BPMN in Action: Process Collaboration & Message Flow

A special feature of BPMN compared to other process modelling notation is the possibility to model process collaborations. A collaboration consists of two or more separate processes that communicate via message flow. A process can send a message that starts another process, or a message is sent to an existing process instance that has already been waiting for this message at a message-catching intermediate event.

It is common to use collaborations for modelling the interactions between different business partners, e. g. between the procurement process of a customer and the order handling process of a supplier. However, business partners usually don’t use a shared BPMS platform. Does it also make sense to use collaborations within a single organization – although the same behaviour could be achieved by modeling a single process with several lanes?

The answer is yes, since the separation into different processes supports loose coupling, process re-use and separation of concerns.

The video presents a model of a collaboration and its execution by a processes engine. It also shows how to use a correlation in order to make sure that messages are received by the correct process instances.


You can download the project file for the Community Edition of the Bonita platform.

Prerequisite: Bonita version 2021.2 and above.


  • Import bos file in Bonita into a new project.
  • In „Organization“: Deploy „BPMCO.organization“ (default user: admin).
  • Deploy Business Data Model.
  • In „Diagrams“: Deploy the diagram (or press „Run“ to deploy the diagram and directly start the execution in one step).
  • Any user can start the process (e.g. „tom“). For the tasks of the IT department you can use user „susan“.
  • With „Applications“ you can open the portal. Select „Bonita User Application“.
  • The default password for all users is „bpm“.