Using the Dictionary, Simulation and Test Lab


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Apply the Dictionary, Simulation and Test Lab

The Dictionary

The Dictionary is the central object management repository in SAP Signavio. A dictionary entry represents an object that is relevant for one or more processes or decision diagrams. It allows modelers to manage and reuse specific modeling elements and it also helps make sure all modelers are using the same terms, and the same elements throughout the organization's modeling environment.

The Dictionary is a crucial component to achieve consistent and well-structured business object management in diagrams, as well as helping to keep all the terms that are often used in diagrams accessible.

Example use for the Dictionary

When modeling the decision Calculate salary in the SAP Signavio Process Manager, the knowledge source ERP system has to be added. Existing Dictionary entries are found by simply searching in the dictionary box, then dragging the entry into the diagram like we did with item ERP-System below.

To see more information about the entry, click on the knowledge source item itself. More information about the entry and linked diagrams will be shown. In the example below, the ERP-System is listed as being used in Calculate salary, and several other diagrams. DMN items that aren't dictionary items yet can be defined directly in the SAP Signavio Process Manager or the Dictionary.

DMN Simulation Tool

One of the most valuable features of the SAP Signavio Process Manager is the DMN Simulation tool. With the Simulation tool, business decisions can be simulated with real input data. The rules specified in the decision table are applied to the input data, and the Simulation tool returns a real output.

If the input data is changed, the resulting new output of the changed decision model can be compared to the original output. This is useful for checking if the changed decision model behaves as expected.

Another advantage of being able to simulate decisions is that dependencies between sub-decisions, and scenarios not yet covered by existing rules, can be easily identified. The simulator is a powerful addition to BDM, making decisions and decision logic understandable for everyone.

Example view Simulation tool

DMN Test Lab

With the DMN Test Lab, users can run test cases with chosen input data to check whether a DMN diagram fulfills certain requirements or expectations.

It is helpful to validate that diagrams are still consistent with initial decision logic after being modified. The DMN Test Lab also lets modelers check that specific input combinations are correct.

This is especially important for ensuring the continued quality of diagrams. In the Test Lab, the output of one test can be compared to other, earlier test outputs. This makes it simple to check that outputs from the new diagram are performing correctly and allows modelers to validate their work.

Example view Test Lab

Example: change of discount regulations with the Test Lab

A company that sells wooden floors has specific rules which determine when and how much of a discount a customer will receive. The company uses a decision diagram to ensure employees apply the rules consistently. After using their diagram for some time, management decides to make some changes to the rules, so the diagram has to be updated. Once the changes have been made in the diagram, management need to validate whether the new regulations have the presumed outcome, and if changes have been correctly implemented in the diagram with the Test Lab.

In the Test Lab, management defines their expected outcome, then compares the expected output with the diagram's real output. A non-match means that an error occurred during the implementation of the new rule, and further work is required.

Another method to check the implementation of new rules is to import old cases. For example, if a specific customer is never allowed to get a discount, this should still be true after changes have been made to another parts of the diagram. To identify any unintended changes, cases from old diagram can be imported into the Test Lab and compared with the new outputs.

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