Conformance Testing


We consider three major categories of XPDL/BPMN-conformant software:

  1. Import - An enactment engine or simulator might only be able to import.
  2. Export - Some modelers and BPA tools may only be able to export.
  3. Import/Export - A typical XPDL/BPMN modeling tool can do both.

Within each category we specifically recognize BPMN portability conformance, which we subdivide into three classes:  SIMPLE, STANDARD and COMPLETE.  These classes are defined in the XPDL 2.1 specification.  We have developed an XSL Transform that performs structural and conformance checks on XPDL documents including Portability Class.

The Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) has partnered with Business Process Incubator to offer WfMC web site visitors with XPDL Conformance Verification Self Services. These XPDL Conformance Verification Self Services are offered on the WfMC site via a web widget provided by  The web widget, called “Cloud Apps Selector” is available throughout the WfMC web site on the left side of every web pages of  Beyond the XPDL Conformance Verification, the Cloud App Selector also offers a wide collection of self serve web services to Verify, Validate, Visualize, Publish, Transform and Coverts sources files of either: XPDL, BPMN 2.0, Microsoft Visio or Microsoft Project. Learn More about the Cloud App Selector Here

The web-services offered allow for XPDL 2.0, XPDL 2.1 and even the current Beta XPDL 2.2 files to be provided as input for Verification. Different web-services are provided to Verify that the file provided meets either the Simple, Standard or Complete conformance class according to the published XPDL 2.1 specification.  There is also a web-service that will determine the conformance class of the provided file. 

Given that since version 2.1, XPDL supports the BPMN notation; other XPDL Verification services can also verify the conformance class of the provided XPDL file according to the conformance classes of the BPMN 2.0 specification.

Visitors to the site can readily use these web-services by simply login in to the Cloud Apps Selector using their WfMC or any of either: Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn credentials.  


A tool must be able to import any XML document with the following three properties:

  1. The document satisfies the XPDL 2.1 schema.
  2. The document passes the structural integrity test performed by the appropriate Verify web-service available via the cloud apps selector.
  3. The tool must not discard parts of the document that it does not understand (relevant only if the tool can also export).  These may include:  extended attributes, user name spaces and/or elements and attributes in a portability conformance class above that which the tool claims to support.

If the tool claims graphical portability conformance it must be able to display the imported diagram if the diagram conformance class is equal to or a subset of the tool's conformance class.  The displayed elements must use the defined BPMN shapes, line types and icons.  The node and connector graphics info in the document should be used to determine the size and position of all displayed graphical objects.


The XML document exported by the tool must have the following two properties:

  1. The document satisfies the XPDL 2.1 schema.
  2. The document passes the structural integrity test performed by the appropriate Verify web-service available via the cloud apps selector.

If the portability class attribute is present in the document, the document must not contain elements and attributes from a higher conformance class.  The Verify web-service tests for this.  Furthermore, the node and connector graphics info in the document must correspond to the elements in the diagram as displayed by the tool, if in fact the tool has a graphical BPMN display.


A tool claiming Import/Export conformance must obviously be able to satisfy the individual Import and Export requirements stated above.  In addition it must be able to Import, edit in some way and then export the model without losing extended attributes or user name space XML unless their parent elements were deleted during the editing.  If the tool claims graphical portability conformance it must:

  1. Be able to create all test diagrams with class contained in or equal to its claimed class.
  2. Be able to export such diagrams.


The WfMC will make available test diagrams for the different conformance classes and XPDL Conformance Verification Self Services that help check the XPDL serialization produced by a vendor modeling tool for these test diagrams.  Currently certification is available for all conformance classes SIMPLE, STANDARD and COMPLETE as defined in XPDL 2.1 (BPMN 1.x supported).  Certification can be for Import only, Output only, or Input and Output.

A vendor applying for certification will schedule a teleconference and WEBEX (or equivalent) session with a WfMC approved certifier (four hours should be set aside for this teleconference).

Input Certification will require demonstration of the following:

  1. Loading the test XPDL file into the tool.
  2. Displaying the model graphically such that the graphics are a reasonable approximation of the original test model.
  3. Editing or demonstrating ability of the tool to work with the imported model.

Output Certification will require demonstration of the following:

  1. Building the test model.
  2. Exporting the test model as an XPDL file that is schema-correct and passes the XSLT serialization validation.
  3. Can be loaded into at least one of the already validated tools.

Input and Output Certification will require all of the above and in addition:

  1. Import the test XPDL file (with additional extensions).
  2. Edit it, adding some elements.
  3. Export the edited model, preserving the additional extensions.

The certifier will document any problems encountered during the certification session and explain them to the applicant.  These problems may include:

  • Schema violations.
  • Lack of structural integrity.
  • Loss of XML.
  • Graphical issues.

The applicant may fix the problems and re-apply.  If certification is granted, the certificate will state the specific Import, Export and Graphical Portability conformance capabilities.

Charges for Certification

  • WfMC Full Members - $3,500
  • Non-members - $7,000
  • Re-submissions - $2,500

Technical Assistance from WfMC Recommended Consultant

Rate determined by consultant.  Package price for assistance in passing certification and thorough review of product - $20,000.

Submission to Extend Certification

If a previously certified tool has been extended to handle Import and Export or a higher conformance class, vendor may apply for extended certificate.  The charge will be $1,000.

XPDL 2.2 (BPMN 2.0)

The WfMC will offer official certification for XPDL 2.2 when that specification is complete.  In the mean time, the cloud apps selector allows to verify the conformance class of the provided XPDL file according to the conformance classes of the BPMN 2.0 specification on a self serve basis. A certified tool that is upgraded to handle XPDL 2.2 can be re-certified at a special discount of 50% off the price established for XPDL 2.2 certification.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your certification needs.