Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2012, 60, 299-306
Published online 2013-10-03

Using UML and Petri nets for visualization of business document flow

Ivana Rábová

Ústav informatiky, Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Česká republika

The article deals with two principles of business workflow modeling, Petri nets and UML notation, that are the acceptable approaches to business modeling and can be used also for business documents workflow. The special type of Petri nets, WF-nets and UML activity diagrams are used in this article and both modeling ways are presented on the concrete business workflow and then there are presented and specified their advantage and disadvantage for business documents flows.
At beginning it is explained the word workflow in context business documents, its features, principles and using in business environment. After that it is clarified that the UML is OMG’s most-used specification, and the way the world models not only application structure, behavior, and architecture, but also business process, workflows and data structure. Activity diagram UML is good way to show how different workflows in the business are managed, how they start, go and stop. Diagrams also show many different decision paths that can be taken from start to finish. State charts can be used as a detail the transitions or changes of states when documents can go through in the business. They show how a documents moves from one state to another and the rules that govern that change.
Petri-nets offer a graphical notation for stepwise processes that include choice, iteration, and concurrent execution. Unlike UML Petri nets have an exact mathematical definition of their execution semantics, with a well-developed mathematical theory for process analysis. In the article there are modeled a special type of Petri nets, the WF-nets.
The practical part of article incorporates two models of concrete business documents workflows presented in these notations, their comparison and recommendation for using these diagrams in business process management.


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