How to import Visio diagrams for your great convenience

Microsoft Visio® is a very commonly used tool for the mapping of business processes. Many BPM modeling tools claim to have Visio import abilities, but the real functionality they offer is no more than a “tick the box” for answering a RFQ (request for a quotation). This seems to be designed more as a way to gain a foothold for submitting and winning  sales proposals rather than offering the really needed functionality of importing quality Visio diagrams.

Just ask your vendor:  about automatic analyzing and mapping of Visio diagrams, batch/mass import of many diagrams or support for Visio 2013.

BPM-X has spent years of research  developing tools to translate process model content and diagrams between very different technical formats and various modeling languages. One of the featured products that BPM-X has created is the Visio Analyzer tool. The Visio Analyzer tool helps generate a mapping configuration between the source of Visio diagrams and the target format of the specific BPM modeling tool.

The following video shows how BPM-X maps Visio diagrams into a BPM modeling tool, in this case Oracle BPA. Oracle BPA is a customized ARIS Business Architect. The first video demonstrates how to create valid BPMN diagrams out of a flow chart diagram.

The Visio Analyzer tool reads one or many diagrams and automatically constructs the source method of the diagrams. The source method is the meta-model with a semantic meaning that is implicitly constructed by using different Visio shapes as well as different Visio stencils, colors or other characteristics.

This source method serves as the mapping basis to map the Visio diagrams to the target meta-model (or named “modeling language” like EPC or BPMN). Thanks to this method of adding meta-information to the diagram’s graphical elements the graphics gain the semantic meaning of business logic, and are not limited to describing the graphical appearance of a diagram.

The architect or business analysis only needs to decide how a specific Visio shape as element type is mapped to a target object type or symbol. Also in the Visio Analyzer the lines are acting as semantic connectors. Lines between different shapes can  describe semantically the behavior of a connector!

The second video demonstrates how to create valid  EPC from Visio diagrams.

As we can see, the BPM-X tools are handling the technical process of content mapping between different tools in a very convenient way.

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