Browse Prior Art Database

A Computerized Environment for Business-to-IT Communication

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124200D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-12
Document File: 9 page(s) / 307K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Capturing business process models is a labor-intensive and difficult process. Current computerized tools provide only very constrained human interfaces and do not allow a user to manage models in a very flexible way. Very often, they only allow users to use one type of models to describe a business process. This disclosure describes a computerized modeling tool, which allows the user to capture models in very different formalisms (informal, semi-formal, formal), easily navigate between different formalisms and keep models related to each other by establishing typed hyperlinks between them. Models captured in a semi-formal or formal representation can be automatically managed and analyzed by the tool, which allows the user to gradually advance his models by keeping dependent models synchronized.

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A Computerized Environment for Business -to-IT Communication

Motivation

Capturing business process models is a labor-intensive and difficult process. Current computerized tools provide only very constrained human interfaces and do not allow a user to manage models in a very flexible way. Very often, they only allow users to use one type of models to describe a business process. This disclosure describes a computerized modeling tool, which allows the user to capture models in very different formalisms (informal, semi-formal, formal), easily navigate between different formalisms and keep models related to each other by establishing typed hyperlinks between them. Models captured in a semi-formal or formal representation can be automatically managed and analyzed by the tool, which allows the user to gradually advance his models by keeping dependent models synchronized.

The disclosure aims at providing a computerized environment for capturing business processes and business requirements prior to an IT implementation of these processes.

The solution is characterized by the following characteristics:

a tablet PC with digitizer for pen-based input,

a software to capture and recognize handwritten business process models using

graphical modeling elements from a predefined model representation a software to manipulate, manage, maintain, refine, and link different models with

typed and optionally annotated hyperlinks.

Background

The problem of capturing business processes and business requirements is well-known. There can be two purposes:

Analyzing the business process with the goal of changing and improving the process

(often called business transformation or business-process reengineering) Recording the business requirements with the goal of providing the specification for

a to-be-implemented IT system

Herein the second purpose is tackled, although the computerized environment also provides information acquisition functionality to address purpose 1.

Known solutions to Problem 2 usually involve drawing a kind of model that describes how the future IT system will address the business requirements. The requirements are usually given in textual form in a very informal way. They can also be captured semi-formally using Use Cases and even be formally refined by attaching a logical specification to a Use Case. The model of the IT system can be described informally, semi-formally, or formally. Informal descriptions for example involve text or drawings


1.


2.


3.


1.


2.

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created by hand or in some drawing tool. Semi-formal approaches involve for example to use the Unified Modeling Language UML or a specific modeling language that has been designed to capture business processes. Formal approaches involve using logical or algebraic specification languages such as SDL for example.

There are various unsolved problems

The various methods of different degree of formality exist next to each other and

models or specifications captured with one met...