Business Process Management & Enterprise Architecture track of ACM SAC 2017

This year I’m co-organizing with Davide Rossi and a bunch of experts in Business Process Management and Enterprise Architecture a new event called BPM-EA, which aims at bringing together the broad topics of business processes, modeling, and enterprise architecture.

These disciplines are quickly evolving and intertwining with each other, and are often referred to with the broad term of business modeling.
I believe there is a strong need of exploring new paths of improvement, integration and consolidation of these disciplines.
If you are interested to participate and contribute, we seek contributions in the areas of enterprise and systems architecture and modeling, multilevel models tracing and alignment, models transformation, IT & business alignment (both in terms of modeling and goals), tackling both technical (languages, systems, patterns, tools) and social (collaboration, human-in-the-loop) issues.
The deadline for submitting a paper is September 15, 2016.
You can find the complete call and further details on the event website:
BPMEA track at SAC 2017

Feel free to share your ideas, opinions and criticisms here or as a submission to the event.

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Why we built an app and why we got featured as best app in the Apple store

It took years, countless hours of work and conceptual effort by a good bunch of people, but last December we delivered our flagship app Fluxedo to the Apple Store and Android Play Store.
And yes, we got featured as best new app in the Apple store.
This was a great surprise, for several reasons:

  • we built Fluxedo with cross-platform, non-native technologies
  • the UX was pixel-perfect wrt the Google material design guidelines
  • we didn’t advertise, push or apply any PR techniques on the app
And anyway, we got selected by Apple.
How was that?
I think three main points contributed to this success are:
  • detailed studies of UX, feedback from user panels, and expertise in usability
  • maniacal care on the implementation issues, performance, and testing of features
  • solid data management architecture
  • long-term research underneath the concept of the app (as apparent from various scientific publications that feature the technical aspects of the product: we got papers accepted at BPMS2 2012, MobileSoft 2015, ICWE 2015, and SLE 2015)
All this allowed a resulting app that is undistinguishable from native ones and works perfectly on any device.
Add to this a continuous improvement and evolution philosophy, and you get the core of the values of Fluxedo. WE are now working intensively on a new version of the app, completely re-engineered, to further improve the user experience and performance.
You can get an idea of the app from this video (or visit


To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Webinar on WebRatio BPM Platform 8.4

I’m glad to share the video of the most recent webinar on WebRatio BPM Platform, the BPMN-based tool designed to support you in building high-end BPM Web and mobile Apps with a tailored User Experience. If you never experienced WebRatio BPM Platform, here is a summary of what you can do with it:

  •  DEVELOP WEB AND MOBILE APPS through prototypes, then change them as many times as you need. No more time wasted building mockups on paper.
  • NO VENDOR LOCK IN thanks to highly optimized generated code that is open, human readable and based on the most recent Java and JS frameworks.
  • DEFINE A CUSTOM WEB OR MOBILE FRONT END for your BPM App and create a customized user interface, giving every channel a different user experience.
  • SUPPORT YOUR USERS’ MOBILITY thanks to the mobile BPM capabilities that let you work on your BPM App on any device, desktop or mobile, and deliver a seamless user experience.
Discover more on the WebRatio site or watch the video of the webinar on YouTube:

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Fluxedo – your personal flow manager: model-driven strikes back for end users?

After months of intensive preparatory work, we are ready to announce a new initiative that starts from the model-driven engineering research but then targets end users: the upcoming mobile app called Fluxedo!

Fluxedo is a personal flow manager that allows you to easily create and share your tasks with friends and colleagues. Fluxedo lets you involve the people around you, keep up to date on the progress of the flow and reach your goals faster.
Fluxedo is based on the model-driven research on personal process management and aims at bringing it to the consumer market.
It is the result of a domain-specific modeling study for understanding the best way for describing processes from the consumer perspective.

You can read more on the web site, but I can anticipate we already have a Alpha version of the app, and we plan to release the Beta version within the next 3-4 months. Aside, I’d like to mention that the project comes out from M.Sc. works at Politecnico di Milano and already won two startup challenges.
At this point though, I would like to ask a small action from your side:

.. and I know, it’s Valentine day, so I hope you get in love with this app!

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Mobile, Cloud, BPM through MDD for fostering the business. Presentation at SMAU 2013

Yesterday, together with Matteo Sassi from WebRatio, I gave a seminar at SMAU 2013 on applying model-driven engineering solutions to Mobile, Cloud, and BPM technologies for fostering the business.
The main message is that MDD and MDE can dramatically increase efficiency, flexibility and effectiveness of the enterprise by letting it address better the needs of the customers.
The presentation I gave is reported here below (in Italian).

Here is the setting of the presentation, with Matteo Sassi doing the demonstration of the WebRatio tool for BPMN and IFML modeling, quick prototyping and deployment on the cloud.
 To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Communicating Business Process and Software Models: Quality, Understandability, and Maintainability

For the first time, this year we organized a workshop on Communicating Business Process and Software Models: Quality, Understandability, and Maintainability (CPSM 2013). [see official web site]

Hajo Reijers giving his keynote talk at CPSM workshop
Hajo Reijers giving his keynote talk at CPSM workshop

It was held on September 23rd, 2013 at the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands in conjunction with the 29th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance.

The motivation of the workshop stands in the fact that, in recent years, models have become a paramount means for communication. This gained more attention in research on process modeling and software modeling. Both communities discuss issues on models, modeling languages, and their use and perception, such as model understandability, complexity of modeling
languages, actual usage of language features, cognitive aspects, human perception and subjective perspectives on models, and related topics. These aspects are extremely important for the adaption of modeling languages both for process design and software development. Furthermore, models are becoming more and more important as a communication tool across disciplines and enterprise roles. In particular understandability and readability of models is a key success factor for comprehensive modeling of enterprise practices and IT systems. This entails the possibility of modeling different perspectives of the enterprise, and yet grant coherency and integration between the models. The CPSM 2013 workshop was held as a multi-disciplinary forum for researchers and practitioners actively working on quality, usability and maintainability of software and process models. The goal of the CPSM workshop was to bring together researchers and practitioners in the area of Business Process (re)design and software maintenance, to discuss about and exchange ideas on quality, understandability and maintainability of business process models, of software models, and of the relationships between business process models, software models, and system implementation.

CPSM workshop attendees suring one discussion session
CPSM workshop attendees suring one discussion session

The event was a success, it gathered more than 15 attendees between software engineers, BPM practitioners and academics, and was a great occasion for discussion.

The organization of the event was by Irene Vanderfeesten, Dirk Fahland (both from Eindhoven University of Technology) and myself.
Some pictures of the event are reported here, while others are available on the workshop site, together with the slides of the keynotes and additional materials.

If you are interested in the event and in contributing to organizing or hosting its future editions, feel free to get in touch.

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Success story paper: Large-scale Model-Driven Engineering of Web User Interaction with WebML and WebRatio

Our paper “Large-scale Model-Driven Engineering of Web User Interaction: The WebML and WebRatio experience” has been published online on Elsevier’s journal: Science of Computer Programming, in the special issue Success Stories in Model Driven Engineering (edited by Davide Di Ruscio, Richard Paige, Alfonso Pierantonio).

The history we report spans across a decade that has seen a dramatic  change in the way software applications are built, which can be summarized  in three fundamental factors that impacted the evolution of WebML and  WebRatio:
  • The progressive consolidation of theWeb as an application development platform
  • At the front-end, the multiplication of access devices and usage scenarios
  • At the back-end, Business Process Models emerged as a uniform way of representing cross-organization functionality, and Service Oriented Architecture as the technical vehicle for deploying process enactment on top of heterogeneous IT infrastructures.
These change drivers put much strain on a DSL like WebML, born for capturing the  features of the Web, and produced the timeline shown below:

The paper reports on our experience with WebML and WebRatio and describes the perspective of the new IFML standard adopted by OMG. The report tells the story of our company in the MDE tool market, facing the challenges of deploying MDE solutions in large-scale industrial players, with a focus on the model-driven design of user interaction and on code generation across all the tiers of Web/SOA applications. We describe our decisions on the DSL (domain specific language) and on the features we decided to implement (or not) in the tool. 
The paper includes an overview of WebRatio and of its accompanying DSL for Web application design (WebML); it describes the parallel evolution of the WebML language and of the WebRatio development environment; it reports on the the lessons learnt from the joint design of the DSL and of its support tool; it presents a sample of customer histories and reports some quantitative measures on the WebRatio usage, together with some statistics on WebML models size and development effort. Finally, we take the occasion to reflect on the success and failure factors for MDE emerged from the WebRatio experience.

The paper is available from Elsevier and also here in our open-access preprint version.

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Global Awards for Excellence in BPM & Workflow – by Keith Swenson and Nathaniel Palmer

Global excellence in BPM and Workflow LogoIt’s with great pleasure that I can announce that the model-driven approach proposed by WebRatio has won the Special Mention Award within the Global Awards for Excellence in BPM and Workflow, promoted by WfMC,, and Future Strategies.

You can read the full announcement here and you can follow the webinar of the award ceremony on SlideShare (see below).

WebRatio has won thanks to the success story of SET Distribuzione, an Italian customer in the utility and energy sector, that obtained a saving of 300K EU per year thanks to the implemented application and experienced a process complexity reduction of around 40% (which lead to the same proportion of saved time during operations).
This has been obtained by pervasive application of MDD quick prototyping during the whole project, which granted an elapsed development time of only 3 months.

You can download the full SET Distribuzione case description from here (PDF file, 8 pages).

See and hear more in the webinar below, presented by Keith Swenson and Nathaniel Palmer.

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

BPM and Cloud, the ideal partners. SMAU 2012 presentation

Questo workshop si occupa di presentare le tecniche moderne di progettazione e deployment di processi di business a livello enterprise, sfruttando le potenzialità degli approcci model-driven (MDE – Model Driven Engineering) e le piattaforme basate su cloud.
Il workshop mostra come sia possibile affrontare con tecniche agili le problematiche di definizione e ristrutturazione di processi aziendali, ottenendo in tempi rapidi prototipi funzionanti e installazioni finali delle applicazioni, anche a fronte di esigenze di flessibilità e continua evoluzione dei requisiti.
La combinazione BPM e Cloud si mostra vincente in tutti questi casi, garantendo la massima flessibilità di progettazione e installazione.
L’applicazione di questi concetti viene mostrata attraverso l’utilizzo di WebRatio, uno strumento innovativo che consente la progettazione agile di processi aziendali, interfacce utente e funzionalità di business logic avanzate (che coprono anche integrazioni con piattaforme SOA, con BPM engine pre-esistenti e sistemi terzi, inclusi social network) attraverso un approccio Model-Driven e, tramite una funzionalità di one-click deployment, permette di generare e pubblicare applicazioni Web Enterprise su una piattaforma cloud a piacere, sia essa pubblica o privata aziendale. – 

See more at the workshop page of SMAU.
To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).

Personal process management: the overlooked side of BPM

Being quite involved both in the BPM field and in social networking, personal productivity tools, and Web application design, I’m always appalled when I think about how many findings and practices designed for businesses could benefit our everyday life too.
One specific example of this is about the BPM practices and their potential added value for end users.
With the advent of Web 2.0 and online social interactions, people started sharing thoughts, contents and tasks online. This evolved to cover also socialization of task management, which is currently supported by a plethora of online services directed to the final user (for instance, see: RememberTheMilk or Astrid).
First, I tried to build a list of features they cover, and that’s what I obtained:

As you see, they all provide plenty of features, with some diversification among each other. However, all these tools share a common weakness: they don’t provide any way for structuring the interactions, dependencies or constraints between tasks.

Based on this consideration, I thought about a vision towards the application of BPM techniques and tools to personal task management. The challenge of this is finding the appropriate level of complexity of processes: obviously one cannot expose the full complexity of BP modeling languages to end users. The language for modeling such processes should be complete enough for describing basic processes but also simple enough to let people understand, accept and use them in their everyday life. Therefore, I’m proposing to strip off some of the expressive power of enterprise business processes, so as to accommodate end user needs and acceptance.

I presented a paper at the BPMS2 workshop on Business Process Management and Social Software at the BPM conference on this. The slides are available on slideshare and reported below.
If you are interested, you can read the full paper here (scroll to the bottom of the page and download the PDF).

To my understanding neither the commercial tool nor the academic community (except for some work done by Michael Rosemann, reflected only in a one-year-old short post) is addressing the issue.
Feel free to comment and propose extensions or changes! This is just a first attempt in the direction of personal process management (but already supported by a prototype implementation, see the video attached to the slides or available on youTube!).

A demonstration video of our tool is on YouTube:

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).