IT Systems and Data Objects


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Know how to model IT systems and data objects

IT Systems and Data Objects

Artifacts as Additional Notes or Remarks

According to the BPMN specification it is possible to introduce custom elements that are based on individual modeling conventions, containing further information about the process model, e.g. IT systems.

Besides individual artifacts, BPMN offers a standard element for information and documents that are used or created in the process, it is called Data Object.

Data Object (BPMN Standard)

Data objects represent all kinds of information, regardless of their physical nature, e.g. paper documents, abstract information or digital data.

They are connected with flow objects, e.g. a task, via (data) associations.

The figure shows a data object representing an "employment contract" which is required as an input for doing the first task.

Next, we would like to show you different possibilities for how you can represent IT systems in a process model from a modeling perspective.

IT System Object (SAP Signavio Element)

This custom SAP Signavio element simply indicates the support and usage of an application or system at specific process steps.

It is connected with activities via associations and it doesn't matter in which Lane this object is placed.

The figure shows an HR system that supports several steps in the process. It is linked to activities with associations.

The IT system and Data object should be used moderately, otherwise the model may look cluttered.

In practice, lanes are often equated with responsibilities, but lane semantics are not predefined by BPMN.

These competencies can be general roles and departments as well as IT systems and applications, e.g. a CRM system.

In this example, an IT system is performing communication activities and handles customer data within its representative lane.

In this example an interaction and exchange of information between human and system is shown. However the internal behavior of the system is unknown or not desired.

Key Takeaways

Modeling Exercise - Order Processing (Part 3)


The management of MyStore Inc. is still not completely satisfied with the already revised process. The understanding of the process should be increased by focusing on the communication with the customer. In addition, the visualization of IT systems and data objects is desired. Finally, the payment processing is to be outsourced to a subprocess in order to reduce complexity of the main process. Goods will only be sent after receipt of payment.

Assignment (Based on the Two Previous Modeling Exercises)

Visualize the information flow between MyStore Inc and the customer.

The entry of the order data, the invoice creation well as the cancellation of an order takes place via an ordering system.

A data object is created for both invoicing and cancellation.

Payment processing is outsourced to a subprocess.

Estimated time effort: ~ 25 min.

There are of course several solutions for this exercise. Hence, the names of the individual elements and overall design may differ.

If you feel confident with your results, view the sample solution and compare with your own.

Example Solution

Example Solution Part B - "Payment Processing" Sub Process

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