Using the Business Ontology to Develop Enterprise Standards

Using the Business Ontology to Develop Enterprise Standards

Mark von Rosing (Global University Alliance, Chateau Du Grand Perray, La Bruere-Loir, France) and Henrik von Scheel (LEADing Practice, Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCSSA.2016010103

Abstract

The Business Ontology presented in this publication has taken the Global University Alliance's members over a decade to research and develop, spending hundreds of ‘man years' to create. One of the major challenges facing practitioners and their interactions with academia is overcoming a presently fragmented way of thinking, working and modelling around enterprise concepts. Business frameworks, methods, approaches and concepts currently have their own vocabulary. Each of these vocabularies has its own definition of terms, including conflicting visual representations. (Moody, 2009) This paper therefore elaborates on how the academics have created a rich business taxonomy, defined enterprise meta objects, semantics, enterprise layers as well as the related artefacts. These artefacts have been constructed rigorously to meet up to academic standards and need to be relevant for practitioners as well. (Sein, Henfridsson, Purao, Rossi, & Lindgren, 2011) The objectives are therefore to share the business ontology and elaborate on its research and development journey, and how the business ontology helps to remedy the inconsistent use of business relevant terms and the semantic relations between them to create the basis for enterprise relevant models and meta-models. In addition to that, it provides practitioners with the ability to map them to their various ways of thinking, working and modelling. The business ontology will be introduced as a domain ontology and the paper shows how it can be used to develop enterprise standards and industry standards.
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The Importance Of Understanding The Structures Of The Enterprise Layers

An ontology is an intentional semantic structure that encodes the set of objects and terms that are presumed to exist in some area of interest (i.e. the universe of discourse or semantic domain), the relationships that is between them and the implicit rules constraining the structure of this (piece of) reality.(Genesereth & Nilsson, 1987; Nicola Guarino & Giaretta, 1995) In this definition, intentional refers to a structure describing various possible states of affairs, as opposed to extensional, which would refer to a structure describing a particular state of affairs. The word semantic indicates that the structure has meaning, which is defined as the relationship between (a structure of) symbols and a mental model of the intentional structure in the mind of the observer. This mental model is often called a conceptualization (Gruber, 1993). Semantics are an aspect of semiotics, like syntax, which distinguishes valid from invalid symbol structures, and like pragmatics, which relates symbols to their meaning within a context (e.g., the community in which they are shared). (Cordeiro & Filipe, 2004) The structures and context in the organizations should be considered as a whole (von Rosing, Zachman, von Scheel, 2015) which subsequently includes the views and models that capture the:

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