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The Role of Modeling in Systems Integration and Business Process Analysis. Ben Constable Sparx Systems. CIM Users Group Meeting, Prague 2011. © Sparx Systems Pty Ltd 2011. Overview. The Value of Modeling in SI & BPA Systems-of-Systems complexity Tools, Notations and Reference Models

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the role of modeling in systems integration and business process analysis

The Role of Modeling in Systems Integration and Business Process Analysis

Ben Constable

Sparx Systems

CIM Users Group Meeting, Prague 2011

© Sparx Systems Pty Ltd 2011

overview
Overview
  • The Value of Modeling in SI & BPA
    • Systems-of-Systems complexity
    • Tools, Notations and Reference Models
  • Understanding Data for Information Exchange
    • Navigating the CIM model
    • Understanding legacy systems
    • Visualizing As-is and To-be scenarios
  • Business Process Modeling
    • Process Modeling vs Process Execution
    • BPM Example
    • Interoperability concerns
  • Q & A
the value of modeling
The value of modeling
  • Manage complexity
  • Plan and mitigate risk
  • Facilitate communication
tools notations and reference models
Tools, Notations and Reference Models
  • Modeling Notations
    • Provide suitable, formal language for communicating concepts
    • Open industry standards by OMG, The Open Group etc.
    • UML®, OMG SysML™, BPMN™, ArchiMate® etc.
  • Reference Models
    • Library of reusable domain concepts defined in standard notation (UML)
    • Essential ingredient for defining interoperable system interfaces
    • IEC CIM for utilities
  • Modeling Tools
    • Editing environment, notation support, navigation, plug-n’-play models
    • Define reference models, system interfaces, trace, report
    • Generative capability. Inputs to implementation and deployment tools
    • Enterprise Architect
understanding data for information exchange
Understanding Data for Information Exchange
  • Data model required (irrespective of messaging technology)
    • CIM provides an excellent starting point
    • Ask: Is this information already defined in the CIM?
    • Locate: Use the modeling environment’s search facility
    • Reuse: Link elements to your domain/data model.
  • Locating CIM concepts in Enterprise Architect:
    • Model Search
    • Traceability View
traceability view
Traceability View
  • Trace the selected Element’s relationships within the model
  • Find Related Elements
  • Navigate to related elements
  • Filter relationships and restrict hierarchy depth
visualizing as is and to be integrations
Visualizing As-is and To-be Integrations
  • Integration of systems occurs in stages
  • How do I document as-is and to-be scenarios or phases?
  • Modeling tool provides options to:
    • Selectively hide relationships
    • Differentiate phases by color
    • Capture Phase as metadata
    • Dynamically filter visual elements
    • by meta data (Diagram Filters)
  • Preferable to reuse, rather than remodel, elements in each scenario
visualizing as is and to be integrations1
Visualizing As-is and To-be Integrations
  • Consider our metering systems integration…
  • Components currently integrated are Phase 1.0
  • “PDA Interface” component to be integrated in Phase 2.0 (faded)
understanding legacy systems1
Understanding Legacy Systems
  • Use the modeling tool to help complete the picture.
  • Import source code:
    • Application (C++, java etc.)
    • Middleware (CORBA), etc.
  • Reverse engineer data schema from live databases
  • Import XML documents:
    • Schemas (XSD)
    • Interface definitions (WSDL)
understanding legacy systems2
Understanding Legacy Systems
  • Import XML schema to UML:

XSD- UML

Mapping

understanding legacy systems3
Understanding Legacy Systems
  • Import database schema to UML:

Relational - UML

Mapping

understanding legacy systems4
Understanding Legacy Systems
  • One approach to mapping legacy data model to CIM:
business process modeling
Business Process Modeling
  • Objectives
    • Process documentation (as-is, to-be)
    • Process automation
    • Process optimization, improvement
    • Process orchestration etc.
  • Numerous notations
    • UML Activity models, Eriksson Penker, Flow Chart, EPC, BPMN
  • Describe interactions:
    • Inter-organizational activities
    • Messaging between system interfaces
    • Includes the ‘human system’
business process modeling notation bpmn
Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)
  • Published by Object Management Group (OMG)
  • Flow-chart like notation, readable by business users
  • Current version: BPMN 2.0
  • BPMN 2.0 adds new diagram types:
    • Conversation
    • Collaboration
    • Choreography
  • Version 2.0 also defines

serialization for presentation

info and execution semantics!

bpmn fundamentals
BPMN Fundamentals
  • Flow Objects: Activity, Event, Gateway
    • Activities represent process tasks
    • Events: Something that happens to affect

process flow

    • Gateways control process flow
  • Connecting Objects: Message, Sequence Flows
    • Message Flow between participants
    • Sequence Flow orders activities
  • Swimlanes: Pool, Lanes
    • Pools represent participants in Collaborations
    • Partition activities in B2B interactions
  • Data Objects:
    • Inputs and outputs to Activities
returning to our metering system integration
Returning to our Metering System Integration…
  • Draft process for meter reading request:
linking the data model to message exchange
Linking the data model to message exchange…
  • One approach: Use “messageRef” and “itemRef” values on Message Flows and Message elements respectively
    • “messageRef” refers to the Message element behind the flow.
    • “itemRef” refers to the itemDefinition that defines the Message’s payload
    • (Data Objects also contain itemRefs)
  • BPEL implementations refer to data structures via Assignments
    • For example, Data Objects refer to XML Schema (XSD) types
    • Mapping from pure UML data models to XSD classes can be automated
linking the data model to message exchange1
Linking the data model to message exchange…
  • BPMN properties (UML Tagged Values) to capture metadata and link to data structure
process modeling vs process execution
Process Modeling vs Process Execution
  • Use the modeling tool to:
    • Document and define processes
    • Link and trace processes to upstream and downstream models (requirements, architecture, data model etc).
    • Generate implementation artifacts (BPEL)
    • Export to appropriate interchange format (XPDL, BPMN XML)
    • Simulate processes, if supported.
  • Use the execution engine to:
    • Import modeled process (from BPEL, XPDL etc.)
    • Configure, implement and deploy processes
a note on tool interoperability
A note on tool interoperability
  • Ideally: Seamlessly round-trip processes between modeling environment and execution environment.
  • Some interchange inhibitors:
    • Which exchange format: BPEL, XPDL, XMI?
    • BPEL scripts lack presentation info – so diagrams get wiped out
    • XPDL suffers too much variation among vendor implementations
    • XMI not supported by execution platforms; too much variation among modeling tools
  • Enter BPMN 2.0 XML…
    • Vendors of Execution engines appear to be developing support
    • Notation and XML export supported in Enterprise Architect 9
    • Serialization of presentation and semantic info built into the BPMN 2.0 spec
in summary
In Summary…
  • Ensure that your models realize value:
    • Don’t model everything from scratch
    • Use industry standard reference models
    • Use tools to visualize legacy systems and extract data models
    • Avoid ‘picture only’ modeling. Understand and capture metadata to:
      • Facilitate traceability between structural and process models
      • Enable generative modeling: UML -> XSD, BPMN -> XML, etc.
      • Maximise reusability of processes
    • Standard modeling notations (UML, BPMN) help you to:
      • Maximise communication (wider audience)
      • Achieve reusability
      • Increase potential for tool interoperability
references
References
  • UML, The OMG: http://www.uml.org, www.omg.org
  • BPMN Specification: http://www.omg.org/spec/BPMN/2.0
  • Enterprise Architect: http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/ea
  • IEC CIM UML Model: http://cimug.ucaiug.org
  • CIM Modeling and Enterprise Architect background: http://cimug.ucaiug.org/Meetings/Milan2010/Presentations/CIM%20University/08%20Extending%20IEC%20CIM%20with%20Enterprise%20Architect.ppt