Business Process Modeling and Execution: Tools and technologies report for SOAMeS project

Mika Koskela, Jyrki Haajanen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


This report presents the results of a survey on business process modeling and execution technologies. The first phase of the research consisted of a broad survey on the available language options. For business process execution, Business Process Execution Language (BPEL for short, officially WS-BPEL or BPEL4WS depending on the version) was considered as the only relevant option. Other executable languages were either obsolete or academic proposals not suitable for industry use. For business process modeling, Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) and UML Activity Diagram (AD) were considered suitable. Other available options did not provide enough support for transformations to executable languages.The expressive power of the languages was evaluated by comparing how well the languages support different workflow patterns. It was found out that there is a significant gap between the expressive power of modeling and execution languages, which means that all models cannot be directly transformed to executable code. Between BPMN and UML AD, the differences in pattern support were minimal. However, it was noted that the specifications are partly ambiguous, which can lead to misinterpretations in the transformations. The practical utility of the findings was demonstrated by testing two available tools that supported BPMN and BPEL and that were considered prominent based on their documented functionalities. The test results showed that the transformation functionalities were to a large extent dependent on the expressive power of the languages. It was concluded that the technologies have not yet fully matured, but first steps in their adoption can already be taken, because by taking the known shortcomings of the technologies into account in the modeling, automatic transformations from models to code, and even vice versa, can be realized.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages70
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-6958-8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • business process modeling
  • business process execution
  • business process management
  • service-oriented architecture


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