Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (2022)

Overview

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to create a process model that end users can start using a record list action.

The process model we're creating in this tutorial will allow users to create new employees in the Employee record type. The form for Employee information contains several inputs that are saved into a process variable so we can use them later.

We'll add a process flow that lets the user cancel their request to add an new employee. For the last step, we'll set up an automatic email to the HR manager letting them know a new employee was added to the system.

If you have a database-backed record type with data sync enabled, Appian can automatically configure your processes for you when you generate a record action.

Before you begin

  • Complete the Interface Tutorial first, so that you have the Appian Tutorial application, the Employee record type, and the AT_employeeForm interface needed to complete this tutorial.
  • Make sure you're a member of the Process Model Creators system group. Contact your system administrator if you are unsure if you belong to this system group.

Create the process model

Let's start by creating the process model object. We'll also use the AT_employeeForm interface as the start form to automatically populate our variables.

To create the process model:

  1. In the Appian Tutorial application, go to the Build view.
  2. Click NEW > Process Model.
  3. In the Create Process Model dialog, configure the following properties:
    • Leave Create from Scratch selected.
    • For Name, enter AT Create New Employee.
    • For Save In, use the default AT Process Models folder.
  4. Click CREATE.
  5. In the Review Process Model Security dialog, update the default security as follows:
    • For AT Users, set the Permission Level to Initiator.
    • For AT Administrators, leave the Permission Level as Administrator.
  6. Click SAVE. The Appian Process Modeler opens automatically and displays the AT Create New Employee process.
  7. From the menu bar, click File > Properties.
  8. Click the Process Start Form tab.
  9. For Interface, select AT_employeeForm.
  10. On the Create Process Parameters dialog, click Yes. The record and cancel process variables are created.
  11. Click OK.
  12. From the menu bar, click File > Save & Publish.

You can leave the modeler tab open, because we'll be returning to it in a moment.

Create a record list action

Now that we have a process model to build on, we'll configure a new record list action so users have a way to initiate the process.

To create the record list action:

  1. In the Build view, open the AT Employee record type.
  2. In the record type, go to Record Actions.
  3. Under Record List Actions, click CONFIGURE NEW ACTION MANUALLY. The Create New Action dialog appears.
  4. For Display Name, enter New Employee.
  5. For Icon, keep the default plus icon.
  6. For Process Model, enter AT Create New Employee.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click SAVE CHANGES.

Test the record list action

Now that we have a process model to build on, let's see what happens if we run the record list action in this basic state.

To test out the action:

  1. In the record type, click the Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (1) View Record List icon.
  2. Click NEW EMPLOYEE. You should see the following:Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (2)
  3. Complete and submit the form.
  4. In the Appian Tutorial application, go to the Monitor view in the left navigation pane.
  5. Click PROCESS ACTIVITY to view the list of processes. You should see a process instance with the name Create New Employee in the list.
  6. Click the process instance. The monitoring view of the process instance displays in the Appian Process Modeler. The flow that your process instance followed is highlighted in blue.

    Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (3)

    (Video) Process Modeling 101 for Manufacturing Simulation | Assembly Management in Process Modeling

    In this case, the flow was straightforward: it started at the Start Node and successfully continued to the End Node.

  7. In the toolbar, click Process Details. By default, the Process History tab is active.

    In this example, you can see each event Appian logged as you started the record list action, completed the input fields, and submitted the form.

  8. Click the Variables tab. This tab displays the values that Appian populated to the process variables based on your field inputs.

  9. Click CLOSE.
  10. Close the monitoring view for this process instance.

Make process instance names dynamic

In the PROCESS ACTIVITY list, you might have noticed that the process name is just Create New Employee. As more employees are created and other applications are introduced into this environment, it will become difficult to distinguish processes from each other if the process instance names are generic.

Let's update the name to include information that's specific to each process instance.

To make the process instance names dynamic:

  1. Return to the Create New Employee process model.
  2. From the menu bar, click File > Properties.
  3. On the General tab, next to Process Display Name, click Edit as Expression.
  4. In the Expression Editor dialog:

    • Enter "New Employee: " & .
    • On the Data tab, expand the Process Variables and record lists.
    • Click firstName to add the record field reference to the expression.
    • Enter & " " &.
    • From the record list, click lastName.

    This expression adds employee information to the display name of every process instance.

    (Video) Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 Tutorial

  5. Click SAVE AND CLOSE.
  6. Click OK to close the Process Model Properties dialog.
  7. From the menu bar, click File > Save & Publish.
  8. Test the record list action again. This time, in the Monitor view, notice that the process name includes the value from the Expense Item field of the input form:

    Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (10)

Add a cancel flow

We've enabled our users to create a new employee, but we still need to handle the case when the user starts to fill out the form, but then wants to cancel the action.

We'll do that by adding a cancel flow to the process.

A cancel rule input is part of the two-column form template used for the AT_employeeForm interface. When we chose the interface as the process start form, a corresponding cancel process variable was automatically created. At this point though, nothing in the workflow uses that variable.

If a user clicks CANCEL, ri!cancel is set to true and the AT Create New Employee process is started with pv!cancel also set to true. Now, we just need to add a gateway to direct the process flow based on the value of pv!cancel.

Add a gateway node

Gateways let you route the flow to different paths of your process model based on logic you define. In this case, the gateway uses the value of pv!cancel to select the appropriate workflow path.

To add a gateway node:

  1. In the Create New Employee process model, drag an XOR node from the palette to the canvas, and drop it on top of the existing connector between the Start Node and End Node. The connector turns blue to indicate that you can add the node to the existing flow.
  2. Click the label of the new XOR gateway and change it to Cancel?.
  3. Drag an End Event node from the palette to the bottom of the Cancel? gateway. A red dot appears indicating that these two nodes will be connected.
  4. Drop the End Event node on the red dot. The two nodes are now connected.
  5. Rename this node Cancel End Event.
  6. Double-click the flow connector between the Cancel node and the End Node, and set the Label property to No.
  7. Click OK to close the Flow Properties dialog.
  8. Double-click the flow connector between the Cancel node and the Cancel End Event node, and set the Label property to Yes.
  9. Click OK.

    The process model should look like this:

    Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (11)

Configure the decision logic

Now let's define the logic within the Cancel? gateway using the cancel process variable.

To configure the gateway decision logic:

(Video) Introduction to Process Modeling

  1. Double-click the Cancel? node.
  2. On the Configure Cancel? dialog, click the Decision tab.
  3. Click NEW CONDITION.
  4. Configure properties for the new condition:
    • For Condition, enter pv!cancel.
    • For Result, in the go to dropdown list, select Cancel End Event.
  5. Configure properties for the Else if none are TRUE condition:
    • For Result, in the go to dropdown list, select End Node.
  6. Click OK.
  7. In the menu bar, click File > Save & Publish.
  8. Test the record list action again, but click CANCEL instead of SUBMIT. In the Monitor view, click the process instance to review the process flow. You can see that the process followed the cancel flow.

    Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (12)

Configure the end nodes

It's a best practice to formally terminate a process when it reaches an end event node. We'll configure both the End Node and the Cancel End Event to terminate the process on completion of the node action.

In the process model, do the following for each of these nodes:

  1. Double-click the node.
  2. Click the Results tab.
  3. Click Terminate Process.
  4. Click OK. Your end nodes should now look like this:

    Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (13)

  5. From the menu bar, click File > Save & Publish.

Write employee data and send a notification

Each new employee created with the form needs to be saved in the database that backs our Employee record type. The Write Records smart service can take the information stored in the pv!record variable and add it to the record type's data source.

Configure a Write Records node

To configure a Write Records node:

  1. In the Create New Employee process model, expand the DATA SERVICES section of the palette.
  2. Drag a WRITE RECORDS node to the canvas and drop it on the connector between the Cancel? (XOR) node and End Node.
  3. Click the label and change it to Write Employee Record.
  4. Double-click the Write Records node.
  5. Click the Data tab.
  6. In the Node Inputs pane, click Records.
  7. For the Value field, use the dropdown to select record. The field is automatically populated with the correct process variable syntax.
  8. Click OK.
  9. From the menu bar, click File > Save & Publish.
  10. In the Monitor view, click the process instance to review the process flow. You can see that the process followed the flow to add a new employee.

Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (14)

Configure an email node

Let's say the manager of the team using our application wants to be notified by email when new employees are added. We can use a Send E-mail smart service node to meet this requirement. First, we need to get the output of the Write Records node so we can pass the new employee record to the next part of the process.

To store the Write Records output:

  1. In the Create New Employee process model, double-click the Write Employee Record node.
  2. Click the Data tab.
  3. Click the Output tab.
  4. In the list of Node Outputs, click Records Updated.
  5. For the Target field, click New Process Variable.
  6. On the New Process Variable dialog, keep the default Name RecordsUpdated.
  7. For Type, enter AT and select AT Employee (Record Type) from the list of options.

    Process Modeling Tutorial [Process Modeling] (15)

    (Video) Process Modeling Flow Editor

  8. Click OK.
  9. To close the Configure Write Employee Record dialog, click OK.
  10. From the menu bar, click File > Save & Publish.

Now that we have the employee record stored in a process variable, we can set up the email notification.

To configure the Send E-mail node:

  1. Expand the COMMUNICATION section of the palette.
  2. Drag a SEND E-MAIL node to the canvas and drop it on the connector between the Write Employee Record node and End Node.
  3. Double-click the Send E-Mail node.
  4. On the Configure Send E-Mail dialog, click the Setup tab.
  5. For From, select Process Initiator from the dropdown. This sends the email as the user who created the new employee record. This way, the manager knows which member of their team completed the form.
  6. For To, click Edit as Expression.
  7. In the expression editor, enter toemailaddress() and set your email address as the value (for example, toemailaddress("first.last@example.com")). We're manually setting our own email for testing purposes. In a production app, you could select Appian users by entering their names in the To field.
  8. For Subject, click Edit as Expression.
  9. In the Expression Editor dialog:

    • Enter "New Employee Created: " & .
    • On the Data tab, expand the Process Variables and RecordsUpdated lists.
    • Click firstName to add the record field reference to the expression.
    • Enter & " " &.
    • From the RecordsUpdated list, click lastName.
  10. Click OK.

  11. On the Configure Send E-Mail dialog, click OK.
  12. From the menu bar, click File > Save & Publish.

Test the full workflow

Our process model now contains a few steps. To initiate the process, we enter the employee information as an action. Then, the process model automatically adds the employee to the database and sends an email. Now it's time to test the whole process.

To test the full workflow:

  1. Add a new employee:
    • On the Employee record list, click NEW EMPLOYEE.
    • Complete and submit the form.
  2. Check your email and verify that you received a message about the new employee.
  3. Check out the detailed results of the process flow:
    • Return to the Appian Tutorial application, and click MONITOR in the left navigation pane.
    • Click PROCESS ACTIVITY to view the list of processes.
    • Click your process instance. You should see the following:

    • In the toolbar, click Process Details. The RecordsUpdated variable should include the id of the new Employee record.

      For example:

      (Video) Advanced BPMN 2 0 Process Modeling

Congratulations!

Your process model now collects data for a new employee, saves the data to your record type data source, and alerts the HR manager that the data has been created.

FAQs

What is process modeling method? ›

Process modeling is the graphical representation of business processes or workflows. Like a flow chart, individual steps of the process are drawn out so there is an end-to-end overview of the tasks in the process within the context of the business environment.

What is the difference between BPM and BPMN? ›

What's the difference between BPM and BPMN? While the BPM is a subject, or a managing philosophy that can be applied to businesses, the BPMN is an official standard notation created by this subject, which is used around the world.

What is the difference between BPMN and UML? ›

The main difference between UML and BPMN is the difference is perspective: UML is object oriented and BPMN is process oriented. This makes BPMN widely applicable to both IT and business, while UML is more suited to developing IT systems and less suited to improving processes.

Why do we need process modelling? ›

Business process modeling gives organizations a simple way to understand and optimize workflows by creating data-driven visual representations of key business processes.

What is process model diagram? ›

The process model is a core diagram in structured analysis and design. Also called a data flow diagram (DFD), it shows the flow of information through a system. Each process transforms inputs into outputs. Flow lines represent data flowing between nodes including processes, external entities and data stores.

Why BPMN is used? ›

The primary goal of BPMN is to support business process management for both business and technical users. It provides a notation that's intuitive to business users but is also able to represent complex process semantics. The BPMN notation models the steps of a planned business process from beginning to end.

What is the key goal of BPMN? ›

The primary goal of BPMN is to provide a notation that is readily understandable by all business users, from the business analysts that create the initial drafts of the processes, to the technical developers responsible for implementing the technology that will perform those processes, and finally, to the business ...

What is a BPMN diagram used for? ›

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), also called Business Process Model and Notation, is an open standard to diagram a business process. It is like a flowchart and uses standardized graphics to represent the participants, choices and flow of the process.

How long does it take to learn BPMN? ›

And you can achieve certification of your mastery of BPMN Method and Style based on a mail-in exercise individually reviewed by Bruce Silver and iterated until it is perfect. Students have 60 days to complete the certification requirements. This is when you really learn how to create “good BPMN.”

Do people still use BPMN? ›

In fact, 90% of businesses are using this technology to perform their business processes. To design these effective process flows in a way that everyone can understand, successful teams use a tool called business process model and notation (BPMN).

Is Visio a BPM tool? ›

Microsoft Visio is one of the most widely used tools for Business Process Modeling (BPM) projects worldwide, and people use Visio for a variety of tasks within the context of their BPM projects.

Is BPMN a language? ›

BPMN is one of a number of business process modeling language standards used by modeling tools and processes.

What is process modelling in software engineering? ›

In software engineering, a software process model is the mechanism of dividing software development work into distinct phases to improve design, product management, and project management. It is also known as a software development life cycle.

What are the limitations of process model? ›

The major downside of process modelling is the risk of over analysis. Second, although vendor-supplied reference models may not be used much in implementation projects, process models themselves are still valuable for developing shared understandings of processes and planning software implementation projects.

What is process modelling and simulation? ›

Process simulation is a model-based representation of chemical, physical, biological, and other technical processes and unit operations in software.

What is the most popular process model? ›

Flowchart

Flowcharts are one of the simplest and most widely-used techniques for process modeling. As the name suggests, flowcharts help you map out the sequence flow of activities you need to perform to complete a specific process.

What is data and process modeling? ›

Process modeling is the study of what the business does now and of what it should be doing. Data modeling is the study of what data the business needs to enable these activities to be complete. Business modeling is used during strategy studies, tactical studies, and detailed systems/operational studies.

What are the basic elements of BPMN? ›

There are four main elements of a BPMN diagram: flow objects, connecting objects, swimlanes, and data.

Is BPMN a flowchart? ›

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is a flow chart method that models the steps of a planned business process from end to end. A key to Business Process Management, it visually depicts a detailed sequence of business activities and information flows needed to complete a process.

What is the difference between BPMN and flowchart? ›

Business process modeling and notation is a flowchart method of graphing a business process. It's done exactly the same way as you'd create a flowchart process map, the only difference is that BPMN comes with its own symbols and elements.

What is a Level 3 process map? ›

The Level 3 process maps are those maps, which have detailed info of the process, it is the micro level process maps. It gives the whole process steps at once if a new processor can understand how to do the task at once.

What is BPMN process diagram? ›

A business process model and notation diagram, or BPMN diagram for short, is used to build easy-to-read business process model flowcharts, which can be shared across organizations and industries. BPMN diagram symbols are categorized into four main groups: flow objects, connecting objects, swimlanes, and artifacts.

Who is responsible for BPMN? ›

BPMN provides a common modeling language that's readily understandable by all business stakeholders. This includes the business analysts who create and refine processes, the technical developers responsible for implementing them and the business users who monitor and manage them.

What is Level 0 process map? ›

A level 0 flowchart represents the least amount of detail, and usually contains one or two steps. A level 4 flowchart represents the most detail, and can include hundreds of steps.

What are the 4 symbols used in a business process model notation? ›

There are 4 common BPMN symbols - Flow Objects, Connecting Objects, Swimlanes, and Artifacts. Furthermore, Flow Objects can be classified as Events, Activities, and Gateways.

What is BPMN in business analysis? ›

What is BPMN? For those unfamiliar with this term, BPMN refers to Business Process Modeling Notation. In short, BPMN is the use of symbols to clearly determine the flow and processes of business designed in a process diagram. Its primary goal is to eliminate and confusion when the process diagram is presented.

How do I read a BPMN file? ›

In the Project Explorer view, expand Process Modeling . Choose Processes. In the context menu of Processes, choose Import BPMN 2.0... In the BPMN 2.0 Import dialog box, choose Finish.

Is BPMN worth learning? ›

BPMN is currently the best choice for business process modeling, since it addresses all above preconditions for effective modeling. BPMN is well defined and standardized, which means that independent modelers can interpret BPMN diagrams in the same way.

Is BPM obsolete? ›

But they are becoming obsolete. The complex flowcharts and heavily engineered BPM tools are no longer effective for the new generation of workforce.

Can you do Bpmn in Visio? ›

How To Draw BPMN Process Flow Diagram in Visio - YouTube

Is Visio good for process mapping? ›

Even Excel, that global authority on spreadsheets, offers Visio as a go-to template for mapping processes. The template appears to be a simple solution until you actually use it. Formulate a flow chart in tabular form, and you'll find it doesn't translate at all well into process mapping format.

How do you create a process flow chart? ›

The 6 steps to making a business process flow diagram
  1. Determine the main components of the process. ...
  2. Order the activities. ...
  3. Choose the correct symbols for each activity. ...
  4. Make the connection between the activities. ...
  5. Indicate the beginning and end of the process. ...
  6. Review your business process diagram.
11 Apr 2016

What is process modeling in engineering? ›

Process modeling involves graphically representing the processes, or actions, that capture, manipulate, store, and distribute data between a system and its environment and among components within a system. A common form of a process model is a data-flow diagram (DFD).

What is process modeling in software engineering? ›

In software engineering, a software process model is the mechanism of dividing software development work into distinct phases to improve design, product management, and project management. It is also known as a software development life cycle.

What is process modeling in chemical engineering? ›

Chemical process modeling is a computer modeling technique used in chemical engineering process design. It typically involves using purpose-built software to define a system of interconnected components, which are then solved so that the steady-state or dynamic behavior of the system can be predicted.

What is process Modelling and simulation? ›

Process simulation is a model-based representation of chemical, physical, biological, and other technical processes and unit operations in software.

What is a data process model? ›

A process model illustrates the processes the data system is to support. A data model illustrates the information the data system is to manage. Process and data models contribute to successful data system development by informing requirements analysis.

What is Advanced Process Modelling? ›

Advanced Process Modelling® involves applying detailed, high-fidelity mathematical models of process equipment and phenomena, usually within an optimization framework, to provide accurate predictive information for decision support in process innovation, design and operation.

Why is business process modeling important? ›

Business process modeling facilitates this by helping managers and executives ensure that business processes are consistent, and enable business execution toward achieving the overall strategy and goals of the organization.

What are the 5 stages of SDLC? ›

The SDLC process includes planning, designing, developing, testing and deploying with ongoing maintenance to create and manage applications efficiently.
...
  • Planning and analysis. This phase is the most fundamental in the SDLC process. ...
  • Designing the product architecture. ...
  • Developing and coding. ...
  • Testing. ...
  • Maintenance.

Which is the first process model? ›

The Waterfall Model was the first Process Model to be introduced. It is also referred to as a linear-sequential life cycle model. It is very simple to understand and use. In a waterfall model, each phase must be completed before the next phase can begin and there is no overlapping in the phases.

Which is the example of software process model? ›

Examples: The waterfall model • The spiral model • “V-Modell (XT)” (dt.) eXtreme Programming • … Software (Engineering) Process Models are simplified and abstract description of a software process that presents one view of that process.

What is the difference between simulation and Modelling? ›

Modeling is the act of building a model. A simulation is the process of using a model to study the behavior and performance of an actual or theoretical system. In a simulation, models can be used to study existing or proposed characteristics of a system.

What is the process engineers use called? ›

Regardless of the exact tools required, process engineering is then formatted through the use of a process flow diagram (PFD) where material flow paths, storage equipment (such as tanks and silos), transformations (such as distillation columns, receiver/head tanks, mixing, separations, pumping, etc.)

What is the significance of process Modelling and simulation? ›

Modeling & Simulation are valuable tools: safer and cheaper to perform tests on the model using computer simulations rather than carrying repetitive experimentations and observations on the real system.

What are the 4 steps of a simulation? ›

The Four Phases of Simulation
  • Pre-modeling. Accurate data and clearly defined expectations are critical to the success of any simulation project. ...
  • Model Building. ...
  • Model Runs. ...
  • Experimentation.
4 Jan 2022

Which is the best process simulation software? ›

Top 7 Business Process Simulation Software
  • AnyLogic.
  • aPriori Digital Manufacturing Simulation Software.
  • FlexSim.
  • NetLogo.
  • Simio.
  • SIMUL8.
  • Vensim.
27 Jan 2021

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4. Chap 5: What is Process Modeling and Data Flow Diagramming ? (part 1)
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5. Assembly in process modelling flow
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6. Purposes of process modelling
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