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Subject: RE: ebXML Entity Classes - Resend

>> A deficiency of the diagram is that it is not preceeded by higher level
>> class diagrams.

>It is, but these are defined in the business process model

I am involved in the BP work group, working on business collaboration
patterns.  By that I mean, larger and longer business conversations
composed of many documents and transactions with relationships
between them.  In this message I will use the pattern of supply
chain materials management, typically composed of:
Stage 1. set up - exchanging type or master information
              e.g. parties, products, locations
Stage 2. long term, usually yearly, contracts
Stage 3. short-term, often weekly, releases against the contracts
Stage 4. shipments which fulfill the release commitments
Stage 5. payments for the shipments

In Vancouver, I had a number of discussions with core components 
people including Lisa Shreve and Martin Bryan about the relationships 
of business process models to information models.  I then took those 
conversations back into BP discussions.

Here are some of my findings:

A. In business collaborations such as the one outlined above,
    there is a requirement for information consistency throughout
    the whole collaboration and also from stage-to-stage.
    The structure and representation must be the compatible,
    and also some of the values.
    For example, the products to be released in stage 3 must
    have been identified in stage 1 and contracted for in stage 2.
B. At each stage, there is a small set of information elements
    that are really necessary to do business, for example, at
    the release stage: product, quantity, location, due date and time,
    etc., where etc. is dependent on other aspects of context.
    The necessary elements are somewhat different at each
    stage, but must be consistent with the information at
    other stages.
C. There are relationships among the documents at each
     stage:  for example, releases are constrained by the
     yearly contract; shipments must fulfill release commitments;
     payments must compensate for shipments.
     If these relationships do not hold (e.g. the payment
     does not cover the price of the shipment), there is
     a problem in the collaboration for which a remedy
     will be sought.
     The small set of information referred to in #B is
     what is needed to express the relationships among
     documents in different stages.
     In general, the relationships among documents
     and stages is given in Bill McCarthy's REA model,
     which is now embedded in the UN/CEFACT TMWG
     UMM (N090) metamodel, which is also the ebXML
     BP metamodel.

We'll be fleshing this set of ideas out in some organizational
form after ebXML - don't know where yet for sure.  If interested,
let me know.  (Won't make the deadlines for ebXML.)

Bob Haugen

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