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BPM standards: Using swimlanes to design process template is advisable

Submitted by anand on Wed, 2011-11-09 16:34

Through this article i am sharing the benefits of using swimlanes (or Lane) in designing the process template and with an example, will show you the things which are possible with swimlanes in Bonitasoft.


Using Lane:

The primary benefit BPM tool is to bridge down the gap between the business users and developers. So there are few standards which should be considered while designing a process template. Lane being one of them. These standards are commonly known as BPMN in BPM world/community.

More about BPMN can be read from


Using Lane’s has following benefits:-

  • It gives more clarity to a process.
  • Makes the process manageable.
  • Saves coding time, such as assigning the group/user to a particular lane.


Everything about LANE in Bonitasoft

You can do the following things with lane in Bonitasoft-

  • Define one or multiple lane in a particular process/pool.
  • Assign user to entire lane for user type of task.
  • Change the appearance of user experience for entire lane.
  •  Add colors to different LANE to make the process more readable.
  • User of a particular user work step can be overridden to that of the default lane user.


In order to test above mentioned functionally, let’s dirty our hands by designing a process which contains 2 Lanes:- 


Step1: (Defining LANE)


Create a new process and name it as “TestingLanes”, From Palette drag  Lane and name it “Initiator Lane”, since we want the default user for this to be initiator. Drag another LANE from the palette and name it Lane 2.Also define some of the data for the pool (note:- There is no separate variable scope for lane. So, variable defined by any were that is from data tab of POOL  or  from LANE will be available for entire pool)


Step2: (Assigning user to a lane)


To assign user to particular lane click on any LANE and on “detail panel” of it assign the user the way you generally do. In our example we have made default user of Lane2 as “John”. Now for testing purpose make 2 human type work step 


Step3: (Override User for a particular user step of a LANE)


Doing this is very simple, click on the work step for which you want to override the user and in “detail Panel” > > click on “override users defined in lane” and assign the user in same traditional way (probably this ease of use makes BonitaSoft such an agile solution for mass BPM users)



Step4: (Coloring LANES and defining appearance)


As the name suggest appearance for the entire LANE can be customized from the “detail Panel” >> Appearance tab

Also the LANE coloring can be done from here, to give an agile look to a LANE click on the last icon and choose the color you want to assign to your LANE.

Below shown is the figure which shows the final designed process



At last deploy the process and test it by logging with different users.

Hope this tutorial was simple and helpful, please punch queries and let me know if I missed anything for LANE’s in BonitaSoft. 

Abhishek Anand
Business Process Management professional. Experience in working with Multitier J2EE Applications and BPM Systems.
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