Processes are the collection of components that are built to represent business processes using BPMN 2.0 format.

Process definitions

A process definition can be thought of as a template for a modeled process. Process definitions are stored in a .bpmn20.xml file and have an associated JSON file containing extensions to the process definition.

Process definitions are designed using BPMN elements which can reference other modeled components such as forms, connectors and decision tables.

The properties for a process definition are:

IDThe unique identifier for a process definition. Also referred to as a process definition ID and used to start a process instance by referencing the process definition to use. This is system generated and cannot be altered.model-1bf32338-2bc2-4af2-9496-e9a031e22142Yes
NameThe name of the process definition. Process definition names must be in lowercase and between 1 and 26 characters in length. Alphanumeric characters and hyphens are allowed, however the name must begin with a letter and end alphanumerically.request-and-order-processYes

The ID and name of a process definition are set as XML attributes of the definitions element, for example:

<bpmn2:definitions id="model-1bf32338-2bc2-4af2-9496-e9a031e22142" name="request-and-order-process">


Each process has its own ID and name even if there is only a single process within the definition. Process definitions can contain multiple processes when using the BPMN element pools.

The properties for a process are:

IDThe unique identifier for a process. This is system generated and cannot be altered.Process_1w18m9xYes
Process definition nameThe name of the process definition that the process is part ofrequest-and-order-processYes
Process nameThe name of the process. Process names must be in lowercase and between 1 and 26 characters in length. Alphanumeric characters and hyphens are allowed, however the name must begin with a letter and end alphanumericallyrequest-process
DocumentationA free text description of what the process doesA process to request and approve stock ordersNo
ExecutableIf set as false then the process will be deployed at runtime but it will not be possible to instantiate any process instances for it. The default value is true.falseYes

The ID, name and executable status of a process are set as XML attributes of the process element. Documentation is a sub-element of process, for example:

<bpmn2:process id="Process_1w18m9x" name="request-process" isExecutable="false">

Process instances

Process instances are specific running instances of processes that are read from a process definition. Different processes instantiated from the same process definition will still will still receive unique process instance IDs.

There can be any number of process instances running using the same process definition in an N:1 relationship.

Process instances can be instantiated in many ways such as through the Process Workspace UI, using the POST /rb/v1/process-instances API or using a trigger.

Modeling processes

Process definitions are modeled with BPMN elements and must contain a start event and an end event whilst conforming to the rules particular to each element.

There are three views of a process definition:

  • The Diagram Editor GUI to drag-and-drop BPMN elements into a process diagram. BPMN elements can be freely moved and edited and sequence flows created between them.

  • The XML Editor reflecting any changes made in the Diagram Editor and displaying the XML definition for a process. The contents of the XML Editor can be downloaded as .bpmn20.xml files.

  • The Extensions Editor is a JSON editor that stores the extensions for process definitions. These are stored as constants, mappings and properties for each process in the definition. The Extensions Editor is automatically populated by actions undertaken in the Diagram Editor such as creating process variables.

The descriptions of Extension Editor properties are:

constantsConstants store values that will not change for the duration of a process definition such as mapping connectors and decision tables to the correct service tasks
mappingsMappings store the mapping of variables between BPMN elements such process variables and user tasks
propertiesProperties store the process variables for a process definition
assignmentsAssignments store the type of assignments for user tasks

An example Extensions Editor and <process-definition-name>-extensions.json file is:

"process": "Process_1w18m9x": {
    "constants": {
        "Task_10kub5t": {
            "_activiti_dmn_table_": {
                "value": "dec"
    "mappings": {
        "Task_19lk7bt": {
            "inputs": {
                "Text0mvlww": {
                    "type": "variable",
                    "value": "var_1"
                "variables.task_var": {
                    "type": "variable",
                    "value": "var_2"
    "properties": {
        "383ffc09-ec7a-4765-a40c-bb84ad06b479": {
            "id": "383ffc09-ec7a-4765-a40c-bb84ad06b479",
            "name": "var_1",
            "type": "string",
            "required": false
        "72c4a262-5db9-4283-8c76-710450ac5e1d": {
            "id": "72c4a262-5db9-4283-8c76-710450ac5e1d",
            "name": "var_2",
            "type": "string",
            "required": false,
            "value": "hello"
    "assignments": {
        "UserTask_12yzfe4": {
            "type": "expression",
            "assignment": "assignee",
            "id": "UserTask_12yzfe4"


Messages can be managed at the process definition level using the Edit Messages button. Messages are used to send payloads between throwing and catching message events and can be sent between different processes within the same process definition.

Process variables

Process variables are used to store values and pass them between BPMN elements throughout a process instance. The scope of process variables is restricted to the process they are created in and not the process definition.


The actions that can be run against a process definition are:

Download diagramDownload the process diagram in svg format
Download processDownload the <process-definition-name>.bpmn20.xml and <process-definition-name>-extensions.json files for the process definition
ValidateRun validation against the process definition. Any errors can be seen in the log history at the bottom of the Modeling Application
SaveSave any changes made to the process definition
DeleteDelete the process definition

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