Business Process Modeling in the jABC: The One-Thing Approach

Business Process Modeling in the jABC: The One-Thing Approach

Tiziana Margaria (Universitaet Potsdam, Germany) and Bernhard Steffen (TU Dortmund, Germany)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-288-6.ch001
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The one thing approach is designed to overcome the classical communication hurdles between application experts and the various levels of IT experts. Technically, it is realized in terms of eXtreme Model Driven Design, a technique that puts the user-level process in the center of the development. It enables customers/users to design, animate, validate, and control their processes throughout the whole life cycle, starting with the first requirement analysis, and ending with the demand driven process evolution over its entire life span. This strict way of top-down thinking emphasizes the primary goal of every development: customer satisfaction.
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Why “One Thing”: The Cultural Gap

Globalization is a general and inevitable trend. It started with enterprises and politics and is now increasingly characterizing the process landscape: global operations require a global process modelling, global coordination, and, at least since Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Basel II, global transparency. This trend puts enormous pressure on the process management, its efficiency, its compliance, its reliability, and its agility. Especially in large organizations it requires a large amount of automation and standardization, and often radical re-organization, in order to minimize the total cost of ownership, to control risks, and to protect the corresponding investment. These are necessary preconditions for enterprises to be able to consolidate their business leadership by using innovative processes as their distinguishing intellectual property. At the same time, they need to obey new regulations, like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Basel II, which ask for just-in-time audits and retraceability of any business-relevant decision and operation.

This need to be flexible yet comply to changing regulations contrasts with the current state of the art in business process development, where essentially:

  • Each business process, even if modelled by business developers, requires the manual support of IT experts for their realization,

  • The (IT-supported) realization is a totally separate `thing´ from the original model, even though perhaps partially and semi-automatically generated from it, and where

  • Changes in one thing (the model or the implementation) typically do not show up at the respective other level, let alone they are automatically taken care of.

We follow instead a holistic approach to close the classical gap between business-driven requirements on one side and IT-based realization on the other. We provide for this a seamless method called the one thing approach, described below, and a matching toolset that supports this method along the entire life span. The toolset is based on the jABC Framework (Jörges et al., 2006) to cover the business development phase and the business-to-IT transition, and on Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), like e.g. the popular Eclipse or NetBeans (, to support the IT development and deployment.

The name ‘One-Thing Approach’ (OTA) (Steffen & Narayan, 2007) reflects the fact that there is only one artefact during the whole systems’ life cycle. This artefact is successively refined in various dimensions in order to add details concerning roles, rights, permissions, performance constraints, simulation code (to animate the models), productive code, pre/post conditions, etc.. The central effect is that all stakeholders, including the application expert, can follow the progress from their own perspective (view): initially, application experts may for instance. only browse the documentation and annotate the models, but as soon as some simulation code is available, they may start playing with the system in order to check and enforce an adequate user experience. The user experience gets the more realistic the further the development progresses. This continuous involvement of the application expert allows one to control the harm of the classical business/IT gap, because misconceptions and misunderstandings become immediately apparent.

Key to our solution for reducing this classical cultural gap is the tight combination of two central principles of software and system design: service orientation and model driven design.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Seamless Acceptance: Is a direct consequence of the One Thing Approach: The fact that all stakeholders work on and modify one and the same thing allows every stakeholder to observe the progress of the development at their level of expertise.

Immediate User Experience: is a result of the eXtreme Model driven Design approach, where already the first graphical models are executable, be it as the basis for interactive `what/if games´, documentation browsing or animation. This allows one to early detect conceptual errors in the requirement models.

Hierarchical Service Logic Graphs: Form the modelling backbone of the One Thing Approach. All the information concerning documentation, role, rights, consistency conditions, animation code, execution code,....., come here together.

eXtreme Model Driven Design: Combines ideas from service orientation, model driven design und extreme programming to enable application experts to control the design and evolution of processes during the whole life cycle on the basis of Lightweight Process Coordination (LPC)[Margaria and Steffen,2004].

jABC: An extensible framework designed to support the one thing approach and eXtreme Model Driven Design. It provides tools for documentation, graphical modelling, verification, code generation, validation, and adaptation. In particular it supports the idea of immediate user interaction and seamless acceptance [Haifa]

One Thing Approach: It provides the conceptual modelling infrastructure (one thing for all) that enables all the stakeholders (application experts, designer, component experts, implementer, quality insurers,..) to closely cooperate following the eXtreme Model Driven Design Paradigm. In particular it enables immediate user experience and seamless acceptance.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Table of Contents
Jorge Cardoso, Wil van der Aalst
Chapter 1
Tiziana Margaria, Bernhard Steffen
The one thing approach is designed to overcome the classical communication hurdles between application experts and the various levels of IT experts.... Sample PDF
Business Process Modeling in the jABC: The One-Thing Approach
Chapter 2
Huy Tran, Ta’id Holmes, Uwe Zdun, Schahram Dustdar
This chapter introduces a view-based, model-driven approach for process-driven, service-oriented architectures. A typical business process consists... Sample PDF
Modeling Process-Driven SOAs: A View-Based Approach
Chapter 3
Stefan Jablonski
This chapter presents a process modeling approach for holistic process management. The main idea is that domain specific process models are required... Sample PDF
Process Modeling for Holistic Process Management
Chapter 4
Matthias Kloppmann, Dieter Koenig, Simon Moser
This chapter introduces a set of languages intended to model and run business processes. The Business Process Modeling Notation 1.1 (BPMN) is a... Sample PDF
The Dichotomy of Modeling and Execution: BPMN and WS-BPEL
Chapter 5
Chun Ouyang, Michael Adams, Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
Due to the absence of commonly accepted conceptual and formal foundations for workflow management, and more generally Business Process Management... Sample PDF
Yet Another Workflow Language: Concepts, Tool Support, and Application
Chapter 6
Modelling Constructs  (pages 122-141)
Ekkart Kindler
There are many different notations and formalisms for modelling business processes and workflows. These notations and formalisms have been... Sample PDF
Modelling Constructs
Chapter 7
Kwanghoon Kim, Clarence A. Ellis
This chapter introduces the basic concepts of information control net (ICN) and its workflow models. In principle, a workflow model is the... Sample PDF
ICN-Based Workflow Model and its Advances
Chapter 8
Manfred Reichert, Peter Dadam
In dynamic environments it must be possible to quickly implement new business processes, to enable ad-hoc deviations from the defined business... Sample PDF
Enabling Adaptive Process-Aware Information Systems with ADEPT2
Chapter 9
Macello La Rosa, Marlon Dumas, Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
A reference process model represents multiple variants of a common business process in an integrated and reusable manner. It is intended to be... Sample PDF
Modeling Business Process Variability for Design-Time Configuration
Chapter 10
Cesare Pautasso
Model-driven architecture (MDA), design and transformation techniques can be applied with success to the domain of business process modeling (BPM)... Sample PDF
Compiling Business Process Models into Executable Code
Chapter 11
Cinzia Cappiello, Barbara Pernici
This chapter illustrates the concept of repairable processes and self-healing functionalities and discusses about their design requirements.... Sample PDF
Design of Repairable Processes
Chapter 12
Web Process Adaptation  (pages 245-253)
Kunal Verma
Adaptation is an important concept for Web processes. The author provides an overview of adaptation with respect to control theory and how it is... Sample PDF
Web Process Adaptation
Chapter 13
Carlo Combi, Giuseppe Pozzi
Time is a very important dimension of any aspect in human life, affecting also information and information management. As such, time must be dealt... Sample PDF
Temporalities for Workflow Management Systems
Chapter 14
Karsten Ploesser, Nick Russell
This chapter discusses the challenges associated with integrating work performed by human agents into automated workflows. It briefly recounts the... Sample PDF
The People Integration Challenge
Chapter 15
Dimka Karastoyanova, Tammo van Lessen, Frank Leymann, Zhilei Ma, Joerg Nitzche, Branimir Wetzstein
Even though process orientation/BPM is a widely accepted paradigm with heavy impact on industry and research the available technology does not... Sample PDF
Semantic Business Process Management: Applying Ontologies in BPM
Chapter 16
Hernani Mourao, Pedro Antunes
In this chapter the authors propose a solution to handle unexpected exceptions in WfMS. They characterize these events deeply and recognize that... Sample PDF
Using WfMS to Support Unstructured Activities
Chapter 17
Guillermo Jimenez
In this chapter the authors introduce the role of a business process engineer (BPE) and necessary competencies to define, simulate, analyze, and... Sample PDF
Business Process Engineering
Chapter 18
Christoph Bussler
This chapter introduces the application of process management to business-to-business (B2B) integration and enterprise application integration... Sample PDF
B2B and EAI with Business Process Management
Chapter 19
Paul Grefen
This chapter is devoted to automated support for interorganizational business process management, that is, formation and enactment of business... Sample PDF
Systems for Interorganizational Business Process Management
Chapter 20
Guido Governatori, Shazia Sadiq
It is a typical scenario that many organisations have their business processes specified independently of their business obligations (which includes... Sample PDF
The Journey to Business Process Compliance
Chapter 21
M. Castellanos, A.K. Alves de Medeiros, J. Mendling, B. Weber, A.J.M.M. Weijters
Business Process Intelligence (BPI) is an emerging area that is getting increasingly popular for enterprises. The need to improve business process... Sample PDF
Business Process Intelligence
Chapter 22
Diogo R. Ferreira
This chapter introduces the principles of sequence clustering and presents two case studies where the technique is used to discover behavioral... Sample PDF
Applied Sequence Clustering Techniques for Process Mining
Chapter 23
Kamal Bhattacharya, Richard Hull, Jianwen Su
This chapter describes a design methodology for business processes and workflows that focuses first on “business artifacts”, which represent key... Sample PDF
A Data-Centric Design Methodology for Business Processes
Chapter 24
Laura Sanchez, Andrea Delgado, Francisco Ruiz, Felix Garcia, Mario Piattini
The underlying premise of process management is that the quality of products and services is largely determined by the quality of the processes used... Sample PDF
Measurement and Maturity of Business Processes
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