Enterprise and business architecture modeled with Microsoft Visio 2013 and SharePoint

People mostly believe that Microsoft® Visio® is just a simple drawing tool which is limited in scope when it comes to business process modeling and the complexities of business architecture. BPM-X® has enhanced Visio® by a smart repository approach so that the construction of a real business architecture is a breeze. As a result you can easily achieve a business and functional decomposition and structure your process diagrams into according to different levels of detail. In this way you may start from the overall enterprise perspective and end up on the implementation level with supporting IT systems and applications. And there are modeling languages like ArchiMate® and BPMN™ which help to visually express your enterprise and architecture using different viewpoints (diagrams).

BPM-X has developed an enterprise object repository which is based on one of two different technical solutions: You may either use Microsoft® SharePoint® or the BPM-X Repository Server, a web services-based back-end for public and private cloud operations. This post focuses on the SharePoint®-based solution and the aspect of how to model a business architecture by decomposition and different levels of granularity.

The following podcast demonstrates some according modeling techniques with Visio® 2013, SharePoint® and the BPM-X® Designer tool.


Visio® is an easy-to-use tool, and it can do much more than mapping simple process flows. BPM-X® Designer makes Visio® the fully-featured tool for modeling enterprise and business architecture.

Generally speaking, there are several techniques for an architectural decomposition:

  1. Place diagrams into a folder hierarchy.
  2. Link shapes to other diagrams (such links are also called “assignments”).
  3. Use object occurrences (instances of the same object) to link different levels.
  4. Implement process objects via diagrams.
  5. Use associations to link objects and diagrams.

Taken together, these five techniques permit to construct enterprise and business architectures. Of course, a modeling guideline or convention manual needs to be defined by architects and confirmed by the modeling team in order to limit the number of modeling techniques and establish a conclusive modeling style. This will lay a sound foundation to a good common understanding and quality of work.

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