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Process Element Wrapper and Variable Binding

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107662D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 131K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Decker, SR: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a mechanism for changing the degree of binding between a method and its wrapper and between a method and data. Variable binding enables the definer of a business process to change its mode of operation from an interpretive one to one that is less dynamic but faster.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Process Element Wrapper and Variable Binding

       This  article describes a mechanism for changing the
degree of binding between a method and its wrapper and between a
method and data.  Variable binding enables the definer of a business
process to change its mode of operation from an interpretive one to
one that is less dynamic but faster.

      In the early stages of the development of a business process,
function must be easy to invoke. However, as development moves into
production, performance becomes an increasingly important
consideration.  The method registry supports the trade-off of
flexibility for performance by providing a means for defining and
managing methods associated with data objects. The concept of
variable binding is an outgrowth of this general approach. The method
registry enables business people (few of whom are programmers) to
choose the method to be performed on data objects they themselves
have defined.

      As a business process application stabilizes during develop-
ment, the degree of binding can be tightened by stripping away layers
of interpretation represented in the method wrapper and the registry.
A method wrapper represents three quarters of a process element
(i.e., a work activity), the fourth part being the method (see the
figure).  Note:  A wrapper belongs to the process element. It is a
selected set of methods that supports a primary method.

      The pre-check phase ensures that the method being called has a
good chance of operating successfully.  The post-check phase verifies
that the result is valid. The third part, exception handling and
reversal, supports the containment of exceptions and the invocation
of methods designed to reverse, remedy, or restrict the effect of an
error.  The method itself may be an invocation of one or more
methods, as in a procedure of methods or in a pre-processing method.

      In the early stages of development, pre-checking must often be
extensive because segments of the business process that occur prior
to the operation of the process element may be incomplete.  Checking
verifies, for example, whether an object instance required by the
element has been created. Other functions, performed outside the
method but in the wrapper (e.g., monitoring for a triggering event or
condi- tion before initiating a method), would be retained in a
production version of the process element.

      The process element wrapper is a control object structured to
hold all the information about the method that is relevant to the
current invocation. The business analyst interacts with it to resolve
variable naming between  the parameter inputs required by the method
and the instance variable provided by the object(s) affected. The
result is a fully formed process element that describes the use of a
method in a specific business process.

      The method registry contains pre-checking and post-...