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SC4 Future Architecture Workshop. Second PWI Workshop London, UK October 18-19, 2009 David Price David Leal Co-Chairs. Agenda. Day 1 Welcome and Introductions Walkthrough of Overview Presentation Day 2 Input to/Review of IT Framework Components

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SC4 Future Architecture Workshop

Second PWI Workshop

London, UK

October 18-19, 2009

David Price

David Leal


  • Day 1
    • Welcome and Introductions
    • Walkthrough of Overview Presentation
  • Day 2
    • Input to/Review of IT Framework Components
    • Input to/Review of SC4 Methods and Guidelines
    • Input to/Review of Examples
    • Plan for Rotterdam

SC4 Future Architecture Introduction

A Brief Introduction to the Proposed SC4 Future Architecture

October 2009

David Price



  • For several years participants from ISO TC184 SC4 “STEP” have been migrating to OMG, OASIS and other standards bodies
  • For several years various SC4 people have made presentations on why … basically that SC4 is stuck in the mid-1990s and the rest of the world has moved on
  • 2009 NIST funded a “STEP for Engineering Enterprise Integration”

NIST “Future STEP” Project Goals

  • To enable enterprise integration based on inter-related data exchange, ontology and service specifications
  • To enable the selective harvesting of ISO 10303 (aka STEP) standards into ontologies and other widespread modeling languages via OMG Model Driven Architecture ™ approach
    • ISO TC184 SC4 STEP community has been creating data exchange information models for 20 years – lots of knowledge, lessons learned and capability there
    • With possibility of ISO STEP harvesting improvements made in OMG and W3C back into its standards
    • May lead ISO STEP to adopt OMG & W3C technology

Near-Term Goal - Harvesting STEP



Future STEP











Process, Specs

& Tools




UML Profile



UML 2 Tool &

Executable UML



& Services


suite of stds

Software Systems





End Goal – New ISO STEP Approach

Industry Extensions




Core Ontologies

And Mapping





SC4 Future Arch PWI

  • In May 2009 SC4 initiated a project to propose an SC4 future architecture
  • Deliverables
    • A proposed architecture for SC4 standards
    • An example done using the proposed architecture
    • A paper/report on making SC4 standard content freely available
  • Deadline : November 2009
today s choice of technology

resource parts

Today’s choice of technology

OED, normative scientific and engineering references

terms and definitions for people




web service definitions

domain extensions

XML schema + schematron

OWL + named graphs


CL, and other dictionary languages



Project goals

  • Better
    • Put SC4 standards on a sound, formal, semantic foundation
    • Enable wider coverage of SC4 customer information and communication technology needs
  • Faster and cheaper
    • Use widespread technologies, methodologies and approaches
    • Maintain/extend reuse/modularity
    • Support lightweight usage scenarios
  • Legacy
    • Provide migration/mapping for existing SC4 standards


  • Enable a suite of SC4 standards taking a knowledge-based approach with formal, semantic models at its core
    • A “green field” approach to the architecture and standards
      • Not just re-implementing STEP architecture using UML tools
    • ISO 10303, ISO 15926, etc. can continue to be extended if industry so chooses
      • i.e. Not “the only” architecture used in SC4, instead it's “the new and improved” additional architecture
    • Evolve and grow over time, do not have to migrate every thing in SC4 at once (or ever, for that matter)

The SC4 Architecture Elements

  • An SC4 IT Framework in which to create standards
  • SC4 Methods and Procedures that specify how to populate the SC4 IT Framework
  • An SC4 Framework of Concepts that is the basis of the formal models

IT Framework Components

  • Library of Natural Language Dictionaries
  • Formal models of general and discipline-specific concepts
  • Process models and implementation bindings
  • Data models and implementation bindings
  • Service models and implementation bindings
  • Mapping and Traces between elements within and across components

Library of Natural Language Dictionaries

  • Libraries of dictionaries, largely sources published elsewhere, augmented by SC4 as required (e.g IEC IEV)
  • Terms and related definitions for human consumption
    • Not definitions of specific model elements
    • Relationships between terms
  • Usages and users of terms in the dictionary
    • Analysts deciding if an SC4 standard covers their scenario
    • Guides, reports, presentations, etc. explaining SC4 standards
    • Use cases, Activity models, concept maps, etc. used to scope, introduce or overview SC4 standards
    • Referenced as a 'source' from the major elements in the standard models

Logic-based Models

  • Specified using languages with formal semantics
  • Concepts and their relationships which begin at a generic level with a series of levels of increasing specificity
  • Specializations and extensions to general models to support discipline-specific requirements
    • Can address some industry use cases directly
      • e.g. Semantic Web-style uses, data aggregation or federation, reasoning
      • Need not be decidable (e.g. OWL Full)
  • The SC4 Conceptual Model Framework
    • With lessons learned from 10303,15926, etc. applied
    • Example : A quantities and units ontology

Process Models and Bindings

  • Models of the processes that act on the world (e.g. create or consume data)
    • Not models of services like SOA
  • Two main purposes
    • scoping and providing context for data-related standards
    • standardizing processes, or adding detail to standard processes from other organizations
      • These may be directly executable via bindings to execution engines (e.g. BPMN → BPEL)
      • Using process to record provenance

Data Models/Bindings

  • Logical data models (e.g. EXPRESS, UML)
  • Data models (e.g. XML Schema)
  • Purpose is to support interchange, integration, archiving and preservation, content of services, databases, etc.
  • ISO 10303 is an example
  • Typically scoped using a process model
  • Bindings are to text files, XML files, etc., including from logical data models
  • ‘Closing world’; Adding constraints about data shall be recorded

Service Models and Bindings

  • Models of services and their relationships such as choreography or orchestration
    • Service Oriented Architecture
    • Web Oriented Architecture
    • Resource Oriented Architecture
  • Bindings are to Web services, SOAP, WSDL, REST, etc.
  • Often support a process model and have a formal model or data model defining their content

Mappings and Traces

  • 'Mapping' was too strong a name as the relationship semantics may only be human-interpretable, so now ‘Mapping and Trace’
  • Specifications of the relationships between
    • model elements in different IT architecture components (e.g. data model element represents formal model element)
    • model elements within an IT architecture component (e.g. data model element A can be transformed to data model element B or can be represented by XML binding for A)
    • references to terms, dependencies, etc.
  • May be formal or informal, but always computer navigable
    • Example of formal : EXPRESS-X, QVT, XSLT, SQL, STEP Mapping Tables, Graph Transformation Languages
      • E.g. MEXICO stuff is example (EXPRESS->UML)
      • Profiles of UML (e.g. SOAML, SysML)
    • Examples of informal : 'source' or 'seeAlso' annotations


  • Approach is to be “inclusive” with respect to technologies, particularly for implementation
    • Need to allow elements to be glued together as required for mapping, migration, source, etc.
    • OMG MDA identified as strong candidate, particularly for the more detailed components
  • The core Dictionary and Formal Model technologies are the first priority as the more detailed components will likely require a support for a wide variety of technologies

Initial Candidate technologies

  • Dictionary : Natural language, SKOS, Concept Maps, Topic Maps, Controlled Natural Language, ISO 11179 Metadata Registry, ISO 22745
  • Formal models : OWL, ODM, Common Logic, Controlled Natural Language
  • Data models : EXPRESS, UML, E/R, MOF DSL, ORM
  • Serialization bindings : XML Schema, XML, P21, JSON, YAML, HDF5, RDFa, SQL
  • Process models/bindings : UML, BPMN, UPDM, BPEL
  • Service models/bindings : UML, SOAML, WSDL, REST
  • Mapping : Controlled Natural Language, EXPRESS-X, QVT, TGG, XSLT, OWL
initial it recommendations
Initial IT Recommendations
  • List for initial report, not final SC4 suite of IT
  • Library – Decision not final
  • Formal Models – OWL and ISO Common Logic
  • Data Models – UML, XML-related languages and EXPRESS
  • Service Models – UML, and perhaps soaml
  • Process Models – UML, and perhaps BPMN
  • Mapping and Trace
    • Trace – Specific technology for each component that can be processed into a common form for navigation and query (e.g Dublin Core, SKOS, SAWSDL)

Concluding questions

  • Are we missing any architecture components?
  • Are we missing good candidate technologies for use in any architecture components?
  • What criteria should we use to evaluate candidate technologies?
    • e.g. maturity, cost, tool availability
  • How does SC4 publish standards for various components now? Is the model as the standard sufficient?
    • For example, is OWL with annotation properties enough or must we also publish a document?
  • Public Future Architecture Wiki
  • SC4 Sharepoint
  • SC4 Email Exploder: