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Ouyang, Chun and van der Aalst, Wil M.P. and Dumas, Marlon and ter Hofstede, Arthur H.M. (2006) From Business Process Models to Process-oriented Software Systems: The BPMN to BPEL Way.

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From Business Process Models to Process-oriented Software Systems: The BPMN to BPEL Way
Chun Ouyang1 , Marlon Dumas1 , WilM.P. van der Aalst2,1 , and Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede1

Faculty of Information Technology, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane QLD 4001, Australia {c.ouyang,m.dumas,a.terhofstede} 2 Department of Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, GPO Box 513, NL-5600 MB, The Netherlands {w.m.p.v.d.aalst}

Abstract. Emerging methods for enterprisesystems analysis rely on the representation of work practices in the form of business process models. A standard for representing such models is the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). BPMN models are mainly intended for communication and decision-making between domain analysts, but often they are also given as input to software development projects. Meanwhile, development methods forprocess-oriented systems rely on detailed process definitions that are executed by process engines. These process definitions refine BPMN models by adding data manipulation, application binding and other implementation details. A major standard for process implementation is the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS, or BPEL for short). Accordingly, a natural method for end-to-enddevelopment of process-oriented systems is to translate BPMN models to BPEL definitions for subsequent refinement. However, instrumenting this method is challenging because BPEL imposes far more syntactic restrictions than BPMN so as to ensure correctness. Existing techniques for translating BPMN to BPEL only work for limited classes of BPMN models. This paper proposes techniques that overcome theselimitations. Beyond its direct relevance in the context of BPMN and BPEL, the techniques presented in this paper address issues that arise generally when translating from graphical/unstructured to textual/structured (i.e. more programming-like) languages.



Business Process Management is an established discipline for building, maintaining and evolving large enterprise systemson the basis of business process models [9]. A business process model is a flow-oriented representation of a set of work practices aimed at achieving a goal, such as processing a customer request or complaint, satisfying a regulatory requirement, etc.
This work is supported by the Australian Research Council under the Discovery Grant “Expressiveness Comparison and Interchange Facilitation betweenBusiness Process Execution Languages” (DP0451092).

The Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) [19] has attained a certain level of adoption among domain analysts as a language for defining business process models [23]. Despite being a recent proposal, BPMN is already supported by more than 30 tools (see The main purpose of business process models generally, and BPMN models inparticular, is to facilitate communication between domain analysts as well as strategic decision-making based on techniques such as cost analysis, scenario analysis and simulation [23, 25]. However, oftentimes, BPMN models are also used as a basis for specifying software system requirements, and in such cases, they are handed over to software development teams. In this setting, the motivatingquestion of this paper is: What can developers do with the process models they are handed over? Meanwhile, the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL) [8] is emerging as a de facto standard for implementing business processes on top of Web services technology. Numerous platforms (such as Oracle BPEL Process Manager, IBM WebSphere Application Server Enterprise, IBM WebSphere Studio...