BPMN and UML

About BPMN

Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is a graphical notation for specifying business processes in a business process diagram (BPD).

It was previously (until BPMN 2.0) known as Business Process Modeling Notation. Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) developed BPMN, which has been maintained by the Object Management Group (OMG) since the two organizations merged in 2005. As of January 2011, the current version of BPMN is 2.0.

bpmn-logoThe official BPMN website can be found here.

About UML

Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a standardized, general-purpose modeling language in the field of software engineering.

UML includes a set of graphic notation techniques to create visual models of object-oriented software-intensive systems.

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UML was developed in the 1990s and adopted by OMG in 1997. In 2000 UML was accepted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as industry standard for modeling software-intensive systems. The current version of UML is 2.4.1 published by the OMG in August 2011.

uml-logoThe official UML website can be found here.

Commonalities

The only formal relationship between UML and BPMN is that both open standards are maintained by the OMG.

Besides, both are standardized graphical notations which enable business process modeling in the following manner: (1) BPMN is dedicated for business processes modeling; (2) UML has 14 types of diagrams, where activity diagram is suited for business process modeling.

Differences

The focal difference between UML and BPMN is that UML is object-oriented, whilst BPMN takes a process-oriented approach, more suitable within a business process domain.

Thus, BPMN is becoming the leader and de-facto standard in business process modeling.

Free BPMN Resources

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Gregor received his PhD in 2008 in the fields of software engineering and information systems and has nearly a decade of experience in BPMN, starting to investigate and actively use BPMN since its introduction in 2004. In addition, he has participated in the development of one of the first BPMN modeling utilities - a package of plugins for Visio, which were introduced early in 2005 and is the main author of the first BPMN poster (bpmn.itposter.net), which has been translated into several languages and already exceeded 50.000 downloads.