Text Annotation is a notation used by a creator of a process model to provide users and readers with auxiliary information and explanation. Comments.
Overview of Text Annotation
In BPMN, Text Annotation is considered as one of Standard Artifacts and is used to write auxiliary information and explanation about processes (flow objects) that are not directly related to sequence flows or message flows. Text Annotation in BPMN is supposed to be used in the following cases.
- A creator of a model is afraid that users who actually conduct tasks, especially end users, might feel that the model is "not easy to understand" or "not concrete enough."
- A creator of a model thinks that it is necessary to clearly state how to conduct the tasks.
- A creator wants to describe terminologies etc. as additional information.
In any case described above, it is considered that Text Annotation is used when a creator of a model wants to reach a consensus with users of the model. By adding artifacts or concepts dedicated to some specific fields or business and concrete information to diagrams by means of Text Annotation, a creator can create comprehensible process models. As a result, the gap between a model creator and users in terms of understanding about the model significantly decreases, and the users can conduct the business process following the diagram more smoothly.
Notation for Text Annotation
Text Annotation must be written in the way defined in BPMN. The order to follow when a creator makes Text Annotation is shown below. (See Figure 1.)
- Identify the part to which auxiliary explanation is added by using Text Annotation (This part is hereafter called an "object.")
- Write down sentences and phrases about the additional information clealy and succinctly in the blank space around the object.
- Place an opening square bracket ([) at the left of the sentences or phrases.
- Connect the object and the opening square bracket with black dotted line representing association.
Possible Objects of Auxiliary Explanation by Text Annotation
When adding auxiliary explanation by using Text Annotation, a creator must make sure that the object does not include all modeling factors. More specifically, Text Annotation can not be connected to flows (sequence flows or message flows). One thing to be noted here is that association, which is another connection object, is required to make Text Annotation. On the other hand, Text Annotation can be used for modeling factors other than flows to add auxiliary explanation. Auxiliary explanation by Text Annotations is frequently used with objects of the four types below.
It is not common to use Text Annotation for events.