Anatomy of the BPMN2 Modeler

As shown in the screenshot below, BPMN2 Modeler has all of the features of a well-behaved Graphiti editor: the Drawing Canvas in the main area of the editor window, collapsible Tool Palette on the right, tabbed Property sheets, and an Outline Viewer with both tree and thumbnail views.

Editor Tabs

The BPMN2 Modeler has multiple pages, or tabs; each tab is used to display a separate BPMN Diagram.

Figure 2: BPMN2 Modeler Overview

Note that there are two sets of tabs: one set at the top of the editor window and another set at the bottom. The tabs at the top are used to flip between different diagrams, while the ones at the bottom are the contents of collapsed Sub-Processes contained within the same diagram. Procedures for managing diagram and Sub-Process tabs will be discussed in a later section.

A special tab is available for an XML source view of the BPMN diagram, as shown in the following screenshot.

Figure 3: XML Source View

*       The XML view is read-only as of this version, however fully synchronized text and graphical editing is planned for a future release.

Drawing Canvas

The Drawing Canvas occupies the majority of the editing window and behaves as you would expect: BPMN process elements can be placed on the canvas by selecting them from the Tool Palette and clicking anywhere on the canvas; elements can be moved by clicking and dragging; elements can be connected (with, e.g. Sequence Flows, Associations, Data Flows, etc.) by selecting a connection tool from the palette and then first clicking the source element, then the target element.

The canvas also has its own context menu, which includes the following actions:

·         Re-route all connections – forces all connections to be laid out according to their currently selected layout algorithm. See the Connection Routing section for more information.

·         Validate – checks the file for missing/incorrectly configured elements and reports these in the Problems view. Problems are also highlighted on the canvas with a warning () or error () decorator on the problem element.

·         Show/hide Source View – is used to show or hide the XML source tab.

·         Delete Diagram – deletes the currently active diagram tab.

·         Export Diagram – is used to save a snapshot image of the entire diagram, in various selectable image formats and sizes. See the Export Diagram Dialog section.

Tool Palette

The Tool Palette is, by default, located along the right edge of the Drawing Canvas. It consists of several “tool drawers” which contain the “tools” that are dragged onto the Drawing Canvas to create BPMN2 elements.

Outline View

The Outline View is separate from the editor and is intended to show a hierarchical, tree oriented view of the file. This view is synchronized with the Drawing Canvas; when an element is selected on the canvas, it is highlighted in the Outline View. Conversely when an item in the Outline is selected, it is also highlighted on the Drawing Canvas.

Property View

The Property View is used to edit the attributes of the currently selected element. This view is also synchronized with the Outline View such that when a tree element is selected in the Outline, its attributes are displayed in the Property View.

Menu & Toolbar

Diagram Main Menu Action – This Main Menu bar item allows you to create a new Process, Choreography or Collaboration diagram. The new diagram will be initially empty and appear as a new tab at the top of the editor window. See the section on BPMN 2.0 Diagram Types for more information.

 Undo/Redo – These Toolbar actions undo or redo the last editing operation performed. If the operation changed some attribute of an element (for example, its name) the undo/redo affects only that attribute.

 Zoom – This Toolbar action are used to magnify or reduce the diagram.

 Alignment Tools – These Toolbar actions are used to align multiple shapes with each other either horizontally, vertically, or normalize their widths or heights.

 Hide Context Buttons – This Toolbar action disables the Context Button Pad. When the mouse is hovered over an element, an irregularly shaped “pad” pops up and surrounds the element. This pad contains a number of editing buttons which affect the element. The Hide Context Buttons Toolbar toggle button disables the display of this Button Pad. See the Context Button Pad section for more information.