Collaborative Process Modeling

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The following is from the “k2 networker” – an article from Anthony Petro.  It describes how business process’es are a collaborative effort – by business stakeholder, IT and others.   With some creative high-lighting, by ME !

This doesn’t mention the collaboration user experience (such as within a Sharepoint environment) – but rather the initial Process Design itself.


Collaborative Modeling allows for a “Big Picture” view of a business’s processes – allowing end users, business analysts, and developers to work together to address a broad range of business challenges.

The “BlackPearl” platform provides for full life-cycle analysis and development of your business solutions. 

Its unique modeling experience supports multiple, interchangeable modeling canvases (Process Design, role-based, documentation-based, and custom) and modeling tools (Office-style Windows application, Ajax-based web application, Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft Visio 2007). “BlackPearl” ensures that the core process definition is the same regardless of the canvas or tool used to model the process by abstracting the view information from the process definition. 

The result is a solution platform that allows each participant to have the process modeling experience, regardless of the role (business user, developer, administrator, etc), to use the modeling canvas and tool with which they are most comfortable. 

The “BlackPearl” process modeling life cycle will likely involve multiple participants using multiple modeling canvases from multiple modeling tools while all remaining in sync and producing a common process definition output.

The following slide illustrates several of these designer experiences and the collaboration across all of them from the developer to the knowledge worker.


Let’s use a collaborative modeling scenario to describe the designers in more detail.

A business analyst in your organization has spent the last 6 months documenting numerous business processes in your organization using Microsoft Visio 2007

The process models utilize a combination of shapes from several Visio stencils. The “BlackPearl” Visio designer allows the business analyst to rapidly convert and deploy these models as “BlackPearl” processes. 

Additionally, the “BlackPearl” Visio integration allows the business analyst to model new processes as “BlackPearl” process designs from the ground up.


Suppose that after the process is deployed, the business analyst determines that the standard configuration for sending a shipment no longer works with the new shipping system deployed by IT and custom code will be needed to enable the use of this system. 

The collaborative process modeling experience of “BlackPearl” enables this scenario by allowing a developer to open and extend a process published using any of the other designers, such as Visio in this example. 

In the “BlackPearl” Studio, developers have full access to the entire “BlackPearl” toolbox of activities, events and actions including all 2003 template wizards and the Workflow Foundation schedules along with .NET code that supports these components.

The “BlackPearl” Studio environment allows the designer to model the process using the view paradigm that works for them.

  • Process View (“classic” activity action and line workflow view)
  • Role Action (easily links the activity actions and defined roles)
  • Process document (create process documentation with the click of a button)
  • Resource (easily organize your resources needed)

image009.jpg@01C7413A.A330EE30 “BlackPearl” will provide an impressive array of designers for developers, business analysts and all designers in between. 

If the needs in your organization are beyond the provided designers, the “BlackPearl” design and authoring APIs provide the framework necessary to build both custom canvases as well as full applications. 

All the “BlackPearl” provided designers utilize these APIs to build process definitions ensuring compatibility between customer designers and those in the core product.


I guess that’s one of the cool things about Black Pearl – is the ability to empower business users with the process design tools they’re used to.  And, if/when more power and functionality is required, a developer uses their favourite tool to extend (Visual Studio).

Another thought is that the developer can create some “SmartObject” and “SmartFunction” items that the Business Analyst can then use from a picklist to construct the process/es.

Thanks Anthony – great article.


One thought on “Collaborative Process Modeling

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