ALBIS: ALigning Business Processes and Information Systems – Software Environment and Case Studies

ALBIS: ALigning Business Processes and Information Systems – Software Environment and Case Studies

Lerina Aversano (University of Sannio, Italy), Carmine Grasso (University of Sannio, Italy) and Maria Tortorella (University of Sannio, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3664-4.ch012
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The evaluation of the alignment level existing between a business process and the supporting software systems is a critical concern for an organization, as the higher the alignment level is, the better the process performance is. Monitoring the alignment implies the characterization of all the items it involves and definition of measures for evaluating it. This is a complex task, and the availability of automatic tools for supporting evaluation and evolution activities may be precious. This chapter presents the ALBIS Environment (Aligning Business Processes and Information Systems), designed to support software maintenance tasks. In particular, the proposed environment allows the modeling and tracing between business and software entities and the measurement of their alignment degree. An information retrieval approach is embedded in ALBIS based on two processing phases including syntactic and semantic analysis. The usefulness of the environment is discussed through two case studies.
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In literature, several works deal with the alignment process management, aiming at easily evaluating and identifying the software components impacted by a business and/or software change.

In Zou et al. (2009), the authors argue that understanding the code and locating the portion of the code to be changed is a time-consuming process if the developer does have not the support of automatic tools. Therefore, they present the BPE—Business Process Explorer—tool integrated in Eclipse. It supports the evolution of a business application, automatically recovers business processes from the User Interface and business logic tier of a business application and establishes the links between the recovered processes and their implementation.

In Ramel et al. (2009), the alignment between Business and Software Services is considered and tool “Efficient” is used as automatic support. The presented tool uses an UML activity diagram for representing the choreography of business activities and information exchanged between them, while UML class diagrams are used for representing the structure of this information.

The alignment between high-level business specifications and lower-level technological information is debated in De Castro et al. (2011), where the MDA—Model Driven Architecture—tool is presented. It is developed by using the Eclipse framework for supporting SOD-M—Service-Oriented Development Method.

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