A communiqué from Jan Mendling (New Media Lab, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration) describes the progress of a standardization initiative within the EPC Community, focused upon development of an Event-Driven Process Chain Markup Language (EPML). Event-Driven Process Chains (EPCs) are a method for representation of business process models, popular especially in Germany. EPML is motivated by the goal of supporting data and model interchange in the face of heterogenous Business Process Modeling tools. The chief design principles in EPML are "readability, extensibility, tool orientation, and syntactic correctness. Readability expects EPML elements and attributes to have intuitive and perspicuous names. This is important because EPML documents will be used not only by applications, but also by humans who write XSLT-scripts that transform between EPML and other XML vocabularies. Extensibility reflects the need to provide different business perspectives and views on a process. EPML will be capable of expressing arbitrary perspectives instead of supporting just a pre-defined set. Tool orientation deals with graphical representation of EPCs. This is a crucial feature because BPM tools provide a GUI for developing the models. EPML will be able to store various layout and position information for EPC elements. Finally, syntactic correctness addresses EPC syntax elements and their interrelation." An initial EPML XML Schema and supporting documentation have been published.
- EPML web site
- EPML XML Schema [source]
- "Event-Driven-Process-Chain-Markup-Language (EPML)." By J. Mendling and M. Nüttgens. In German.
- "EPC Syntax Validation with XML Schema Languages." By Jan Mendling (Universität Trier) and Markus Nüttgens (Universität des Saarlandes). Published in Proceedings of the 2nd GI Workshop on Event-Driven Process Chains (EPC), edited by M. Nüttgens and Frank J. Rump. Geschäftsprozessmanagement mit Ereignisgesteuerten Prozessketten, Bamberg, Germany, October 2003. 14 pages. [source PDF]
- "On the Semantics of EPCs: A Framework for Resolving the Vicious Circle." By Ekkart Kindler. Technical Report, Reihe Informatik, University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany, August 2003. "One of the most debatable features of Event driven Process Chains (EPCs) is their non-local semantics. Most non-local semantics for EPCs either have a formal flaw or are given informally only. In fact, it can be shown that there is no formal semantics that precisely captures the informal idea of the non-local semantics of EPCs. In this paper, we formally define a non-local semantics for EPCs in the best way possible. To this end, we use standard techniques from fixed point theory. Actually, there are several choices when defining non-local semantics for EPCs. These choices, however, do not compromise the application of the underlying fixed point theory. The mathematics used in this paper, can be considered as a semantic framework for formally defining non-local semantics for EPCs. This framework can be used for the discussion and, eventually, for settling the discussion on the semantics of EPCs..."
- "Formalization and Verification of Event-driven Process Chains." By W.M.P. van der Aalst (Department of Mathematics and Computing Science, Eindhoven University of Technology). "For many companies, business processes have become the focal point of attention. As a result, many tools have been developed for business process engineering and the actual deployment of business processes. Typical examples of these tools are BPR (Business Process Reengineering) tools, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, and WFM (Workflow Management) systems. Some of the leading products, e.g., SAP R/3 (ERP/WFM) and ARIS (BPR), use Event-driven Process Chains (EPCs) to model business processes. Although event-driven process chains have become a widespread process modeling technique, they suffer from a serious drawback: neither the syntax nor the semantics of an event-driven process chain are well defined. In this paper, this problem is tackled by mapping eventdriven process chains onto Petri nets. Petri nets have formal semantics and provide an abundance of analysis techniques. As a result, the approach presented in this paper gives formal semantics to event-driven process chains. Moreover, many analysis techniques become available for eventdriven process chains. To illustrate the approach, it is shown that the correctness of an event-driven process chain can be checked in polynomial time by using Petrinet-based analysis techniques..."
- Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU Wien)
- Literature on EPCs
- EPK 2002 Program
- EPK 2003 Workshop
- EPC Community web site
- Contact: Jan Mendling (WU Wien, Department of Information Systems, New Media Lab). WWW.
- "Petri Net Markup Language (PNML)" - Main reference page.
- "Business Process Modeling Language (BPML)" - Main reference page.
- "Standards for Business Process Modeling, Collaboration, and Choreography" - General references.