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Chapter 1:  About This Book [Table of Contents] Chapter 3:  How to Begin the BPM Tutorial

PowerDesigner Business Process Model Getting Started

[-] Chapter 2: About the BPM Tutorial

Chapter 2

About the BPM Tutorial

This tutorial is a series of lessons in which you learn how to use PowerDesigner to build a Business Process Model (BPM).

In this tutorial, you complete the BPM delivered in the tutorial file. This model is based on a real-life example of an information system. It provides a context for the exercises. As you build onto this model, you learn how to create all the basic elements of a BPM. You can then apply your knowledge to creating a BPM to suit your needs.

What is a BPM?

You use PowerDesigner Business Process Model to build a BPM. A BPM is a conceptual model, which provides a close description of the business logic and rules from a business partner's point of view. It uses a diagram that shows interactions between processes, flows, messages and collaboration protocols from one or several start points to several potential end points.

For more information on how to use a BPM, see chapter Business Process Model Basics in the Business Process Model User's Guide.

Why build a BPM?

In a BPM, you can put design issues first because you do not have to worry about the details of physical implementation. You deal principally with processes and their flows. These are easy to understand and to manipulate.

You build a BPM to capture real-world processes, whether they are general or very specific, into a logical representation that can then be studied and manipulated to support different and better ways to accomplish these tasks.

A BPM usually arises from a compelling business need or opportunity. It can be used as an input to determine the specific requirements of an information system.

For example you build a BPM to:

Domain of analysis


The model you are going to complete is purposefully simple but can nevertheless reflect a real world system design. It has been created in order to help you manipulate the BPM tools and objects in PowerDesigner and to give you a global view of how a process can be analyzed with the PowerDesigner Business Process module.


The tutorial model describes how a company handles electronic incoming order requests. This is a new channel of order for the company that results in overloading, as it continues to process all orders, regardless of their origin, in the same manner. So the company decides to model the process in order to analyze it and find out what should be changed.

Process description

When the company receives an electronic order request, the Sales Dpt registers the order in a ledger to keep track and checks the availability of the item ordered by the customer.

Meanwhile, the order is passed to the Accounts Dpt to check the customer's credit card details.

If the item is unavailable, the Sales Dpt sends an email to the customer to tell him that the order cannot be processed. In the same way, if it happens that the credit card details are unvalid, the Accounts Dpt sends an email to the customer to tell him that the order cannot be processed.

When these two checks are performed, the Sales Dpt sends an email to the customer to tell him that the order is acknowledged and can be processed.

The Sales Dpt can then send a request to the Warehousing Dpt for the item to be delivered. The Warehousing Dpt arranges delivery, dispatches the item and updates the stock.

You are going to complete the provided model by focussing on the dispatch process.

What you will do

Chapter 2

You will start PowerDesigner and open the BPM tutorial. You will specify model preferences, options, and properties then save the model under a new name.

Chapter 3

You will decompose a process to create a sub-process diagram and show the various tasks involved in the parent process and how they are related using flows. You will navigate through business process diagrams.

Chapter 4

You will define actions on processes and conditions on flows. You will define a message format on a flow and also use some of the global objects of the parent business process diagram within the sub-process diagram. You will check the model to ensure that the BPM you have built is methodologically correct.

Chapter 5

You will use the display options and tools to organize the model. You will add free text and rounded angles to flows. You will use the alignment tools to align symbols and straighten flow lines. You will create swimlanes to show which organization unit is responsible for which process then save and close the PBM.

How long it will take

You can do this tutorial in one sitting in about 1 and 1/2 hours. You can also stop after any lesson, save your model, then pick up where you left off at a later time. Each lesson also gives you an estimated completion time for that specific lesson.

What you will learn

You will learn basic business process modeling techniques for modifying and optimizing a BPM, including:

Setting up your work environment

Before you begin, make sure that the files you need for the exercises are on your hard disk. When you install PowerDesigner, these files are installed in the PowerDesigner 9\Examples\Tutorial directory. When you have finished with this tutorial you can delete them if you want.

Model files

The BPM tutorial uses the following files:




Starting tutorial BPM


Finished tutorial BPM

When you finish this tutorial, you can compare your BPM with the finished tutorial BPM (BPMAFTER.BPM).

Chapter 1:  About This Book [Table of Contents] Chapter 3:  How to Begin the BPM Tutorial