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OPCATeam. OPM-based Collaborative Systems Modeling BPM 2004 Dov Dori, Dizza Beimel, Eran Toch Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Agenda : . OPM Overview OPCATeam Project Goals Problem Specification OPCATeam Architecture Implementation Summary and Future Work.

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OPM-based Collaborative Systems Modeling

BPM 2004

Dov Dori, Dizza Beimel, Eran Toch

Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

  • OPM Overview
  • OPCATeam Project Goals
  • Problem Specification
  • OPCATeam Architecture
  • Implementation
  • Summary and Future Work
what is opm o bject p rocess m ethodology
What is OPM - Object-Process Methodology?

A comprehensive paradigm for

  • modeling
  • engineering
  • lifecycle support

of complex, multi-disciplinary systems

objects and processes
Objects and Processes
  • Objects and processes are two types of equally important things (entities) required to describe a system in a single, unifying model
  • At any point in time, each object is at some state
  • Object states are transformed through the occurrence of a process
opm has a single model with a bimodal representation
OPM has a single model with abimodal representation

A single diagram type: Object-Process Diagram (OPD)

A corresponding subset of language:

Object-Process Language (OPL)

resources opm book
Resources: OPM book

Dov Dori

Object-Process Methodology - A Holistic Systems Paradigm,

Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 2002

resources opm website www objectprocess org
Resources: OPM Websitewww.ObjectProcess.org

Free OPCAT downloads


opcat o bject p rocess ca se t ool single user version
OPCAT – Object-Process CASE Tool – single user version

Serves one user at a time

  • The data and metadata of each model is saved in an XML file.
  • The program reads the information from the XML file, while building its internal Data Structures.
  • The main Data Structure is Hash Table.
what is collaboration
What is Collaboration ?
  • “To work jointly with others or together, especially in an intellectual endeavor.” [Webster]
  • Collaboration is associated with groupware technology, which is designed to facilitate the work of groups.

IBM Lotus Notes NetMeeting

Documentum CVS


project goal objectives
Project goal & Objectives
  • Goal:Specify and implement a collaborative environment, where teams of modelers collaborate in OPM-based analysis, design, and implementation of systems
  • Objectives:
    • Support concurrency, communication, security
    • Use OPCAT as the basis for OPCATeam
    • Employ Web technologies
objectives attainment guidelines
Objectives attainment guidelines
  • Concurrency:
    • The model should be available to all the members enabling them to get the most up-to-date view.
    • Developers work on the same shared system at the same time, based on a single consistent model that describes it.
  • Communication:
    • Team members should be able to communicate freely regardless of their physical whereabouts.
  • Security:
    • The model under construction should be protected from unauthorized external access and changes by unauthorized modelers.
two conflicting requirements
Two conflicting requirements
  • Enabling independent, parallel work on a distributed OPM model
  • Keeping the model integrity
problem opm interconnectivity
Problem: OPM interconnectivity
  • OPDs in the OPD set are interconnected.
  • OPDs can share common entities (objects, processes or states), each change in a common entity potentially influences other OPDs.
problem example
Problem Example

Modeler A

Modeler B





  • Three access permission levels:
    • workgroup
    • OPM model
    • diagram.
  • The diagram permissions
    • Reduce the number of conflicts between concurrent updates
    • Prevent designers from affecting shared elements while allowing them to refine these elements.
the model manager
The Model Manager
  • Handles concurrent development of OPM models
  • Uses a central repository and a concurrent update mechanism.
  • Allows simultaneous user updates to a single OPM model
  • Includes a version control function that logs updates and enables revision control.
access control
Access Control
  • Workgroup access level
    • Admin
    • Create OPM model
    • View workgroup
  • OPM model access level
    • Admin
    • Commit model
    • View OPM mode
  • OPD access level
    • Admin
    • Edit OPD
    • Refine OPD
    • view OPD
the opcateam client
The OPCATeam Client

Identical with the single-user OPCAT :

  • Supports OPM
    • Visually
    • Textually
    • Logically
  • Interface to collaboration utilities:
    • Server communication
    • Chat
    • Presence window
  • Runs the access control mechanism.
server collaborative session
Server: Collaborative Session
  • Users can create Collaborative Session on a model according to their permissions.
  • A user can participate in one session at a time.
  • Users can collaborate by sharing the same session.
  • Sharing is enabled by giving permission
  • A session has a “Token Holder” - the current model editor.
  • The token is passed between the authorized session participants.
  • The session can be committed only by a team member that holds committing authorization.
  • The session data and metadata is saved on the server.
server administration
Server: Administration
  • Local administration
    • Create/Update/Disable workgroups,models,sessions.
    • Handle the session: login, save, commit
  • Global administration
    • Handled through a web interface.
    • Disable/Enable/Update/Delete workgroups, users, models, sessions
    • Provide statistics.
server version control
Server: Version Control
  • Provide basic version control functionality:
    • Get latest version
    • Check out file
    • Check in file
    • Get file status
  • File can be checked out by one or more users.
  • Once file had been checked in, it gets a new version number.
    • The date and author are saved.
    • The current implementation uses built-in version control module.
  • JBoss J2EE Application Server
  • AXIS Web Services Implementation
    • Using the SOAP protocol
  • JMS – Java Message Service
  • MySQL/InnoDB
new collaboration products
New Collaboration Products
  • Poseidon for UML has announced a new product “Enterprise Edition: UML in Teams“ in March 2004
    • Collaboration on models.
    • The team is synchronized in real time.
    • Multi-user interaction.
    • Version control.
  • Rational Rose and Rhapsody base their collaborative features on standard version control software. Concurrency is achieved by breaking the modules into separate files.
    • This type of solution does not suit OPM, because of the strong connections between the diagrams.
  • OPCATeam implementation follows the guidelines:
    • Concurrent work is achieved through a collaborative session and a merge utility
    • Security is achieved through the access control mechanism
    • Communication is achieved through the collaborative session, chat room, and presence window.
future work
Future work
  • Collaborative aspects:
    • Implement OPD permission level
    • Implement execution stack on the server (replace the token mechanism, allows semi-concurrent updates)
  • Concurrency aspect:
    • Improve the merge utility
  • Web aspect:
    • Create a user portal (today only admin portal supported)
  • Near future tasks:
    • Port the code from JBoss to IBM WebSphere.
    • Define groups , each user has to be part of one or more groups
    • Support GUID and transactions managing
    • investigate native security aspects in J2EE