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Context Verb Object, A Notation Language

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107657D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 134K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Decker, SR: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a notation mechanism for specifying the functional activities included in the phases of a work flow. The notation language - Context Verb Object (CVO) - provides a "near English" representation of the choices available to the definer of a business process in specifying the procedural, manual, and automated activities (methods) that may occur in a work-flow phase. CVO, together with supporting mechanisms, offers a bridge between the computer professional and the business professional.

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Context Verb Object, A Notation Language

       This article describes a notation mechanism for
specifying the functional activities included in the phases of a work
flow. The notation language - Context Verb Object (CVO) - provides a
"near English" representation of the choices available to the definer
of a business process in specifying the procedural, manual, and
automated activities (methods) that may occur in a work-flow phase.
CVO, together with supporting mechanisms, offers a bridge between the
computer professional and the business professional.

      CVO notation is a means of recording the functional activities
(or "process elements") that take place in the aggregation of
functions called a work-flow phase. CVO notation specifies the action
to be performed, the object to be acted on, and the qualifications or
conditions that apply.  CVO represents the primary function of the
process element and makes an association with the action required for
that function.

      Process elements are grouped in sequence by particular types of
CVO statements (see "Sequencers" below), much as sentences are
grouped in paragraphs. Process elements are defined by qualified
actions performed on objects and are represented by CVO statements.
The objects (data groupings representing real-world entities) put the
CVO statement in context.  Objects act like subjects in speech and
restrict the application of the verb. Each form of context serves to
further clarify the interpretation of CVO statements.

      Implicit in the use of CVO is an absolute distinction between
specifying an activity and performing it: the specification is
written in CVO notation, while the "methods" used in performing it
can be written in any programming language.  (A method is a program,
procedure, or action performed on an object). The methods themselves
are described in a "method registry" (supported by an SQL data base)
and include specifications (attributes) that can be matched to
corresponding CVO notation. The "binding" between a method and a data
object can be tightened by stripping away layers of interpretation
represented in the registry. This variability allows an explicit
trade-off between flexibility and performance.

      In CVO, actions are generic directive verbs, of which there are
three types:
SEQUENCERS specify synchronizing points of control.
DECLARATIVES set the value of an object's attribute (instant
variable).
DIRECTIVES are the verbs of CVO notation, specifying that an action
is to be performed with one or more objects.

      The context provided in the CVO statement and the general
context of phase and role (e.g., salesman, order clerk, or manager)
allow matching and determining the particular method to be used for a
desired function. If, for instance, manual and image-matching methods
for signature recognition were both available in the method registry,
the definer would want to be able to specify one or the other.

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