Workflow Modeler Basics

On the landing page of workflow modeler,

  • A new BPMN diagram can be created
  • an existing BPMN file can be dropped to open
  • an existing uploaded BPMN flow can be opened from the menu

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In either case, the modeler shows the workflow editing screen as explained in next section.

Flow Editor

The BPMN diagram flow editing screen 3 main horizontal sections.

  • A Component Palette showing BPMN nodes and associated drawing tools on the left.
  • A collapsible Property Panel on the right, showing the properties of the selected BPMN node.
  • A Drawing Canvas in the middle, to draw the workflow diagrams. This is the place where you would drop, connect and configure the BPMN nodes (flow objects).

If no flow object is selected in the drawing canvas, the property panel shows the properties of the complete workflow.

If a flow object is selected in the canvas area the property panel will change, showing the properties of that selected flow object.

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Adding a BPMN element

A BPMN element (or flow object) can be added to the workflow by dragging and dropping the flow object from the palette into the workspace.

Every BPMN element should be given a name and the property associated with the BPMN element should be filled in the panel to the right of the workspace.

All flowobjects should have a unique name across the workflow.

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Adding next BPMN element

The next BPMN element can be added to the workflow by clicking on the appropriate item in context menu that appear next to the selected BPMN element or by dragging and dropping the node from palette and connecting to existing node.

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Selecting the BPMN element type

A BPMN element can be of many types. Once a BPMN element has been added, the type of the BPMN element can be set by clicking on the setting icon that appear next to the BPMN element. In the figure below, the icons in top right corder of node denote tasks as Script Task and User Task respectively.

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Specifying properties

The property panel on the right allows editing properties of selected node. Each node has an Id, name, description and other node specific properties.

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  • Id : defines the id of the node. This is auto assigned and need not be changed.

  • Name : defines the name of the node. In the above example the name of the node is Calculate. Node name must be unique in a given process definition.

  • Description : is optional and can be used for specifying additional documentation for the node. This does not impact the workflow execution.

  • Other properties : Other node specific properties define the run time behavior of the node. Node specific documentation provides further details on the type and meaning of each property.

Saving the BPMN Diagram

The workflow diagram can be

  • Saved on server
  • Downloaded as BPMN XML file
  • Downloaded as SVG file

Flow name can be changed by double-clicking the flow name and editing it.

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When a workflow is published the changes are picked up by workflow engine the next time process is triggered. The running processes will continue to follow the old flow.

Common keyboard shortcuts can be used

  • Ctrl+C Copy the selected node to clipboard
  • Ctrl+V Paste the copied node from clipboard
  • Ctrl+S Save the diagram
  • Ctrl+Z Undo changes
  • Ctrl+Y Redo changes