The SmartPanel contains some common BPMN symbols. You can add them to your diagram 3 different ways:
- Drag and drop: Click to select a symbol and without letting go of your mouse drag it to your drawing area.
- Stamp: Click to select a symbol and click again anywhere in your drawing area to add it.
- Draw a line and choose a symbol: Once you already have a shape on the page, you can click any of the yellow dots at the perimeter of the shape, start drawing a line and add a shape from the menu that pops up. This menu is pre-populated with the most common symbols for the selected diagram type (in this case: a BPMN diagram). The options will change over time to symbols you use, so you'll always have what you need at your fingertips.
The controls in the Elements section of the BPMN SmartPanel are contextual. You'll see a different set of controls depending on the type of object selected in the drawing area. There are controls associated with activity symbols, event symbols, gateways, data objects, choreography, and pools.
Activities are denoted with a routed corner rectangle. Add an activity symbol like a task to your drawing area and you'll see controls related to your activity appear in the SmartPanel.
Change Activity Type
There are different types of activities possible: task, subroutine, transaction, and call.
Once you add an activity symbol like a task to your diagram, you can select it and change its type from the SmartPanel using the drop-down under Elements->Activity Type.
Change Task Type
You can use small notations inside a task symbol to denote the type of task being performed such as a service, script, business rule, and so on. These are used when modeling engineering projects. With a task selected, change the Task Type in the SmartPanel. The notation will appear in the upper left corner of the task.
Add a Task Marker
You can add any number of markers to a selected task to note its behavior in the process. A task can be a loop, a subprocess, parallel multiple instances, sequential multiple instances, adhoc, and compensation. These markers work like toggles. Select as many as you want and the task marker or markers will appear at the bottom center of a shape.
Select the marker again to remove it from the task.
An event represents something that happens during a business process. Events are denoted using a circle in a BPMN diagram. Add or select an event shape and the Elements section will switch to a set of controls meant to modify event types and triggers.
Change Event Type
With an event shape selected, you can change the type of event represented. There are three main types of events: start, intermediate and end. You can also represent the difference between interrupting and non-interrupting events and catching vs throwing events.
Most events will be interrupting events represented with a solid line, but you can easily show a non-interrupting event using a dashed border. An interrupting event stops the current flow and changes the process path. A non-interrupting event will not stop the main flow but create a sub-process that runs in parallel.
Catching events are defined with a specific trigger like a message. Throwing events are the triggers for other events.
Add Event Triggers
Catching events can have trigger markers. Select the event symbol and choose a trigger type from the SmartPanel's Elements -> Event Trigger drop-down.
The marker will appear in the center of the event symbol.
Gateways control the flow of paths in a business process. They can have multiple inputs and outputs. A gateway is represented with a diamond shape and icons inside the shape denote the type of gateway. Once you add a gateway symbol to your diagram, select it and you can choose the type in the Elements section of the SmartPanel.
Data Object Controls
Data objects are artifacts that while not part of regular sequence flows can show data flowing through a process. A data object looks like a piece of paper with a corner folded in the top right.
Once you add a data object to your diagram, you can use the Elements section to define the type of data: collection, input. or output. The type of data object will be shown by a symbol at the bottom center of the shape.
Choreography symbols can show interactions between multiple participants for a task in the flow of process. Once you add a choreography symbol to your BPMN diagram you can choose its type, add a marker, and add and remove participants from the task.
With a choreography symbol selected, you can choose the type: task or call.
Select a choreography symbol and choose a marker or multiple markers to represent the behavior of the selected task in the process: loop, subprocess, parallel multiple instances, or sequential multiple instances. These markers work like toggles. Select as many as you want and the marker or markers will appear at the bottom center of a shape. Select the marker again to remove it from the choreography task.
Adding and Removing Choreography Task Participants
Using the Add and Remove Participant controls lets you add multiple participants as rows to the symbol.
A pool contains multiple lanes (swimlanes) that represent participants in a single process. It allows you to illustrate the interactions and flow between multiple divisions, functions, and roles. A pool can be either vertical or horizontal. Add a pool to your diagram and you can use the SmartPanel Elements controls to add or remove lanes as needed.
Changing the Line Style
Lines represent sequence flows in BPMN. With a line selected, you can easily change the arrowhead and line style by selecting one of the options under Connector Line Style in the Lines subsection. For example, a regular solid line with an arrow will represent a normal flow, while a dashed line will mean association.
If you need to reverse which side of the line the arrow appears on, click the Reverse Direction command.