South East Training - Business Process Modelling Toolkit

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Data Objects and Messages 

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Data Objects

  • Sequence flow simply indicates the sequence in which events and activities occur.  It does not infer the movement or transmission of data.  
  • To represent data or documents, we need to use data objects.
  • Data objects can be linked to a sequence flow using a dotted line showing the association.  In this format, the association is non-directional, with no arrow.  The sequence flow indicates the direction.  Care needs to be taken to ensure there is no ambiguity as to the movement of data if this method is used.
  • Alternatively, data objects can be linked to activities or events using a dotted line with an arrow.  In this case, the association is directional, as shown in the diagram below.
  • The status of a data object in included in square brackets following the object name.  In the example below, we have Goods Receipt Note [Rejected] and Goods Receipt Note [Accepted] following the normal flow and exception flows respectively.


  • Message flow, as we have seen earlier, can only flow between pools.
  • Rather than using data objects to indicate the flow of data or documents, we use an envelope, referred to as a message.
  • The message flow represents the fact that a message is being sent, the message symbol (or envelope) represents the content.

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