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Activities (BPMN Executable)Locate this document in the navigation structure

Activities are work that is performed within a process.

To create an activity:
  • Select an object in the diagram and click (or click and drag) the Task tool in its context toolbar to create a new activity after it in the control flow, or
  • Click the Task tool in the bottom toolbar and click in the diagram.
The activity is created with its default name highlighted, ready for you to enter an appropriate name.

By default, an abstract task is created. To change the type of activity, click the Properties tool and select a type from the list. In BPMN 2.0 Executable, PowerDesigner supports the following types of activities:

Symbol Description
BPMN_20 ActivityBase Abstract task - Basic unit of work.
BPMN_20_ActivitySend Send task - Sends a message to a participant external to the process. Once the message has been sent, the task is completed.
BPMN_20_ActivityReceive Receive task - Waits for a message to arrive from a participant external to the process. Once the message has been received, the task is completed.
BPMN_20_ActivityUser User task - A human performer performs the task with the assistance of a software application and is scheduled through a task list manager of some sort.
BPMN_20_ActivityManual Manual task - A task that is performed without the aid of any business process execution engine or any application. For example, a telephone technician installing a telephone at a customer location.
BPMN_20_ActivityBusinessRule Business rule task - Sends input to a business rules engine and receives the output of the engine's calculations.
BPMN_20_ActivityService Service task - Uses a Web service or automated application.
BPMN_20_ActivityScript Script task - Executed by a script interpreted by a business process engine.
BPMN_20_ActivityTransaction Transaction - Set of activities that logically belong together, and which might follow a specific transaction protocol.
BPMN_20_ActivityCall Call activity - Wrapper for a globally defined sub-process or task that is reused in the current process (see Call Activities (BPMN Descriptive)).
BPMN_20_ActivitySubProcess Sub-process - An activity whose internal details have been modeled using activities, gateways, events, and sequence flows (see Sub-Processes (BPMN Descriptive)).
BPMN_20_ActivityEventSubProcess Event sub-process - An activity that is activated when its start event is triggered, and can interrupt the higher level process context or run in parallel (non-interrupting) depending on the start event.
BPMN_20_ActivityAdHocSubProcess Ad hoc sub-process - A specialized type of sub-process that is a group of activities that have no required sequence relationships, and whose sequence and number are determined by the performers of the activities.
Activities can have the following properties:
Property Description


Identify the object. The name should clearly convey the object's purpose to non-technical users, while the code, which is used for generating code or scripts, may be abbreviated, and should not normally include spaces. You can optionally add a comment to provide more detailed information about the object. By default the code is generated from the name by applying the naming conventions specified in the model options. To decouple name-code synchronization, click to release the = button to the right of the Code field.

Reusable process Specifies that the process can be referenced by a call activity (see Call Activities (BPMN Descriptive)).
Start quantity/ Completion quantity Specify the number of tokens that must arrive before the activity can begin and the number of tokens that must be generated from the activity. The default value is 1 and it is only changed in very advanced modeling situations.
Loop characteristics Specifies that the activity may be repeated in one of the following ways:
  • <none> - default
  • Loop
  • Multi-Instance parallel
  • Multi-Instance sequential
Compensation Specifies that the activity is intended for the purposes of compensation.
Called object [Call Activities] Specifies the global task or process that is reused by the call activity.