Understanding the Dictionary


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Manage your central object repository

Manage Your Dictionary

Understanding the Dictionary

The dictionary is the heart of the entire workspace and can be considered as a central space for all business terms. The dictionary allows you to save and reuse these terms in all your process models to ensure uniform and consistent naming.

The following categories are set by default in each workspace. Some of the common dictionary entries are:

  • Organization
  • Documents
  • IT Systems
  • Events
  • Goal
  • Requirements
  • Processes
  • Others

You can tailor entries to remove, extend, or adjust dictionary categories to your organization's own needs. You can even add subcategories to help keep the dictionary well-structured.

Add Custom Categories for Dictionary Entries.

Dictionary Categories have two purposes:

  • They are used by the system when creating reports. For example, you can run RACI, document use, or process documentation reports identifying objects of a certain category.
  • They act as filters when dictionary references are suggested while modeling. For example, dictionary entries for IT systems are only suggested when the user attempts to label an IT system element.

Best Practices

Find below the best practices for dictionary categories.

Organizational Units

Organizational entities that can be used to assign responsibilities for actions. For example:

  • Whole organizations - for example, "ACME Inc."
  • Departments - for example, "Finance"
  • Roles - for example, "Chief Financial Officer"
  • External process participants


Anything that can hold information and that is used or created during processes. For example:

  • Physical documents - for example, "Printed applications"
  • Digital files - for example, "PDF forms"
  • Entries in databases
  • Variables in a computer program

IT Systems

Anything that can process documents or data, such as:

  • Standard software:
    • Individual applications
    • Custom scripts
  • Hardware systems:
    • Individual server instances
    • Data centers
  • Hand-held devices
  • Integrated systems:
    • Application servers
    • Scanners
    • Printers
    • Personal computers


Anything that can trigger a process, either during the execution or as the result of a process.

Events are described by defining the situation or state reached once the event has occurred, for example, "Customer order received" or "Goods sent".


Actions that are performed within the processes. They are performed by organizational units, can read and create documents, can use IT systems, can cause events, and usually achieve certain goals.


The reasons behind why processes are executed at all and why they are designed the way they are.


Descriptions of the differences between the as-is and the to-be processes. This category can be used to collect different types or requirements.

In engineering processes, a recurring requirement for software or app development could be:

  • Responsive design
  • GDPR conforms

Subcategories examples:

  • Specifications
  • Technical requirements
  • Functional requirements


Categories with this type have no defined meaning attached to them and are recommended for diagram elements that do not match more specific types.

How to Add a Dictionary Subcategory

You can create dictionary subcategories to help keep your dictionary organized and well-structured. Watch the following video to learn how to add a subcategory to your dictionary, and then apply it on your own workspace.

Custom Attributes for Your Dictionary

Now, that we learned how to create a subcategory, let's look at how to add custom attributes to the dictionary. You can add custom attributes for diagram elements and dictionary categories. Custom attributes work the same way as standard attributes and can also be displayed in the Collaboration Hub.

Choose the play button to watch the next video on how to add a custom attribute for a dictionary category. This is a two-part video. 

Part 1: How are custom attributes added in the category "Department"?

Part 2: How are custom attributes viewed in the dictionary?

Benefits of Custom Dictionary Attributes

The individual attributes can also be dictionary categories used in other categories.


  • Information can be nested with attributes. Example: If a group (for example, the Board of Management) is linked to a process, all linked roles included in that group are linked to the process as well.
  • The specific fact (for example, contact person) is maintained centrally on the corresponding term and provides additional information in each linked process.

Here Is an Example of How This Can Be Used

Dictionary categories setup

In this example, we look at the category IT Systems. We see that there are several subcategories created.

Below, in the subcategory SAP Module, a custom attribute is created called Transaction Code and linked to the subcategory SAP Transaction Codes. Now, there is only one source to enter transaction codes, which can be used in other attributes.

SAP Module entered in the Dictionary

Here, a new IT system is created, including one of the available transaction codes already stored in the dictionary.

Dictionary view in the Collaboration Hub

Here, you can see the dictionary entry of the SAP Module SAP SD. By clicking on this entry, the transaction code is shown, which is also an individual dictionary category.

Key Takeaways - the Dictionary

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