Preview the new BPM
The new Business process modeler (BPM) tool has been released and is currently available in preview mode. If you are interested in previewing the new functionality, contact Microsoft and you will be given a preview code.
Complete the following steps to enable the preview functionality.
- On the LCS main page, click the Preview feature management tile, and then click the plus sign (+) to add a new preview feature.
- Enter the feature code provided by Microsoft, then click Unlock.
- To access the new Business process libraries page, go to your project, click the Business process modeler tile, and then click View this page in the updated BPM experience.
Create and edit a BPM library
Use the following tasks to create a BPM library or make changes to an existing library.
Create a new BPM library
- On the Business process libraries page, select New library.
- Enter a library name and select Create.
The new library is now available to users in the current project.
- Select the library to open it in BPM. Use BPM to build, edit, and browse your library.
To add a new process, select an existing process in your library, then click Add process on the toolbar. You can add a process as a child or sibling of the selected process node. This enables you to create a semantic hierarchy of business processes.
Edit the properties of a business process
Complete the following steps to edit the properties of a business process.
- In the BPM library, select the process node that you want to edit. In the Overview pane, select Edit mode.
- Enter a name and a description for the process node.
- Select the industries and countries/regions that this process applies to. You can also add keywords and links. Keywords can be used to define categories, work streams, or other metadata. Links (URLs) allow you to reference external sites or documentation.
- When you are finished making changes, click Save.
Move process nodes
You can move or assign a business process node to another parent node in the BPM hierarchy.
- Select the process node that you want to move, and then on the toolbar, select Move process. You can move up, move down, or select Move for more options.
- If you select Move, you can browse the hierarchy, select a destination node to move to, and then select Move as child or Move as sibling. Click Cancel to cancel the move operation.
Delete a process
To delete a business process, select the process that you want to delete, and then on the toolbar, select Delete.
Copy a Global or Corporate library to your project
You can browse a BPM library that is a Global or Corporate library. However, to edit and work with a BPM library, it needs to be part of your LCS project. Libraries distributed by Microsoft appear under Global libraries, while libraries that are published by your organization appear under Corporate libraries.
- To copy a global or corporate library to your project, go to the Business process libraries page.
- On the tile of the library that you want to copy, click on the ellipsis (…), and then select Copy.
- Select a library name, then select Create.
You can search for words or phrases in your BPM library. The search functionality searches through business process names and descriptions. To search for a word, enter the word in the search bar and press Enter. To search for a phrase, use double quotes around the search phrase. For example, enter technology (word) or “information technology” (phrase) in the search bar.
You can also search for AOT elements that are part of the Dynamics 365 for Operations Task recordings in your library. These are typically form names or menu items names. When you search for an AOT element, prefix it with the $ sign. For example, $CustTable.
You can associate an activity diagram with a business process. Activity diagrams are used to describe how a business process or task is completed in a proposed software solution.
There are 3 types of activity diagrams:
- Task recordings - Business processes associated with Dynamics 365 for Operations Task recordings include automatically generated activity diagrams and process steps.
- Microsoft Visio - You can associate a business process with a Visio diagram by manually uploading a Visio file.
- User-defined - You can manually create (or edit) a BPM activity diagram.
In addition to activity diagrams, you can describe a business process using detailed process steps.
The Diagrams column in your BPM library indicates when a particular business process is associated with an activity diagram. The number indicates the number of child processes that include diagrams and the icon next to the number indicates whether the current node/process is associated with a diagram. These indicators do not apply to Visio diagrams.
To view or edit an activity diagram, navigate to the business process, and then in the Overview pane, select Diagrams. This will open the Flowchart page.
You can create a Task recording in your Dynamics 365 for Operations environment and save it directly to LCS. This will associate a Task recording with a business process in a BPM library. For more information, see Connecting the help system and Create documentation or training using task recordings.
The task recorder tool in Dynamics 365 for Operations allows you to create a distributable recording file (.axtr). You can associate a business process in BPM with a Task recording by manually uploading a recording (.axtr) file. In BPM, select the desired business process then select Upload.
BPM automatically generates an activity diagram and detailed process steps for all recordings created in Dynamics 365 for operations.
To edit an activity diagram, right-click on a blank area of the flowchart and in the bottom toolbar, select Edit. For more information about BPM flowcharts, see Flowcharts in Business process modeler.
You can associate a business process with a Visio diagram. Typically, this is used for high-level processes that cannot be represented with a Task recording. BPM supports .vsd and .vsdx files, .vsdm files (macros) are not supported. When .vsd files have macros, BPM disables the execution of the macro.
- To view or upload a Visio file, navigate to the business process, and then select Diagrams in the Overview pane. This will open the flowchart page.
- Select the Visio tab. For more information, see Unconnected flowcharts.
Edit process steps
- To edit process steps, right-click on a blank area of the flowchart, and select Edit in the bottom toolbar.
- In the Process steps text box, enter the process steps, one step per line.
- To indent steps, which is the same as defining sub steps), use the = (equal sign). You can have more than one = sign to indicate a deeper level of indentation.
For example, to render the following process steps:
- Right-click the flowchart, and then select Edit.
- In the Process steps text box, enter the information shown in the following graphic.
Note: The = sign indicates the hierarchy level of a sub step.
Publish and distribute your BPM library
To publish and distribute your BPM library to other organizations, typically customers that are implementing Dynamics 365 for Operations complete the following steps.
- Go to the Business process libraries page.
- Click the ellipsis (…) for the library that you want to publish, and select Publish.
This will make the library available to all users that are part of your organization, which would be all users who sign in to LCS using your organization’s domain. For example, all users with a @contoso.com account.
- Ask the customer to invite you to their project.
- Sign in to the customer’s LCS project using your organization’s account.
- Go to the Business process libraries page and copy the desired library from the Corporate libraries pane to the customer’s project.
Synchronize with VSTS, collect requirements, and review processes
The implementation stage of a project starts by synchronizing a BPM library with your Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) project. The enables you to review processes and associate requirements with business processes. It also enables you to track the progress of your implementation project in VSTS and associate work items like bugs, tasks, backlog items, tests, and documents with requirements and business processes.
To learn more about VSTS, visit www.visualstudio.com/team-services.
If you have already setup Visual Studio Team Services from LCS, you can skip this section.
To connect to a VSTS project, LCS is authenticated by using a personal access token. Use the following steps to create a personal access token in VSTS.
- Sign in to visualstudio.com and locate your VSTS project.
- In the top right corner, hover over your name, and in the menu that appears, select Security.
- Click Add to create a new personal access token.
- Give the token a name, and then enter the amount of time that you want the token to last for.
- Click Create Token.
- Copy the token to your clipboard. You will not be able to find the token details after this step is completed, so be sure that you have copied the token before navigating away from this page.
- In your LCS project, go to the Project settings tile, select Visual Studio Team Services, and then click Setup Visual Studio Team Services. This configuration is needed by many LCS tools, if you have already configured LCS to connect to your VSTS project, you can skip this section or click Change to change the existing setup.
- Enter the root URL for your VSTS account and the access token that you created earlier, and then click Continue.
- Select your Visual Studio Team Services project.
- Select the work item type mappings. These are the mappings between an LCS/BPM item and the associated VSTS work item types.
- Click Continue, review your changes, and then click Save.
Synchronize a BPM library with a VSTS project
After you have set up the connection between the LCS project and a VSTS project, go to the Business process libraries page, select the ellipsis (…) of the library that you want to synchronize, and select VSTS sync.
You can also start VSTS sync from the toolbar of a BPM library.
If you want to cancel sync, go back to the same menu.
When you synchronize a BPM library with a VSTS project, a VSTS work item is created for each business process line in the BPM library. In addition, the hierarchy of business processes in BPM is reflected in the hierarchy of work items in VSTS. The type of work items created in VSTS depends on your LCS project settings.
This is a one-way sync, changes in LCS are reflected in VSTS but not the other way around.
The following is synchronized:
- Business process name
- Business process description
- Keywords (as tags)
- Countries/regions (as tags)
- Industry (as tags)
During the requirements gathering phase of a project, use the BPM library to review business processes and tasks, and to identify requirements. In BPM, you can mark business processes as Reviewed to track the review process.
To mark a process or sub process, as reviewed, select the process in BPM, and then select Mark as reviewed in the Overview pane.
When a business process is marked as reviewed, the Reviewed column is updated.
The Reviewed column shows the following:
- A fraction indicating the number of direct child processes that have been reviewed.
- An icon indicating whether this process and all its children are fully reviewed (green check mark), partially reviewed (yellow circle), or not reviewed (red dash).
If the BPM library is synchronized with a VSTS project, when you mark a process as reviewed its state changes to Active in VSTS.
While reviewing a business process that is connected to VSTS, you can add a requirement directly to your VSTs project.
- Select the desired business process.
- Select the Requirements tab.
- Select Add requirement.
- Enter a name, description, and type, and then click Create.
This will create a requirement work item in VSTS associated with the current business process.
On the Requirements tab, you can also navigate to the VSTS work items associated with the current business process by selecting the appropriate links.