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.

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