Semantic modeling method for configurable enterprise information systems

Ni, Qianfu (2010) Semantic modeling method for configurable enterprise information systems. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Business practices vary from one company to another and business practices often need to be changed due to changes of business environments. To satisfy different business practices, enterprise systems need to be customized. To keep up with ongoing business practice changes, enterprise systems need to be adapted. Because of rigidity and complexity, the customization and adaption of enterprise systems often takes excessive time with potential failures and budget shortfall. Moreover, enterprise systems often drag business behind because they cannot be rapidly adapted to support business practice changes. Extensive literature has addressed this issue by identifying success or failure factors, implementation approaches, and project management strategies. Those efforts were aimed at learning lessons from post implementation experiences to help future projects. This research looks into this issue from a different angle. It attempts to address this issue by delivering a systematic method for developing flexible enterprise systems which can be easily tailored for different business practices or rapidly adapted when business practices change. First, this research examines the role of system models in the context of enterprise system development; and the relationship of system models with software programs in the contexts of computer aided software engineering (CASE), model driven architecture (MDA) and workflow management system (WfMS). Then, by applying the analogical reasoning method, this research initiates a concept of model driven enterprise systems. The novelty of model driven enterprise systems is that it extracts system models from software programs and makes system models able to stay independent of software programs. In the paradigm of model driven enterprise systems, system models act as instructors to guide and control the behavior of software programs. Software programs function by interpreting instructions in system models. This mechanism exposes the opportunity to tailor such a system by changing system models. To make this true, system models should be represented in a language which can be easily understood by human beings and can also be effectively interpreted by computers. In this research, various semantic representations are investigated to support model driven enterprise systems. The significance of this research is 1) the transplantation of the successful structure for flexibility in modern machines and WfMS to enterprise systems; and 2) the advancement of MDA by extending the role of system models from guiding system development to controlling system behaviors. This research contributes to the area relevant to enterprise systems from three perspectives: 1) a new paradigm of enterprise systems, in which enterprise systems consist of two essential elements: system models and software programs. These two elements are loosely coupled and can exist independently; 2) semantic representations, which can effectively represent business entities, entity relationships, business logic and information processing logic in a semantic manner. Semantic representations are the key enabling techniques of model driven enterprise systems; and 3) a brand new role of system models; traditionally the role of system models is to guide developers to write system source code. This research promotes the role of system models to control the behaviors of enterprise.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 43695
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Yarlagadda, Prasad, Mahalinger-Ier, Ramasamy-Iyer, & Lu, Wen Feng
Keywords: model driven system, semantic representation, semantic modeling, enterprise system development, EAI, ERP, MDA
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2011 05:46
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2011 05:46

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