Method and Style Validation Tools Available

I am making two BPMN model validation tools, which reinforce the rules of my Method and Style approach, available on BPMS Watch. As I have said in the past, the biggest obstacle most people - business and IT - face in creating good BPMN is attention to proper model structure and labeling... NOT the shape semantics or fuzzy business logic. The best way to get into the habit of properly structuring and labeling BPMN diagrams is to have an automated tool check your model over and report violations of the rules. It doesn't find every problem, but it finds a lot of them, even in my own diagrams.

The first tool, located at, is intended for use by students of my BPMessentials training. For now, it is accessible to any registered BPMS Watch user. It accepts BPMN 2.0 export from itp commerce Process Modeler for Visio v5.4 and above, and tests the model against the list of rules published here. Eventually these rules will probably be embedded in itp commerce's native Validate function.

The second one,, accepts .vdx files created with the BPMN template in Microsoft Visio Premium 2010. It first converts the Visio to BPMN 2.0 XML, and then applies the Method and Style validation rules to the result. I haven't yet opened this up to all BPMS Watch registered users, but if you would like to use this tool, send me an email and I will grant you access to the page.

To illustrate, below is a model that reports no validation errors in the itp tool, but has lots of problems caught by my tool. The first diagram is the top-level process, and the second one is the expansion of subprocess C on a child page.

Top level page:

Child-level page:

Validator report:

I'd like interested readers to try it out. All feedback is welcome. If you want an evaluation copy of itp commerce Process Modeler for Visio, go to If you want a trial version of Visio Premium 2010, click here.