BPMN - Pool Specification - In two different places? (and many other issues)


I’m determined to use the VP BPMN package as their designers intended. Not all the things are making sense to me, and none of it has to do directly with the BPMN specification.

Here’s the issues.

Pool  Definition

There are three different names on a BPMN diagram above.

  • 1 - represents the “container name” (Test).

  • 2 - I don’t really know what it represents

  • 3 - represents the name of the pool.

Here are the questions:

  • Can someone tell me what is “2” used for? I’m sure the answer to this will answer why when I click the definition icon of “2” I go to the pool definition?

  • I have some diagrams that have “2” and “3” connected. When I change “3” then “2” changes. How do I break that?

  • Why is that that some pools have the “a” reference which I’m assuming determines the pool as connected to an already existing pool, and others I don’t?

  • Why do I have pools w an “M” instead of “a” indicator?

Thank you in advance for your help

Correct, please keep in mind that there really isn’t “one good way” to use all this. Visual Paradigm is an extremely extensive tool, I’ve been using it for years and I still learn new things about it from time to time (like with that post from Antony which I still think is really intriguing).

Also noteworthy is that Visual Paradigm provides several tools throughout all diagrams which you can use to enhance your work. Sometimes those have nothing to do with the diagram at all but more so with what VP has to offer (think about the freehand section in the palette).

It used to be the place where you’d specify the name of the current diagram, but to my knowledge this option isn’t being used anymore, it only seems to reference the so called root frame of a diagram.

I sometimes see it pop up when I’m working with VP within NetBeans where VP uses the previous GUI layout. and within BPMN but I can’t find a direct connection between that and the active diagram. On my end it always says “Unspecified”.

Can’t really answer this because I’ve never seen this happening myself before. Worst case scenario I can think off would be to create a new diagram and then using copy/past to move the current elements over.

The ‘a’ and ‘M’ indicators mark so called model views; both auxiliary and master view. The Master view (marked by ‘M’) is the original model and the auxiliary view(s) are copies (re-used elements) of a model and have an ‘a’ indicator.

When you copy a model element then VP creates a new view by default, I think that might be the reason these got created.

The purpose is to allow you to re-use a model element (and all its attached meta-data) and keep that accessible and manageable. So: if you need to change any meta-data (for example the description or maybe a reference) then this change will be applied to all elements at once.

You can turn these indicators on and off by using the “Model Indicator” option in the view tab.

Hope this helps!

Hi Filipe, in addition to ShelLuser’s answer I would like to add the following:

2 is the parent pool of the model elements in the BPMN diagram, it should initially be “Unspecified” as ShelLuser said, once you double-clicked and enter some text to it, a pool is created with the text as name and assigned as the diagram’s parent pool. The model elements of the diagram elements created in the diagram will become children of that pool (you can verify that by showing the Model Explorer while creating new diagram elements to it).

Then 2 and 3 must refer to the same pool, maybe you have dragged the pool created in 2 and drop it to diagram to create a diagram element for it. To break that, simply double-click 2 and clear the text there to clear the parent pool of the diagram. The pool won’t get deleted, just the BPMN diagram will become no parent pool as it was initially.

Hope this could answer your questions.

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Hey Antony.

Thank you for your clarification.

So VP created the concept of “parent pool” which doesn’t exist in the BPMN standard.

The question is why?

Isn’t “1” and “2” redundant? Because it seems to me that most of the time people name “1” and “2” the same. Also, if that’s the case, then why show “unspecified” when we don’t need to fill it?

As for how “2” and “3” became connected, the reason is a lot simpler. All you need to do, is to name “2” and after name “3” using the same exact name.

I was able to follow your suggestion to break the connection between the parent pool and the pool. However, the pool still as the “a” (auxiliar) reference. How do I get to the “master”?

Thank you!

Hey ShelLuser.
Thank you for the clarifications. Much appreciated!:+1::grinning:

Because some users may treat the BPMN diagram as a big pool, but don’t want to have a physical pool shape in the diagram and still want every diagram element drawn become a child of the pool. The parent pool is designed to serve this purpose. The same effect can be achieved by creating a new BPMN diagram as the pool’s subdiagram, it may even be a more natural way to work with because it is consistent for all diagram types, not just specific to BPMN diagram.

Not really. As I said 2 is name of parent pool, if you don’t want the parent pool feature you should leave it blank i.e. “Unspecified”, 1 is the diagram name which must exist for every diagram.

Simply right-click on the auxiliary view pool and select “Selection” > “Set as Master View” from the popup menu. Note that this menu item won’t exist if the pool is a master view already.