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Subject: BP modeling - followup to Apr 11 Analysis conf call

During the April 11 cc-bp-analysis conference call, I described
my notion of how business process models should be developed
for ebXML.  The conference call attendees requested that I write
it up.  Here it is.  Be aware that this is my opinion, not group 
consensus (or not yet, anyway).

There are several uses of a business process model for ebXML:

1. To develop an XML Process Specification document for use
at runtime in conjunction with an ebXML Collaboration Protocol 
Agreement (CPA).

2. To describe the whole business collaboration process in which
the runtime ebXML collaboration is embedded, including business
objects for collaboration management and integration points for
internal business systems (in other words, developing a practical
end-to-end business collaboration process).

3. To enable sharing of business process models through the ebXML
Registry and Repositories, which requires putting collaboration 
process models in context for referencing and discovery.  An example
of context would be an industry or other business reference model
like the Telecommunication industry's TOM model or the Supply
Chain Council's SCOR model or the Automotive Industry Action
Groups Materials Management model.  (A shared model would normally be
different from model #2, but there might well be a common intersection.)

If the purpose is only to develop #1, runtime XML, the model could
be developed using either:
a) UML; 
b) a simplified Business Process Editor as described in the BP 
    Worksheet document, or 
c) directly in XML using either XML tools or a text editor (for the very brave).

If UML is used, the UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology (UMM) is the 
mandatory methodology for ebXML.  The UMM Metamodel contains
the modeling artifacts required to satisfy all of the purposes listed
above.  If everybody uses UMM, the business process models in
ebXML repositories will have a chance at being compatible.

The XML Process Specification document for use with the ebXML
CPA should be generatable from a model developed using UMM.

The ebXML Business Process Specification Schema specifies
the format and rules for the XML Process Specification document.
This is a subset of the whole business process model spectrum 
as described in purposes #2 and #3 above.  This subset should
be compatible with the full UMM Metamodel.

The UML diagrams in the BPSS document should not be used as 
a modeling tool; they should be considered as the design for the
Process Specification document.  There should be no need or
reason to instantiate the classes in the BPSS UML diagrams.
The runtime XML should be able to be generated from the UMM
model using production rules.

For people who want to develop simple limited-purpose business 
process models, for whom UML is overkill and raw XML is too
difficult, Business Process Editors should be developed 
using the concepts in the  BP Worksheet document.
(Several vendors already have these in the works.) 

These BPEs should be able to work at several levels,
from simple business transactions to larger collaborations to 
whole reference models.  BPE-generated models should conform
to the UMM Metamodel.  If they are to be stored in ebXML repositories, 
it should be in a neutral format that can be shared also by full UML tools.
(The BP work group should decide which neutral format to specify,
XMI, RDF or whatever.)

Bob Haugen

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