An unlabeled example of a Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) diagram

BPMN Artifact Types

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Creating a BPMN Model

BPMN artifacts

In business process modeling, artifacts allow you to visually represent objects outside of the actual process. Artifacts can represent data or notes that describe the process, or they can be used to organize tasks or processes. There are three main types of artifacts: data objects, annotations, and groups.

You can easily access all of the shapes discussed below in Lucidchart. First, enable the BPMN 2.0 shape library—click on the “Shapes” button in the upper-left corner of your window and check the BPMN 2.0 box in the window that appears. Then, drag and drop shapes from the shape library to the left onto the canvas. To assign shapes to specific classes, click on the shape and then on the desired class as found in the advanced shape menu above the canvas.

BPMN Artifacts

Data objects

Data objects can represent data placed to the process, data resulting from the process, data that needs to be collected, or data that needs to be stored.

Data input

BPMN Artifact Types - Data Input Shapes

Tasks are often data-dependent, meaning the task cannot proceed until certain data has been collected. Data inputs represent those data requirements of the business process.

Data output

BPMN Artifact Types - Data Output

If a process generates data, a data output represents the information produced as a result. For instance, a BPMN diagram that represents the survey collection process would output result data and require a data output shape.

Data collection

BPMN Artifact Types - Data Collection

Data collection is denoted differently than a one-time data requirement. For example, in the survey collection process, the act of surveying would be represented by the data collection shape.

Data storage

BPMN Artifact Types - Data Storage

Data storage provides the ability to store or access data that is associated with a business model. If your process outputs any data, it will become necessary to store that data. In a BPMN diagram, you can determine where you will store data to keep track of your data and increase your organization and efficiency.

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Creating a BPMN Model


BPMN Artifact Types - Annotations

Annotations allow you to describe the business process and flow objects in more detail. Add annotations to make your BPMN more readable and further increase understanding of your process.


BPMN Artifact Types - Groups

Groups organize tasks or processes that have significance in the overall process.​​ Use groups to better arrange your BPMN diagram and increase its usefulness to your organization.

Additional Resources

Although artifacts are just a small piece of BPMN, they are significant to understanding the whole picture. For more information on how to create BPMN diagrams, check out our other resources. Then, sign up for a free Lucidchart account to begin diagramming!

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