I don't see a point why I should compare this old definition of EPC to BPMN if nobody is using it.

About the other points, I think we share the same view. EPC and BPMN shall be used for different modeling tasks and you will need a clear guideline when to use which notation. Still, it is important to also do a direct comparison, because there are many vendors trying to fool their users by saying they now got BPMN, which is much better than EPC.

by Michael Ferrari
Posted on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 15:01

I totally agree.

I've communicated on this since several years and I found BPMN supporters often very defensive on this subject thinking that we can do anything with BPMN.

by Marcus Jennings
Posted on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 15:34

With BPMN you can model almost anything, but the same can be said for EPC. It's not that one method is better than the other or that one suits a higher level of process modeling than the other. It's that an architectural group or team needs to define a modeling hierarchy that best fits their and their customer's objectives and preferences.

For example we've found our engineers prefer to see their work modeled in BPMN because they can track tasks against application (lane) and domain (pool).

Our project managers prefer EPC as it's easier (for them) to identify task/function against responsibile individuals and kpi's.

This has led to a hierarchy of EPC/BPMN based on customer preferences.

I'm looking forward to an increase in translation capabilities between EPC and BPMN in ARIS (hint, hint).

by Igor Fiodorov
Posted on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 15:36

Hi Michael,

You touch very important issue. I have experience of several running BPM projects and I am a BPMN fun, but I can say that BPMN can not solve all my problems. 1)      It is useless for conceptual modeling. We tried IDEF0, EPC, VAD, Blueprint. None are good and not integrated with BPM. 2)      About of 30-40% of process logic can not be modeled with BPMN. Want examples: (a) Nominate a participant to perform a specific task in a role, (b) Collect results from parallel execution other then OR|AND, but in form of voting - simple majority or absolute majority, (c) Presentation logic, etc. Instead of modeling we do coding here. 3)      BPMN can only cover part of our projects, keeping big portion but not all of process logic. So, if one will ask me about BPM I dream about I will imagine a tool with three diagrams: (a) conceptual modeling, (b) business logic aka BPMN, (c) execution details of the activity.   Not BPMN supporters but BPM vendors are very defensive. Let us say them our wishes in loud.   Regards, Igor
by Michael Ferrari
Posted on Thu, 04/29/2010 - 16:14

In reply to by Oleg Beilezon

Hi Igor,

I share the same view as you. I'm also a BPMN fun but in my day to day work, EPC is solving more problems for what I am doing. I'm still very supportive of any initiative impliying BPMN when it's at the right level.

You might be right about BPM vendors :)

They (mainly workflow editors) are just sending the wrong message and like an executive recently said to me "I hope BPMN is not the new UML" refering to methods promoting business analysis/modeling in UML that were failures.


by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 15:54

> Not BPMN supporters but BPM vendors are very defensive.

Well, at least at IDS we are not trying to push any notation. Instead, we try to focus on what is really needed in a modeling situation. If this means using BPMN, fine for us. The same goes for EPC and other process notations such as UML activity diagrams or flow charts. Notations are just tools and no religions.

by Go PD
Posted on Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:28

When a methodology is assessed base on what it was originally created to solve, then only an accurate view and use of it make sense. Why use BPMN to model a concept? The motive is invalid in the first place, of course in this sense the underlying methodology will serve no purpose.

BPM/BPMN vs ARIS/EPC, we find that both serves well when come to express business LOGIC. We believe at the end of the day, it is the correct LOGIC that is matter and not really what physical notation is it.

Frankly, in many cases, a basic flowchart + quick note can do a lot more and that was how COBOL system developed 40 years ago still out run many fancy system today. Rather, vendor should spend efforts in ACCURATELY automate and integrate the output (regardless of BPMN/EPC) to produce desired OUTCOME - keep the process neat, clear and sharp. Hell at the end of the day, it is the software component that make the actual link, not circle on a paper!

by Carlos Oliveira
Posted on Tue, 05/25/2010 - 22:15

Hi Igor,

Thank you very much for the post. I hope that in the near future you can further detail on how BPMN should be used in conjunction with EPC.

That will be really useful.

I would like to post you a question that would help shed light on a subject that is critical on Business Process Modeling.

I hope you could help answer this question if you believe it is also helpful to other members of the community.

How would you compare/relate EPC and BPMN with the methodology proposed by the MIT Process HandBook, that introduced concepts of generalization/specialization of business processes (analog to concept of inheritance of object-oriented programming) and managing dependencies from coordination theory.

In the MIT Process Handbook there are some dependencies established for resources and activities and proposed coordination mechanisms.

The three major types of dependencies : Flow, Sharing and Fit.

According with the paper: "Tools for inventing organizations: Toward a handbook of organizational processes", Published in Management Science 45(3) pp 425-443, March, 1999, published by Center for Coordination Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 

 - Flow dependencies "arise whenever one activity produces a resource that is used by another activity.";

- Sharing dependencies "occur whenever multiple activities all use the same resource. For example, this kind of dependency arises when two activities need to be done by the same person, when they need to use the same machine on a factory floor";

- fit dependencies "arise when multiple activities collectively produce a single resource. For example, when several different engineers are designing different parts of a car (such as the engine, the transmission, and the body) there is a dependency between their activities that results from the fact that the pieces they are each designing need to fit together in the completed car."

The dependencies of Flow can also be subcategorized as :

  • Prerequisite ("right time") 
  • Accessibility ("right place") 
  • Usability ("right thing")

Sets of coordination mechanisms could be used to effective managing those dependencies.

Please advise,

Thank you very much,

Carlos Oliveira

by Khamisa Miskani
Posted on Wed, 05/26/2010 - 03:35

Very usefull discussion. I just know that EPC and BPMN is different. In my organization, we map our target operating model (TOM) using EPC.

But lately, they slowly change to BPMN

by Igor Fiodorov
Posted on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 06:05

Deceptive simplicity,

It is often happen that a flow diagram that looks clear is only a use case, showing only one possible way of process execution scenario.  For sure a flowchart that is covering all possible cases will look unclear.

BPMN (if it is an executable model and not a poor drawing) will most probably cover all possible ways of process execution. I say most probably, as model is thorough not because we use BPMN and not EPC notation but as a result of development methodology. BPM design includes a stage called verification where we can find others not yet found scenarios. Of cause with EPC one can also make a thorough model, but have never seen such a quality.

I have my consideration of EPC process simplicity. Let us discuss a term FUNCTION. We all talk that process approach is better than a functional one. Why do we use this term and not WORK, ACTIVITY, TASK, etc.  I have a strong feeling that this term is more than just wrong wording. Let me explain.

We often use a process modeling to develop a “functional” IT system. Functional mean that a man play an active role at the execution phase and system allows him perform his functions. To develop such IT one need a list of all tasks of a participant. From my point of view term FUNCTION means a collection of works within a process, organizational unit, company that are performed by a user. For example, one participant must do several works within one process. So we call this set of works his function. Same for OU and company. As a result we make a system that can perform all works that a participant is allowed to do, but a man decide the order of operations and time to do a work. Let me call such IT “Allowing System”. Easy to see that in “Allowing System”, where a man decide, it is not necessary to model all possible execution paths but only functions to perform.

With a help of BPM we build a system that play an active role, that guide a participant through a process, forcing him perform an action in time.  Let me call such IT “Guiding System”. In “Guiding Systems” we have to have all works to be performed as well as all routes of process execution. That makes BPMN more comlex.

I am far from saying that BPMN is better than EPC. Both are more or less equal. What I want to declare: Let us be careful when talking about a simplicity, it is deceptive.



by Katrina Simon
Posted on Tue, 06/08/2010 - 10:52

Dear all,

speaking of literature on EPC-to-BPMN, in my dissertation (soon to be published by Logos  )   I found that "there are several papers implicitly referring to a EPC-to-BPMN transformation (Recker & Mendling 2006; Ouyang et al. 2008; Tscheschner 2008; Ouyang et al. 2009). However, they do not provide any detailed mapping rule as if considering this a trivial task. Some approaches shift transformation to XML-based presentations to avoid the informality of graphical models. They presuppose a meta model mapping (Theling et al. 2005), which cannot be conducted since OMG has not yet provided an official BPMN meta model (originally expected for BPMN2.0) (Allweyer 2008, p. 9)."

Best regards,


by Yvonne Pietrowsky
Posted on Wed, 07/07/2010 - 19:51

Hello community,

I am a distant student of the university of applied science in Merseburg. I would like to raise a survey within the scope of my study module process organization. The results should flow in my seminar work which deals with the subject of the concept ARIS.

In particular I would like to compare both models of the EPC and BPMN and light them up more exactly. 

For this reason I would appreciate if you take part in my survey.

Thanks a lot for your time.

best regards

Yvonne Pietrowsky

by Yvonne Pietrowsky
Posted on Sun, 08/08/2010 - 17:27

I would like to thank all members who have already taken part in my survey. To those they have not taken part yet, the survey is not concluded yet and the link is still active.


Of course I will publish the results in this community

Yours sincerely

Yvonne Pietrowsky

by Emma B
Posted on Fri, 09/03/2010 - 16:38

This article is very interesting and useful. I come from the BPMN community and I  would like to know if there is posible to model exeptions or programming language elements with eEPC. Right now I am writing a comparison of five BPMLs and I need to consider this criteria as well.

Thanks in advance!

by Alexis Ocampo
Posted on Fri, 10/01/2010 - 06:29

Hello Dr. Stein and everybody,

a very interesting discussion for sure. I am wondering, whether you know something of an existing set of  BPMN constructs for those concepts belonging to the extended EPC notation such as risks,. Do you have any references on this? I appreciate your help on this matter. Regards,


Alexis Ocampo


by Sebastian Stein Author
Posted on Fri, 10/01/2010 - 08:24

Hello Dr. Ocampo,

it is not possible to extend the BPMN 2 notation itself in ARIS (like adding risk objects to the diagram). However, you can assign to each BPMN activity a function allocation diagram, where you can model those extra artefacts. This has the advantage that your main BPMN diagrams are standard conform and easy to read, while you don't have to give up on the expressiveness needed for enterprise modelling.

by Yvonne Pietrowsky
Posted on Sun, 10/24/2010 - 19:56

A big thank-you to all who have taken part in my survey.

Of course I would like to share the results with you.

As supposed, there is no absolute number one. EPK and BPMN are still on the same level.

For sure that will relight discussions again.. 

 In what kind of environment are you working with process modeling?













How old are you?

under 20


between 20 and 30


between 30 and 40


between 40 and 50


over 50


How long are you working with process modeling?

less than 1 year


1 to 2 years


2-5 years


longer than 5 years


 How complex were your models?

 What tool are you using for process modeling?


 Is the tool you are using easy to handle regarding the given points?

1 means very easy, 5 means very complicated






1 notation







2 complexity







3 modeling rules







4 clarity








Can you handle all given problems with the tool you are using?










When will BPMN be the major tool for process modeling?

less than 1 year


1 to 2 years


more than 2 years





by George Radchenko
Posted on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 14:33

Hi pals!

In my understanding BPMN shows current (any) situation and ECP shows business rule. The bad news is that most non-proffesionals looking at BPMN and cant understand anything. But with EPC i could explain only 2 things about rule and activity.. thats it!

So i found out that EPC is better 4 understanding of simple rules and BPMN could draw a diffilult situation "as is" but prefer prepared listeners.


Best regards

by Kenia Sousa
Posted on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 16:26


That's a really useful comparison that you've done. I'm curious to know if it is possible to integrate elements from BPMN and EPC models in the same project using Aris Business Architect?

For instance, to link BPMN elements with the EPC product dimension?

Thank you in advance!

Best regards,

Kenia Sousa

by Roland Woldt
Posted on Sat, 12/11/2010 - 04:08

The usage of object types in model types is defined in the ARIS method which is not freely configurable by a user/admin (you can only "hide" objects by using a filter, or add derived object types/symbols to a filter). The only way to do what you suggest is to assign a FAD (Function Allocation Diagram) to each BPMN task object that includes the wanted object types, as Sebastian suggested above.

In any case it might be a good idea to check the Method Manual (in the "Documentation" folder) and/or to visit the Method Help in the Help menu. There you can see what is allowed in the various model types.

by Sebouh Havatian
Posted on Sat, 12/11/2010 - 07:20

Hi all,

Thanks for this valuable information. I am new to ARIS and I have to design a job description. What is the best model type for this purpose.


by Anna Aaltonen
Posted on Fri, 08/19/2011 - 17:41

Very good and useful article and good discussion! Too bad, I already spent some time to solve this out myself. I definitely need to start spending more time here. The picture (the ARIS house) is just super!

Best regards, Anna

by Bahram Najedy
Posted on Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:57

Very Good discussion Sebastian Stein  but i'm not agreed on ur slide because we can use end events in BPMN diagrams instead of product/services in EPC modeling standards it italks about same objects. we can use stereotypes in BPMN modeler sof twars to classify output types

i have worked with 2 main softwrae ARIS7.1(EPC ) STANDARDS & Visual paradigm (BPMN2) STANDARDS

I think EPC standards has more complete objetcs but it's software is too much and many companies can't buy it .


by Yves Laloe
Posted on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 15:18

Hello Sebastian,

It's quite interesting this confusion about trying to compare two models which are actually not possible to be compared;

it's like trying to compare a car and a truck! Which is better ? But for what ! And that is, in my opinion, the real question to answer; while EPC was meant to describe business, BPMN was meant to automate processes; you may need to describe a Business process without needing to automate it and  trying to do this with BPMN is quite impossible and difficult to be read by a Business User; actually, you can describe a Business process with 5 or 6 Graphic Symbols butt may need many more to describe its Automation, which does'nt mean that BPMN is more powerful!

So, we obviously need both , each one with its own purpose.


by Hadi B
Posted on Sun, 11/13/2016 - 01:52


Is there anyway i can use pools/lanes in flowcharts???


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