Swim Lanes Usage

The Modeling perspective allows the usage of swim lanes for creating models. The swim lanes are enabled by default for new process and contain a Default Pool and Default Lane.

Swim Lanes
Figure: Swim Lanes

Default Pool

A pool serves as a graphical container. By default, the Default Pool is provided for modeling. The default pool demarcates the diagram boundaries. It cannot be deleted or renamed. It is not possible to create other pools in a process diagram. The Default Pool contains a Default Lane. It must at least include one lane. All lanes for a process should exist within the Default Pool. You cannot add element directly to the Default Pool. If an element is dropped on the Default Pool, the error message is displayed.

Default Lane

By default, the Default Lane is provided inside the Default Pool. You can drop elements only inside lanes.

Creating Lanes

A pool can have more than one lane. To create a lane, click the icon Create Swimlane in the toolbar. The lane is added to the Default Pool and to the right of the last lane. The name to each newly added lane is assigned based on the sequence in which lanes are added. For example, Lane 2, Lane 3 , Lane 4 and so on.

Swim Lane Icon
Figure: Swim Lane Icon

Lane Flyout Menu - Deleting Lane

The lane flyout menu - Delete Lane icon is displayed when you hover the mouse over the lane header or when the cursor is five to ten pixels inside the vertical boundaries of the lane.

Lane Flyout Menu - Delete Lane
Figure: Lane Flyout Menu - Delete Lane

If you want to delete the lane, hover the mouse over the lane and click the Delete Lane icon in the lane flyout menu. Deleting the lane also deletes elements and in and out mappings across it.

Note that when you delete any lane or default lane, when no other lane exists, Lane 1 gets created, automatically. So the rule is, at least one lane should exist in the process model.

Consider a scenario, where Default Lane, Lane 2 and Lane 3 exist in the model. Delete Default Lane and Lane 2 from the model. Now, only Lane 3 exists in the model. Delete Lane 3, too. Note that Lane 1 is created automatically.

Minimizing and Maximizing Lanes

Click the Minimize lane icon displayed in the upper-right corner of the lane header to minimize the lane.

Minimize Lane Icon
Figure: Minimize Lane Icon

To expand the lane, click the Maximize lane icon displayed in the upper-right corner of the minimized lane header.

Maximize Lane Icon
Figure: Maximize Lane Icon

Resizing Lanes

To resize the lane, perform the following steps:

  1. Click on the lane header or lane border. The dotted line appears around the lane.
  2. Hover the mouse over the dotted line. The mouse pointer changes to both side arrows.
  3. Click and drag the dotted line, as per requirement.
  4. Expand Lane Icon
    Figure: Lane Resize

Note that you can resize lane horizontally, only.

Using Shrink to Fit

You can use the Shrink to Fit option to obtain the better overview of the elements in lanes. To shrink a lane to the smallest possible size according to the elements it contains, hover the mouse over the lane header or when the cursor is five to ten pixels inside the vertical boundaries of the lane, click the Shrink to Fit icon.

Shrink to Fit
Figure: Shrink to Fit Icon

Note that you can use the shrink to fit for lanes only. Also, if you have multiple lanes in the pool, then you need to use the Shrink to Fit for each individual lane. If you save the model after using the Shrink to Fit, the lanes get saved in the shrunk state. You need to resize the lane, if you want to increase its size. Note that you cannot use Shrink to Fit if the lane is in minimized state.

Shrink to Fit
Figure: Shrink to Fit Lanes

Viewing and Editing Lane Properties

To view the properties of any lane, click the lane header. The properties of the lane are displayed at the right of the lanes.

Lane Properties
Figure: Lane Properties

Following are the lane properties:

Setting a Participant

By default, no participant is selected and the None option is displayed. All participants defined in the loaded models are listed in this drop-down list. Participants of the current model are displayed under This Model and participants of the other models are displayed under Other Models. To assign a lane participant, select any participant from the Participant drop-down list. The selected participant name is reflected in lane header in parenthesis to the right of the lane name. Activities automatically get the participant assignment of the lane they are residing in.

Lane Participant Selection
Figure: Selecting a participant for the lane

In case you like to view details about the selected participant, click the blue arrow on the right side of the Participant field.

Open Participant View
Figure: Open the according participant view

The appropriate participant view opens.

Opened Participant View
Figure: Opened participant view

Using Comments

To add comments to your lane properties:

  1. Click the Comments icon displayed at the top-right corner of the diagram canvas
  2. Add comment in the text box and click Submit. The newest comment gets displayed at the top of the table.


    Figure: Comments

To delete the comment, select the comment and click the Delete icon. Note that only the user, who has submitted the comment, is allowed to delete the comment. If the other user selects the comment or no comment is selected, the Delete icon remains in disabled state.

Hiding the Property Panel

To hide the property panel, click the Hide Property Panel icon displayed at the top right corner of the window.

Hide Property Panel
Figure: Hide Property Panel

Showing the Property Panel

Similarly, click the Show Property Panel icon to view it again.

Show Property Panel
Figure: Show Property Panel

Elements in Lanes

All elements of model such as activities, applications, data and participants are tied to lanes. Their entire bounding box fit into lanes. Newly created elements are added in a lane. Existing elements can be dragged across lanes.

Element Gestures

To work with elements, you can use following gestures.

Clicking and Dragging a Element

Click on the element icon in the toolbar and place it in the lane. Then, click on element and drag it from one lane to any another lane. The connections to elements remain intact. Also, the in-place editing is enabled as soon as the element is dropped to the process diagram canvas.

Hovering the Mouse Over the Element

When you hover the mouse in the proximity of any element in the lane the Flyout Menu is displayed. Also, when you hover the mouser over the element its outline changes to red color.

Mouse Hover - Flyout Menu
Figure: Mouse Hover - Flyout Menu

Double-clicking an Element

To edit the name of any element, double-click on its element name in the swim lane and specify new name. The in-place editing is enabled as soon as the element is added to the process diagram canvas. However, the in-place editing is not allowed for conditional sequence flow.

Double-click on Activity Elements
Figure: Double-click on Activity Element

Clicking an Element

When you click any element in the swim lane, the Property panel of that element is displayed at the right side of the swim lane. Also, the element gets selected and you can move the element across lanes.

Dragging and Dropping of Elements

You can drag elements of a model from My Process Models panel and drop it on swim lane in canvas. You can drag and drop the elements as described in the chapter Panels.

Element Drop Target Result
Structured Type Swim Lane Creates a new data of structured type
Data Swim Lane Adds data to the lane for connection
Application Swim Lane Creates new application activity
Participant Swim Lane Creates a new swim lane and assigns the role to it automatically
Process Swim Lane Creates a subprocess activity

Dragging and Dropping Elements with Same ID

However, whenever you drag and drop any element within the model or across the models, a validation is performed on the ID of the elements. If the element with the same ID exists, then you cannot drag and drop the element. In that case, the following message is displayed:

Validation Drag and Drop Operation - Element with same ID
Figure: Validation Drag and Drop Operation - Element with same ID

You should change the name of the element which changes the ID accordingly, to enable drag and drop operation.

Dragging and Dropping Elements across Models

Elements that are not publicly visible cannot be dragged and dropped across the models from the My Process Models panel. If you try to drag and drop element for which the Public Visibility option is not selected, the following error message is displayed and the element does not get added to the process diagram canvas.

Drag and Drop Elements - No Public Visibility
Figure: Drag and Drop Elements - No Public Visibility