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Getting Started

Decision Model and Notation (DMN) is a standard published and managed by the Object Management Group (OMG).

Portions of this topic have been used verbatim or are freely adapted from the DMN Specification, which is available on the OMG DMN web page (  A full description of the DMN and its capabilities can be found on the OMG website.

The purpose of DMN is to provide the constructs that are needed to model decisions, so that organizational decision-making can be readily depicted in diagrams, accurately defined by business analysts, and (optionally) automated. It is also intended to facilitate the sharing and interchange of Decision Models between organizations.

Selecting the Perspective

Enterprise Architect partitions the tool's extensive features into Perspectives, which ensures that you can focus on a specific task and work with the tools you need without the distraction of other features. To work with the Decision Model and Notation features you first need to select this Perspective:

Choose perspective button.<perspective name> > Requirements > Decision Modeling

Setting the Perspective ensures that the Decision Model and Notation diagrams, their tool boxes and other features of the Perspective will be available by default.

Example Diagram

An example diagram provides a visual introduction to the topic and allows you to see some of the important elements and connectors that are created in specifying or describing the way decisions are modeled. The Decision Requirements diagram will introduce elements such as Decision Tables, Knowledge Sources, Input Date and more. Much of the power of Enterprise Architect relies in the ability to simulate or 'run' the decision models and to predict outcomes based on different data sets. This functionality will be described in later topics but starts with the creation of a  Decision Requirements diagram.

Modeling with DMN

This topic introduces you to the most important elements that you need to create Decision models. This includes the creation of a Decision Requirements diagram which describes how decision are related and what inputs each decision has potentially including other decisions.  You will learn about the mst important elements including: Decisions. Business Knowledge Models, Input Data Items Definitions, Data Set and Decision Services.

Code Generation and Test Module

This topic introduces you to the main concepts of the language including its structure, architecture and the elements and connectors that are used to create Decision Model and Notation (DMN)  models. Understanding the intent and structure of the language will help analysts create meaningful and productive decision models.

Integrate Into BPSim for Simulation

Enterprise Architect allows Decision models to be run (simulated) which allows you to visualize the outcomes of decisions. In addition to this core facility you can also integrate the Decision models with BPSim which is a simulation engine for the simulation of BPMN diagrams. In this topic you will a number of different ways to integrate DMN with BPSIm.

Integrate Into UML Class Element

In this topic you will learn the process of integrating a DMN Model with a UML Class element. The DMN Module can be integrated with a UML Class element, so the code generated from that Class element can reuse the DMN Module and be well-structured

Importing DMN XML

This topic describes how to import a DMN XML file from a different Enterprise Architect repository or another DMN compliant tool. One of the promises of open standards is the ability to share models between different tools. Enterprise Architect often becomes the tool of choice for modeling because of the breadth of features and standards it supports. This allows Decision model to be related to Strategy, Requirements, Business Processes, Software Implementation elements and more.

More Information

This section provides useful links to other topics and resources that you might find useful when working with the Decision Model and Notation tool features.