IBM® offers a BPM modeling platform for the cloud: IBM® Blueworks™ Live, formerly named Lombardi Blueprint®. This new platform empowers process owners and business analysts to document business processes, collaborate, share information and drive business process analysis (BPA) for process improvements in their organization. The IBM® Blueworks Live™ tool supports BPMN™ 2.0 for modeling and can also import Microsoft® Office Visio® diagrams. However, BlueWorks Live™ is not designed to export process models back to Visio®.

But in fact, many organizations are actually using Visio® as their preferred mapping tool for BPA. For such a scenario we have created a configuration to export IBM® Blueworks Live™ process models provided in XPDL format to Visio® BPMN™ diagrams. In Visio® business experts can enhance business process models by adding BPMN™ shapes, business objects and organizational structures in order to design sophisticated process models. While Visio® 2010 already supports BPMN™ 1.1, the new version Visio® 2013 also supports the BPMN™ 2.0 notation. By using these BPMN™ templates, Visio® allows to quickly and easily create BPMN™ process model diagrams.

To fully support this scenario in terms of round-trips – from Blueworks to Visio® and back – we have developed a bi-directional transformation between the Blueworks XPDL export format and the Microsoft® Visio® XML drawing format. With this capability, different teams in organizations can efficiently work together for ERP, SOA and BPM projects – despite using different tools. This protects existing investments in tools and documentation and saves time and money. Business analysts, for instance, can use their favored Visio® in ERP requirements workshops and scope process models coming from Blueworks.

Because this round-trip scenario is supported through a configuration, it can easily be extended, e.g. to import best-practice models provided in other formats and notations or to share BPMN™ models created in Blueworks with other tools.

Best of both worlds in BPM – IBM Blueworks Live in the cloud and Microsoft Visio on the desktop
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2 thoughts on “Best of both worlds in BPM – IBM Blueworks Live in the cloud and Microsoft Visio on the desktop

  • February 11, 2014 at 23:20


    Can you tell me which product is providing this functionality? We want to link between Blueworks Live and our EA tool – iServer. So we need to export to visio, and preferably if you we could go one step further to export to iServer’s visio stencil, that would be great.


  • October 16, 2014 at 23:04

    In your blog post:
    you describe a configuration to create an XPDL export from IBM Blueworks Live! that can be imported into Microsoft Visio (Visio 2013 presumably).
    Do you have any documentation of this configuration you can share? I am interested in doing the same.


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