Frank's Blog

BPMN 1.1 stencils available 

I recently updated the BPMN stencils for OmniGraffle according to version 1.1 of the OMG specification: BPMN 1.1 stencils.

The major difference to the previous release is the differentiation between catching and throwing events. All start events "catch" something, whereas all end events "throw" something. The intermediate events have been split into catching and throwing ones. Hence, some kinds of events, such as send, are now delivered in four different flavours. Throwing events are visually distinguished via black/white contrasts.

Another interesting addition is the introduction of a signal event. On page 46 of the specification, it is promoted as: "A BPMN Signal is similar to a signal flare that shot into the sky for anyone who might be interested to notice and then react. Thus, there is a source of the Signal, but no specific intended target.". It would be very interesting to see possible implementations of this kind of event. As usual, the specification leaves a lot of questions for research papers. Consider for instance this BPMN 1.1 BDP:



Can you intuitively understand its semantics?

UPDATE (Feb 23, 2008): I couldn't stop Alexander from creating BPMN 1.1 stencils for Visio 2003. They can also be found here: BPMN 1.1 stencils. Thanks for providing the stencils!
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inubit AG 

Today I removed my "Search for: Job" entry at xing.com. After years of study, I finally start working fulltime in the industry, beginning in April 2008. My new employer will be the inubit AG, a Berlin-based BPM software company. The title of my job position will be "Research Engineer" and according to this, I'm joining inubit AG in further advancing the success of their product. I will also be responsible for supporting Master and Diploma theses. If you are looking forward to one in the area of BPM, we should definitely get in contact.
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Legal Hackintosh(tm) 

When I got my copy of MacOS X Leopard, I wondered why there have been Apple stickers included. As far as I remember, these stickers have only been distributed with new hardware. Still, the answer is provided in the license agreement:

2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.
A. Single Use. This License allows you to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.


So, if you want to build a Hackintosh(tm), that is an ordinary PC running MacOS X, you first need to place one of the supplied Apple stickers on the front of your PC. Afterwards, you fulfill (this part of) the license requirements. That's quite similar to the Windows license stickers (but without the installation code). I still wonder if this was planned by Apple or is just a mistake.
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Enhanced eEPCs 

Today was the first time in my life that I wished for eEPC (enhanced event-driven process chains) stencils for OmniGraffle. Hence, I created a simple set that you can download here. The beautiful things that you can do with them are depicted below:



I introduced two visual extensions to the eEPC notation in the example. First, I'm depicting often executed functions larger, whereas seldom used functions are shown smaller. The same holds for events, systems, and roles. Via these simple layout changes, an immediate feedback of the important parts of an eEPC is given. This is quite important, since EPCs usually fill walls. As a second extension, I also depicted the often traversed edges in the diagram in bold. This also adds to an immediate visual feedback for the viewer. In my example, I simply assumed the important parts. If you have log data or annotations available, you could even simply automatically enhance your diagram.
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iDell(tm) 

Dell just announced its iMac clone, the iDell(tm) XPS One. At least one point towards this machine: it only requires one cord to operate. Everything else is obvious from the picture below. The official announcement can be found here.


From above, it looks like one of Darth Vaders star cruisers:


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