A Rigorous Approach for Mapping Workflows to Object-Oriented IS Models

A Rigorous Approach for Mapping Workflows to Object-Oriented IS Models

Staf Joosten (Open University, The Netherlands & Ordina-Anazagoras) and Sandeep Purao (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jdm.2002100101
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Conceptual business models and conceptual models of information systems represent widely different perspectives, which are difficult to integrate due to differences in structure and meaning that exist across these two viewpoints. Such problems in integration can be difficult for an information architect to predict. Yet, the interoperability between the two is essential to ensure efficacy of the information system that will be built. Our research provides an approach to integrate a specific business modeling vehicle, based on workflows, against a specific IS implementation vehicle, based on object-oriented programming. The approach takes into account semantic constraints to ensure that the two perspectives can be integrated, thus moving the integration beyond the level of structures. Using a deductive argument form, we apply semantic constraints to the core concepts of in workflow management, mapped onto those in object-oriented programming languages. The mapping builds on ontological models of both domains-treating the concepts in each as things in the world – and integrates both worlds into a single ontology enriched with semantic constraints. The key innovation of this work, therefore, lies in reasoning about the semantics of conceptual mappings by standard logical means. The results demonstrate a practical approach to map semantic constraints across domains with example derivations. The research, thus, extends existing work closer towards practical application in several contexts including projects involving embedded workflow. The approach has been successfully used in several large real-world projects to reduce design efforts by increasing the consistency, simplifying the overall structure, and making the enterprise architecture more concrete.

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