Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Paper accepted at the Conceptual Modeling (ER) 2007 Conference

Paper Title: Exploring Alternatives for Representing and Accessing Design Knowledge about Enterprise Integration

Abstract: Enterprise integration refers to solutions that facilitate meaningful interactions among heterogeneous legacy applications. The scale, complexity and specificity of most enterprise integration efforts mean that design knowledge for enterprise integration has resisted codification. Important exceptions to this include: use of Business Process Modeling (BPM) techniques to understand integration requirements; and Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIP), which present designers with abstract descriptions of recurring design tactics for integrating applications. The two, however, can be at odds. BPM encourages the control flow perspective; whereas EIP codifies an operational perspective. Mapping between the two to develop coherent solutions, therefore, tends to be problematic. To bridge the gap, we suggest an alternative that builds on the theory of speech acts. We develop essential components of such an alternative, including a re-representation of EIP as structures of speech acts, a characterization of tasks in BPM with action types, and a mapping between speech acts and action types. The components are accompanied by inference rules that produce a mapping between sets of tasks in a business process, and structures of speech acts as integration patterns. Through a short industry case, we demonstrate usefulness of the proposed alternative.

Co-Authored with Sandeep Purao.

Link to the conference ER 2007