The workshop is open for everyone who attends
the conference. Please contact the organizers before the workshop starts
to ensure that there are enough chairs available. For conference registration,
please see ECOOP registration page.
The workshop would continue the discussions on applicability of OO to business
processes modeling which were started during "Workshop on Modeling Software
Processes and Artifacts" (ECOOP’97), and "Workshop on Business Modeling
for OO Systems" (OOPSLA’97). Though, the traditional object-oriented approach
doesn’t fit the task of business processes representation very well, object-orientation
looks promising for the field. This time, we want to concentrate the discussion
on what kind of object-orientation would be adequate for business processes.
The main topics include (but are not limited to) the following: (a) importance
for a business model to be independent from the system, and especially
from the way the latter is being implemented; (b) features of business
processes that require special consideration in an object-oriented model
(e.g.: history, planning, nondeterminism, etc.); (c) set of notions needed
for representing business processes in an object-oriented manner. We would
like to see our workshop as a meeting of technicians with professionals
in business processes analysis and development who could verify the correctness
of formal approaches to business processes representation.
Call for Participation
Object-Oriented Business Process Modeling? All three notions: modeling,
object-orientation, and business processes, are the hottest issues of modern
business application development.
We believe that the only way to develop a sound business application is
by constructing first a clearly defined model of the application domain.
This model should possess its own value, and it should be independent from
the application, and especially from the way the latter is being implemented
(traditional approach, OO, Agent-based, etc.).
2. Object-oriented Approach to Modeling
Object-oriented programming proved to be powerful enough to code any software
system. In recent years, this approach has been also used for design of
object-based application systems, technical, as well as nontechnical, i.e.
business applications. Even if this approach might be acceptable for the
technical system design, it’s not intuitive and hence is not appropriate
for designing interactive business applications. In the latter, the software
objects represent physical objects of the application domain (companies,
people, etc.), and business processes. Behavior of those kind of objects
doesn’t correspond to the one of objects from the object-oriented programming
paradigm. The common result of using this paradigm to business modeling
is an employee object that has a method of calculating it’s own salary,
which doesn’t make any sense from the application domain point of view.
Nevertheless, a more abstract notion of object as a persistent dynamic
entity with links to other entities may become an adequate modeling tool.
3. Business processes
Data modeling was the main issue of the previous generation of business
applications. Process modeling is the core issue of the emerging one. Objects
that represent business processes posses some distinctive features that
require special consideration in an object-oriented model, e.g.:
They are history based. It’s not always possible to calculate
the reaction on the event based only on the current state of the object.
Evaluation of the past states may be required. Of course, there is a way
around the problem, to save all the relevant historic information in the
current state. However, this method has two drawbacks. First, it’ll make
the object structure difficult to understand. Second, and more important,
at the design start, it’s not clear what historic information is important,
and what’s not. Besides, any application undergo changes during its lifetime,
and having the history saved may allow to change old actions and add new
ones without objects restructuring.
They are human assisted. It’s not always possible for a business
process to react on the event without a human being’s help. This adds an
additional dimension to the object model. Human resources should be represented
in the model in order to deal with the task of human resources assignment,
e.g. which person(s) should assist in completing the action for the particular
object processing the particular event.
They are nondeterministic. None of a business model can reflect
the whole complexity of the application domain. There always be some information
left outside the model that need to be considered when deciding on and
performing actions.. This nondeterminism may be of two kinds:
action-based nondeterminism - the results of actions performed with the
human assistance are not deterministic.
event-based nondeterminism - a human being may intervene and perform some
actions without any visible from inside the system reason.
Their actions may evolve in time. The actions included in the business
process define the way of how the corresponding business process should
evolve in time by undergoing transitions from one legitimate state to another.
The lifetime of the business process may be very long, and the variety
of ways of its evolution may be difficult to grasp at the design start.
The one possible way of modeling this is by including in the notion of
object state not only passive data, but actions as well. This allows to
define actions which can change not only passive elements of the object
structure, but the actions currently residing in the object..
They are time-based. An event can be raised when a certain time
condition is fulfilled without any external message being received. Of
course, this can be emulated by timer objects sending messages to the business
process objects. However, it’ll make the object structure too complicated.
So, those are the main topics around which the organizers would like
to concentrate discussions on the workshop.
Naturally enough, we have our own ideas about how business processes
can be modeled. In few words they can be summarized as follows. In the
traditional approach to object-oriented programming objects are "active",
while relations between them are "passive". The activeness of an object
reveals itself when the object invokes a method (function) as a reaction
on a message from another object (or itself). While this model is suitable
for some tasks, like arranging interactions between windows, widgets and
the end-user in a typical GUI environment, it’s not appropriate for business
modeling. In this domain, relations between conceptual objects are at least
as important as objects themselves, and the more appropriate model for
this field would be the one where relations are "active" while objects
1. Ilia Bider <firstname.lastname@example.org>- Main ContactIbisSoft ab
SE-104 32 Stockholm
voice: +46 8 15 10 10
Ilia Bider is a cofounder and Technical director of IbisSoft
(Stockholm). He has MS in Computer science, and combined experience of
over twenty years of research (in the fields of computational linguistics,
databases, and OO), and practical work (design, coding, software sales,
and marketing) in 5 counties (Norway, Russia, Sweden, UK, US).
Maxim Khomyakov is a cofounder and President of Magnificent Seven (Moscow).
He has Ph.D. in Mathematics, thirty years of research (in the fields of
mathematical linguistics, logic, and OO), and 9 years of software business
Deadline for submission: May 29th, 1998
Notification of acceptance: June 10th, 1998
Final version: June 29th, 1998
Day of workshop: July 20th, 1998
Please note that workshop participants must register at least on that day
of the ECOOP conference. Deadline for early registration for the ECOOP'98
conference is Friday, June 19th.
Prospective workshop participants are invited to submit a position paper
related to one of the main topics, or an experience report which describes
positive or negative experience in using any kind of business process modeling.
A selected number of these papers will be presented during the workshop
and submissions will be made available from a WWW site in advance. The
workshop's materials will be later published in the ECOOP'98 edition of
We would very much like to see among the attendees not only technicians
but also professionals in business processes analysis and development.
We need your help to verify correctness of proposed formal approaches to
business processes presentation.
Submissions (no more than 5 pages) should be sent by e-mail email@example.com
by May 29th in any of the following formats: HTML, ASCII, MSWord (please
mention version and platform). HTML submissions are preferred.
A number of other workshops at ECOOP'98 will be devoted to the becoming
more and more popular theme of using object-oriented techniques in business
applications development. However, different workshops have different main
focus. Ours is focused on formal presentation of business processes. Others
are focused on tool support for business rules, and formal business specifications.
For more information, see: