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This definition is part of our Essential Guide: SOA BPM guide: Mobile, cloud drive BPM, BPEL changes
Contributor(s): Pete Gallagher

A flowchart is a formalized graphic representation of a logic sequence, work or manufacturing process, organization chart, or similar formalized structure. The purpose of a flow chart is to provide people with a common language or reference point when dealing with a project or process.

Flowcharts use simple geometric symbols and arrows to define relationships. In programming, for instance, the beginning or end of a program is represented by an oval.  A process is represented by a rectangle, a decision is represented by a diamond and an I/O process is represented by a parallelogram. The Internet is represented by a cloud. 

This was last updated in August 2008

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