Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Selecting an appropriate process modeling language forms an important task for organizations engaging in business process management initiatives. A plethora of process modeling languages has been developed over the last decades, leading to a need for rigorous theory to assist in the evaluation and comparison of the capabilities of these languages. While substantial academic progress in the area of process modeling language evaluation has been made in at least two areas, using an ontology-based theory of representation or the framework of workflow patterns, it remains unclear how these frameworks relate to each other. We use a generic framework for language evaluation to establish similarities and differences between these acknowledged reference frameworks and discuss how and to what extent they corroborate each other. Our line of investigation follows the case of the popular BPMN modeling language, whose evaluation from the perspectives of representation theory and workflow patterns is comparatively assessed in this paper. We also show which tenets of modeling quality these frameworks address and that further research is needed, especially in the area of evaluating the pragmatic quality of modeling.