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Subject: Re: Suggestion for ebXML Knowledge Dissemination

Dear Bob:

Yes, I realize use of UML was "mandated.  But pretty much all the UML
diagrams give me a headache - perhaps I need to take the UML for Dummies
class.  And the ebXML Business Process Metamodel on Page 4 of the BP
First Draft is out of this world;  I would call it spaghetti-code.  It
would help if boxes were the same size, for two reasons: 1) esthetic
considerations, and 2) not give the impression that one is more
important than another just because its name is longer.  If anything,
the most important object is the "party", because it has the most number
lines coming in and out of it (whatever the technical term is for
"plays", "classifies", "participates", etc.), but yet it has the
smallest box! The UML diagram should take advantage of the visual biases
in the brain - maybe "party" should be a cute little puppy or baby so
the eye focuses there!

The Use Cases were easier to understand, because obviously they're at a
lower level of abstraction and use little stick figures doing things
that even a concrete-bound muscle mystic can comprehend.  I'll trust BP
that the collaboration diagrams somehow map onto the metamodel;  I'm not
going to double-check them.

But when we're all done with this, what do we expect out of the Business
Process model? Is this somehow going to be put into XMI or something
that ebXML compliant software can read to control the processes? I.e.,
the process would ensure that the authorization for raw materials,
fabrication and shipment occur seriatim (taking the Scheduling Use case
for example).

You mentioned that all but the Resources and Contracts metamodel
sub-grouping came from a combination of Edifecs/RosettaNet,
CommerceNet/eCo, SWIFT, OMG's EDOC, HL7, and WFMC (Work Flow Management
Coalition).  What's the deal with the "Edifecs/RosettaNet" model?  Is
*it* the RosettaNet model, or not?  And if so, why not just call it the
"RosettaNet" model?

William J. Kammerer
4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
(614) 791-1600

Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
"Commerce for a New World"

----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Haugen <linkage@interaccess.com>
To: 'William J. Kammerer' <wkammerer@foresightcorp.com>
Cc: ebXML Awareness Team <ebxml-awareness@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 7:35 AM
Subject: RE: Suggestion for ebXML Knowledge Dissemination

William Kammerer wrote:
>Bob Haugen apologized for there being too many UML diagrams in the
>Business Process Tech Spec.

I wouldn't accept the word "apologize" - maybe "empathize with
people who did not like them". Some people, including most of
the BP team members, liked the diagrams better than the text.
Other people, like yourself, did not like the diagrams.
At any rate, we were mandated to use UML.

>It may just be me.  My eyes glaze over when I see all these flowcharts
>with boxes labeled "Economic Resource Type" pointing via geegaws that
>"govern" or whatnot.

It's not just you, but maybe it's a "two kinds of people" thing.
Or maybe it's just that more people are getting familiar with UML.

Or maybe the big diagram is too complicated - too much on
one page.  Did you have the same problem with the other

>I have glanced over some of your and Bill McCarthy's REA stuff at
>http://www.supplychainlinks.com/ and it was eminently readable.

Thank you very much.  That gives me hope that it's just not my
writing style.  I do promise to (help to) produce a simpler overview
once the spec is approved.

>much of REA transferred over (or will be adapted) into ebXML's BP?

One of the five "sub-groupings", Resources and Contracts, came mostly
from REA. The others came from a combination of Edifecs/RosettaNet,
CommerceNet/eCo, SWIFT, OMG's EDOC, HL7, and WFMC
(Work Flow Management Coalition). (I hope I didn't leave anybody out...)

>if a lot, then at a minimum the BP Tech spec should have a bibliography
>referring to the REA papers so ordinary mortals who hate flowcharts can
>figure out what BP is doing.

I agree on bibliography, and will see that it gets added to the issues
(All the sources should be cited.)
There will also be at least some more text in the next revision;
more yet in the revision after that.

Thanks for your comments,
Bob Haugen

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