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Method and system for zone-based enlargement and zooming in BPM modeling tools

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000181613D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Apr-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Apr-07
Document File: 4 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Business process management (BPM) editors today allow for the creation of large, complex graphs, representing a workflow diagram, with a constant trade-off between keeping an overview and seeing enough detail. Some solution to this problem are zooming of the graph, possible combined with overview windows, others are the introduction of collapsable regions. All solutions require tedious manual interaction, either by collapsing regions, or by having to manipulate overview windows. Better methods to provide overview and detail for workflow graphs are desirable.

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Method and system for zone-based enlargement and zooming in BPM modeling tools

A method and system for zone-based enlargement and zooming is proposed for

BPM modeling tools. This method is based on the following main ideas:

Rather than providing a uniform zoom level for the entire graph, support different zones with different zoom factors. E.g., the entire graph may be zoomed to 20%, providing a good overview, while the portion currently worked on can be zoomed to 100%, allowing for easy interaction. This technique needs to be combined with automatic layouting, which is available for workflow graphs. The zone(s) that should be zoomed into can be determined by several methods, such as automatically on mouse over, or manually by the user selecting a portion of the overall graph. Several regions can be zoomed at different levels, as the modelers sees fit.

Rather than zooming by simply reducing the size of objects, this method uses semantic information about the model to keep the reduced information more legible. Elements that are of less importance are removed entirely from the graph if otherwise their representation would be too small. For example, in a BPEL workflow model, the names of activities can be removed first, then auxiliary activities such as assigns can be reduced to small dots, at smaller zoom levels be removed altogether. Complex constructs such as scopes or loops in BPMN can be...

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