Mapping Study on Traceability Between BPMN Models and Source Code

Olga Lucero Vega-Márquez, Helga Duarte, Víctor Collazos


Considering the importance of traceability in software development and the fact that new development approaches have emerged in order to adapt to the dynamic and innovative market environment, we identified the need to examine traceability in business process-driven software development. Specifically, we are interested in traceability when using the BPMN language for modelling the business processes, which are then executed by integrating different software artifacts deployed from a source code.
The purpose of this research is to review traceability from BPMN models to source code literature to describe the progress of this area, by identifying four research questions regarding approaches, technologies, techniques, traced artifacts, and tools. Through a systematic mapping study, 286 primary studies were obtained in the search stage. After two screenings and applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, we obtained 24 relevant papers. Strictly within the framework of these works, we answered our four research questions: we found MDE as the main approach, SOA as the main technology, graphs use as an emerging technique for managing versioning and change impact analysis, and extension of existing tools for providing traceability management. As for traced artifacts, variety is commonplace, therefore, we consider it prudent to classify traced artifacts as high-level, low-level, and BPMN-level models. Additionally, by classifying the papers with the SwEBoK, we found that issues, such as cost estimation and traceability in testing, are topics with little research and almost no development.


Business process model; BPMN; traceability.

Full Text:



A. M. Ubaid and F. T. Dweiri, “Business process management (BPM): terminologies and methodologies unified,” Int. J. Syst. Assur. Eng. Manag., vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 1046–1064, 2020, doi: 10.1007/s13198-020-00959-y.

C. F. H. Dos Santos, M. Fantinato, J. P. M. de Oliveira, and L. H. Thom, “Evaluating support for implementing BPMN 2.0 elements in business process management systems,” in ICEIS 2020 - Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, 2020, vol. 2, pp. 193–200, [Online]. Available:

P. Harmon and J. Garcia, “The State of Business Process Management 2020,” BPTrends, 2020, [Online]. Available:

A. Sahay, A. Indamutsa, D. Di Ruscio, and A. Pierantonio, “Supporting the understanding and comparison of low-code development platforms,” in Proceedings - 46th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, SEAA 2020, 2020, pp. 171–178, doi: 10.1109/SEAA51224.2020.00036.

A. M. Gutiérrez Fernández et al., “Applying Business Architecture Principles with Domain-Specific Ontology for ACM Modelling: A Building Construction Project Example,” Lect. Notes Bus. Inf. Process., vol. 362 LNBIP, pp. 388–399, 2019, doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-37453-2_32.

A. Koschmider, “Microservices-based business process model execution,” in CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2017, vol. 1859, pp. 158–161, [Online]. Available:

H. Kaiya et al., “Preliminary Systematic Literature Review of Software and Systems Traceability,” Procedia Comput. Sci., vol. 112, pp. 1141–1150, 2017, doi:

V. Yadav, R. K. Joshi, and S. Ling, “Evolution traceability roadmap for business processes,” in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2019, pp. 1–5, doi: 10.1145/3299771.3299790.

B. Kitchenham and P. Brereton, “A systematic review of systematic review process research in software engineering,” Inf. Softw. Technol., vol. 55, no. 12, pp. 2049–2075, 2013, doi: 10.1016/j.infsof.2013.07.010.

C. Marshall, B. Kitchenham, and P. Brereton, “Tool features to support systematic reviews in software engineering - A cross domain study,” E-Informatica Softw. Eng. J., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 79–115, 2018, doi: 10.5277/e-Inf180104.

B. Kitchenham, L. Madeyski, and P. Brereton, “Meta-analysis for families of experiments in software engineering: a systematic review and reproducibility and validity assessment,” Empir. Softw. Eng., vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 353–401, 2020, doi: 10.1007/s10664-019-09747-0.

K. Petersen, R. Feldt, S. Mujtaba, and M. Mattsson, “Systematic Mapping Studies in Software Engineering,” 2008, [Online]. Available:

J. S. Molléri, K. Petersen, and E. Mendes, “CERSE - Catalog for empirical research in software engineering: A Systematic mapping study,” Inf. Softw. Technol., vol. 105, pp. 117–149, 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.infsof.2018.08.008.

N. M. Minhas, S. Masood, K. Petersen, and A. Nadeem, “A systematic mapping of test case generation techniques using UML interaction diagrams,” J. Softw. Evol. Process, vol. 32, no. 6, 2020, doi: 10.1002/smr.2235.

G. Antoniol, J. Cleland-Huang, J. H. Hayes, and M. Vierhauser, “Grand Challenges of Traceability: The Next Ten Years,” CoRR, vol. abs/1710.0, 2017.

D. Falessi, J. Roll, J. L. C. Guo, and J. Cleland-Huang, “Leveraging historical associations between requirements and source code to identify impacted classes,” IEEE Trans. Softw. Eng., vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 420–441, 2020, doi: 10.1109/TSE.2018.2861735.

M. Rahimi and J. Cleland-Huang, “Evolving software trace links between requirements and source code,” in Proceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 10th International Workshop on Software and Systems Traceability, SST 2019, 2019, p. 12, doi: 10.1109/SST.2019.00012.

Trisotech, “BPMN Introduction and History.” 2015, [Online]. Available:

T. Tambo, Business process management notation (BPMN) as a Lingua Franca in virtual communities, vol. 11. 2017.

M. M. Lankhorst, M.-E. Iacob, and H. Jonkers, “State of the art,” Enterp. Eng. Ser., pp. 11–40, 2017, doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-53933-0_2.

J. Cleland-Huang, A. Zisman, and O. Gotel, Software and systems traceability, vol. 9781447122. Springer-Verlag London Ltd, 2012.

S. Pearson et al., “Are Distributed Ledger Technologies the panacea for food traceability?,” Glob. Food Sec., vol. 20, pp. 145–149, 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.gfs.2019.02.002.

G. A. D. A. C. Filho and A. Zisman, “D3TraceView: A traceability visualization tool,” in Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, SEKE, 2017, pp. 590–595, doi: 10.18293/SEKE2017-038.

T. Djatna and A. Ginantaka, “An Analysis and Design of Frozen Shrimp Traceability System Based on Digital Business Ecosystem,” in 2014 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCED COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS (ICACSIS), 2014, pp. 157–163.

I. G. M. T. Pradana, T. Djatna, and I. Hermadi, “Blockchain Modeling for Traceability Information System in Supply Chain of Coffee Agroindustry,” in ICACSIS 2020: 2020 12TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCED COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS (ICACSIS), 2020, pp. 217–223.

V. Abraira, “El índice kappa,” Semer. - Med. Fam., vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 247–249, Jan. 2001, doi: 10.1016/s1138-3593(01)73955-x.

P. A. Quezada-Sarmiento, J. Garbajosa, H. Washizaki, and L. Enciso, “Knowledge description model for bodies of knowledge in software engineering context,” 2017, doi: 10.23919/CISTI.2017.7976058.

H. Coolican, Research methods and statistics in psychology. 2017.

W. Mu, F. B´enaben, H. Pingaud, N. Boissel-Dallier, J.-P. Lorr´e, A Model-Driven BPM Approach for SOA Mediation Information System Design in a Collaborative Context, in: 2011 IEEE International Conference on Services Computing, IEEE, 2011, pp. 747–748. doi:10.1109/SCC. 2011.66. URL

V. Yadav, R. K. Joshi, S. Ling, A Tool for Traceable Evolution of Process Architectures, in: 2018 IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture Companion (ICSA-C), IEEE, 2018, pp. 101–106. doi:10.1109/ICSA-C.2018.00035. URL 8432190/

Y. G. Kim, S. C. Park, C. Y. Kim, J. H. Kim, An effective content management methodology for business process management, in: F. VanderAalst, WMP and Benatallah, B and Casati, F and Curbera (Ed.), BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT, PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 3649 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LORIA, SPRINGERVERLAG BERLIN, HEIDELBERGER PLATZ 3, D14197 BERLIN, GERMANY, 2005, pp. 416–421.

M. Hepp, F. Leymann, J. Domingue, A. Wahler, D. Fensel, Semantic business process management: A vision towards using semantic web services for business process management, Proceedings - ICEBE 2005: IEEE International Conference on e-Business Engineering 2005 (1) (2005) 535–540. doi:10.1109/ICEBE.2005.110.

W. Abramowicz, A. Filipowska, M. Kaczmarek, T. Kaczmarek, Semantically Enhanced Business Process Modeling Notation, in: SBPM 2007 Semantic Business Process and Product Lifecycle Management, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2007. URL

S. Stein, J. Lauer, K. Ivanov, ARIS Method Extension for Business-Driven SOA, WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK 50 (6) (2008) 436–444. doi:10.1365/s11576-008-0090-5. URL s11576-008-0090-5

M. C. Leonardi, M. V. Mauco, L. Felice, G. Montejano, D. Riesco, N. Debnath, Recovering business process diagrams from UML diagrams, 2010 ACS/IEEE International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications, AICCSA 2010doi:10.1109/AICCSA.2010.5586982.

R. Sindhgatta, B. Sengupta, An extensible framework for tracing model evolution in SOA solution design, Proceedings of the Conference on Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications, OOPSLA (2009) 647–658doi:10.1145/1639950.1639960.

J. A. Garcia-Garcia, J. Enriquez, L. Garcia-Borgonon, C. Arevalo, E. Morillo, A MDE-based framework to improve the process management: The EMPOWER project, in: 2017 IEEE 15th International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN), Vol. 2, IEEE, 2017, pp. 553– 558. doi:10.1109/INDIN.2017.8104832. URL

A. K. Mandal, A. Sarkar, Service Oriented System design: Domain Specific Model based approach, 2016 3rd International Conference on Computer and Information Sciences, ICCOINS 2016 - Proceedings (2016) 489–494doi: 10.1109/ICCOINS.2016.7783264.

M. Bouneffa, A. Ahmad, Change Management of BPM-based Software Applications, in: J. Hammoudi, S and Maciaszek, L and Cordeiro, J and Dietz (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, ESEO Grp; Inst Syst & Technologies Informat, Control & Commun; Assoc Advancement Artificial Intelligence; IEICE Special Interest Grp Software Interprise Modelling; ACM Special Interest Grp Management Informat Syst; ACM Special Interest Grp Comp Human Inte, SciTePress - Science and and Technology Publications, AV D MANUELL, 27A 2 ESQ, SETUBAL, 2910-595, PORTUGAL, 2013, pp. 37–45. doi:10.5220/0004441400370045. URL Link.aspx?doi=10.5220/0004441400370045

C. Mayr, U. Zdun, S. Dustdar, Enhancing traceability of persistent data access flows in process-driven SOAs, Distributed and Parallel Databases 31 (1) (2013) 1–45. URL s10619-012-7102-6

V. Yadav, R. K. Joshi, S. Ling, Process Edification for traceability in evolving architectures, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series 18-20-Febr (2016) 99–108. doi:10.1145/2856636.2856650.

D. Sprovieri, N. Argyropoulos, C. Souveyet, R. Mazo, H. Mouratidis, A. Fish, Security Alignment Analysis of Software Product Lines, Proceedings - 4th International Conference on Enterprise Systems: Advances in Enterprise Systems, ES 2016 (2017) 97–103doi:10.1109/ES. 2016.19.

Y. Wautelet, S. Poelmans, Aligning the Elements of the RUP/UML Business Use-Case Model and the BPMN Business Process Diagram, in: A. Grunbacher, P and Perini (Ed.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), Vol. 10153 LNCS of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG, GEWERBESTRASSE 11, CHAM, CH-6330, SWITZERLAND, 2017, pp. 22–30. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-54045-0_2. URL 978-3-319-54045-0{_}2

M. Gudemann, P. Poizat, G. Salaun, L. Ye, VerChor: A framework for the design and verification of choreographies, IEEE Transactions on Services Computing 9 (4) (2016) 647–660. doi:10.1109/TSC.2015.2413401.

M. Majthoub, Y. Odeh, M. Hijjawi, Non-Functional Requirements Classification for Aligning Business with Information Systems, in: Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference on Big Data in Management, ICBDM 2020, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 2020, pp. 84–89. doi:10.1145/3437075.3437091. URL 8843/10.1145/3437075.3437091

H. Al-Ali, A. Cuzzocrea, E. Damiani, R. Mizouni, G. Tello, A composite machine-learning-based framework for supporting low-level event logs to high-level business process model activities mappings enhanced by flexible BPMN model translation, SOFT COMPUTING 24 (10) (2020) 7557–7578. doi:10.1007/s00500-019-04385-6.

A. Bouzidi, N. Z. Haddar, M. Ben-Abdallah, K. Haddar, Toward the alignment and traceability between business process and software models, in: ICEIS 2020 - Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Vol. 2, 2020, pp. 701–708. doi:10.5220/0009004607010708. URL 90046/90046.pdf

H. M. Sneed, S. Schedl, S. H. Sneed, Linking legacy services to the business process model, 2012 IEEE 6th International Workshop on the Maintenance and Evolution of Service-Oriented and Cloud-Based Systems, MESOCA 2012 (2012) 17–26doi:10.1109/MESOCA.2012.6392601.

C.-k. Jung, Actionable Enterprise Architecture, in: 2009 10th ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligences, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, IEEE, 2009, pp. 294–299. doi:10.1109/SNPD.2009.106. URL

F. Gao, W. Derguech, M. Zaremba, Extending BPMN 2.0 to Enable Links between Process Models and ARTS Views Modeled with Linked Data, in: K. Abramowicz, W and Maciaszek, L and Wecel (Ed.), BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS WORKSHOPS (BIS 2011), Vol. 97 of Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, HEIDELBERGER PLATZ 3, D-14197 BERLIN, GERMANY, 2011, pp. 41+. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-25370-6_5.

W. Duangkeaw, T. Suwannasart, Monitoring Call Activity and Service Task Invocations for BPMN, in: Proceedings of the 2020 Asia Service Sciences and Software Engineering Conference, ASSE ’20, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 2020, pp. 151–155. doi:10.1145/3399871.3399884. URL 8843/10.1145/3399871.3399884

M. Ramos-Merino, J. M. Santos-Gago, L. M. AlvarezSabucedo, Fuzzy traceability: using domain knowledge information to estimate the followed route of process instances in non-exhaustive monitoring environments, JOURNAL OF INTELLIGENT MANUFACTURINGdoi:10.1007/s10845-020-01636-4.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development