Business Object Design and Implementation II: Business
Objects as Distributed Application Components - the enterprise solution?
1996 Final Report:
University of Michigan
South Bank University
Electronic Data Systems
University of Illinois
South Bank University
University of Illinois
University of Dresden
Papers Presented (most hits first)
Fowler. Analysis Patterns and Business Objects.
13 August 1996.
Paul Evitts. Business
Objects, Business Patterns. Updated 4 Sep 1996.
Ralph E. Johnson and Kazuki Yoshida. Models
of Business Objects: Accounts. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
25 Aug 1996.
Fred A. Cummins. An Object Model for Business Applications.
Electronic Data Systems. 4 Sep 1996.
Wolfgang Schulze, Markus Böhm, Klaus Meyer-Wegener. Services
of Workflow Objects and Workflow Meta-Objects in OMG-compliant Environments.
Dresden University of Technology, Database Group, 19 August 1996
William McCarthy, Julia Smith David, and Brian
S.Sommer. The Evolution of Enterprise Information Systems -- From Sticks
and Jars Past Journals and Ledgers Toward Interorganizational Webs of Business
Objects and Beyond, Michigan State University, 27 Sep 1996.
Mark Baker. Workflow
Meets Business Objects. Northern Telecom Network Services Management,
8 Sep 1996.
Texas Instruments Business Object Architecture Team (Ed. Tom Digre).
Business Object Facility. Texas Intruments, Inc.
28 March 1996 (presented by Glenn Hollowell).
Presenters unable to attend:
Christopher Spottiswoode. The
emperor's new clothes -- an outsider's perspective. Updated 29 Sep
Stephan Schreyjak. Aspects of the integration
of a componentware system with a workflow system. University of Stuttgart,
20 August 1996
Ken Schwaber. Controlled
Chaos : Living on the Edge. Advanced Development Methods, 4 Sep 1996.
Haim Kilov, I.D. Simmonds. Business patterns: reusable
abstract constructs for business specification. IBM T J Watson Resarch
Center, 28 Sep 1996.
Additional papers to be published in proceedings:
Andrew Watson. Coda: OMG Rationale for Choosing
the Classical Object Model (Or why there has not been an "insidious
shift in OMG aims.") Object Management Group, 13 Sep 96
Jeff Sutherland. Integrating Java, Objects, Databases,
and the Web. IDX Systems Corporation, Revised 15 Nov 1996
The ASC X3H7 Object Information Management Committee and the Object
Management Group Business Object Domain Task Force will jointly sponsor
the Second Annual Workshop on Business Object Design and Implementation.
This year's workshop will focus on distributed component design and implementation
of component-based frameworks as enterprise application solutions. Last
year's organizing committee has been joined by the Chairs of two other
OOPSLA'95 Workshops to build on the success of last year's workshop and
strengthen the anticipated results of this workshop.
of Business Object Workshop II
- Clarify the specification, design, and implementation of interoperable,
plug and play, distributed Business Object components and their suitability
for delivery of enterprise applications.
- Assess the impact of the WWW and, more specifically, the Intranet on
the design and implementation of Business Object components.
from Business Object Workshop I
The wide variety of papers presented and the high level of expertise
last year's workshop led to a consensus on several important issues:
- In the future, cycle time will be the most critical issue for business
operations. The speed with which new or enhanced products and services
can be developed and delivered to the marketplace will determine market
share and profitability.
- Products and services will be increasingly supported by software components.
Most of these components must be reused from previous development efforts
in order to meet required cycle times. This requires major advances in
component interoperability and availability. A model for this activity
exists in the custom chip industry which is already selling software components
packaged as hardware [Digre95].
- A radical reversal in the current approach to software engineering
is required to meet market demands. Currently, systems have tight coupling
between software components (inflexible systems), and loose coupling between
analysis, design, and implementation (leading to excessive cost and delivery
times, as well as poor fit of software to user requirements). In the future,
Business Process Reengineering methods will be tightly coupled with object-oriented
analysis and design. Most of the code which is currently written by hand
will be generated from design, or reusable components will eliminate the
need to write it.
- Advances in the software development process are required to dramatically
improve productivity in a component based development environment. In particularly,
previous methods have assumed software development is a controlled process
rather than an empirical process. Component based object systems are not
Turing machines because of their event driven nature [Wegner95], and as
a result are not fully specifiable. The process control industry has developed
methods to deal with these types of empirical processes and these methods
must be applied to software development using a SCRUM approach [Schwaber95].
- Component based architectures will be built from replaceable units
of functionality that reduce the surface area of systems that are doubling
in complexity each year. Large grain components will have clear sets of
responsibilities or roles, and expose semantics of the business as well
as syntax of interfaces [Digre95].
- There are specific design patterns that should be implemented throughout
business systems that will substantially improve reusability and rigor
in business systems logic. The "Give/Take" pattern that has been
standardized by accounting research should be rigorously implemented in
all business systems and mandated in all accounting systems [McCarthy95].
As much as 50% of the typical business application could be built from
recursively implementing this pattern. Many companies (even banks) have
trouble balancing their books or accurately determining the current status
of business operations because of failure to implement this pattern properly
in their business software systems.
of This Year's Workshop
The OMG Business Object Domain Task Force has issued an RFP on Common
Business Objects and Business Object Facility. The Business Object Facility
is to provide a component based substructure that allows Business Objects
to be implemented as interoperable plug and play components. Common Business
Objects are plug and play components that are used to support domain specific
application frameworks. Responses to the RFP can be more effectively evaluated
if technical papers are available that provide in-depth analysis of the
- What design patterns will allow implementation of Business Objects
as plug and play components? Are they an example of the composite object
design pattern in Gamma et al., Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable
- What are components? How should they be specified? Visualized?
- What common components should be implemented to support multiple application
domains? Are there common design patterns that cross domains?
- How can these components be assembled into domain specific frameworks?
- What are appropriate architectures/mechanisms for implementing these
frameworks as distributed object systems?
- What organizational and development process issues need to be addressed
to successfully deliver these systems?
- Is this approach an effective means for deploying enterprise application
solutions? What actual distributed object systems of this nature exist
today in production?
of the Intranet
To say that there has been an explosive uptake of the Internet or the
WWW would be an understatement. However, simultaneously, there has been
a parallel interest in the Intranet, or the EWW (Enterprise Wide Web).
Most corporations make extensive use of this facility for a number of reasons.
This culture provides an ideal environment conducive to business object
design and implementation. The Intranet can be used to deliver software
and up-dates immediately to users across the corporate network. This will
gain momentum as new technologies such as Java become more widely available,
and allows the creation and distribution of objects.
- What issues are raised by the Intranet (or Internet) for design, implementation,
and distribution of Business Object Components?
of Workshop Proceedings
It is anticipated, as in the 1995 Business Object Workshop, that papers
will be published as a book by Springer Verlag through a review and revision
process during and after the Workshop.
- Prospective participants are solicited to submit a 2-3 page position
paper or experience report, preferably in Word or RTF format, by e-mail
no later than August 15, 1996. All submissions must include the full contact
information of at least one author.
- Position papers will be converted to HTML and placed on the World Wide
Web for review (see Business
Object Workshop I).
- Attendance to the workshop is limited to facilitate lively discussions
and the exchange of ideas. Participation will be by invitation only, based
on the organizing committee's evaluation of the submissions. Accepted participants
will be notified in September 1996.
- The successful and intensive process used for Business Object Workshop
I will be used in Workshop II. Papers will be presented in 15 minute segments
followed by a 10 minute question and answer period throughout the day.
- Approximately 12 papers will be presented. Order of presentation will
be in reverse order of interest level generated by World Wide Web hits
on the position paper.
- There will be a summary and conclusions session at the end of the day.
Instruction for submission and review of papers for publication by Springer
Verlag will be presented. Position papers submitted but not presented may
still be published via the review process after the Workshop.
The Second Annual OOPSLA Workshop on Business Object Design and Implementation
is jointly sponsored by the Accredited Standards Committee X3H7 Object
Information Management Technical Committee and the Object Management Group
(OMG) Business Object Management Special Interest Group (BOMSIG) for the
purpose of soliciting technical position papers relevant to the design
and implementation of Business Object systems.
In 1994, the X3H7 Object Information Management Technical Committee
projected that over the next decade, more than 80% of new object-oriented
software systems would be built in three object-oriented languages (Smalltalk,
C++, and OO COBOL) and communicate through a Object Request Broker to four
primary external environments (SQL databases, Object Databases, Microsoft
OLE/COM, and CORBA objects).
Interoperability of large grained objects existing in these environments
was identified as a core activity in the standards process.
In addition, X3H7 projected that implementation of systems will move
up to a higher level of abstraction. A business model will be built for
enterprise applications using standard object-oriented analysis and design
(OOAD) techniques, legacy CASE models will be incorporated, and major amounts
of code will be autogenerated, rather than hand coded. OOAD models, documentation,
and code will be stored and versioned in an object repository and injected
into the run time environment. Furthermore, the business object model will
be a component-based model that supports component distribution over arbitrary
processors on a network.
Provision for interoperability between standard business components
was identified as a major priority. One can conclude, based on the experience
at SEMATECH and NIST, building large software frameworks for chip fabrication
plants requires a Business Object Component Architecture to enable interoperability.
This insight is generalizable across a wide variety of application domains.
The need for a component-based enterprise architecture led X3H7 to propose
development of an ISO RM-ODP Enterprise Viewpoint Companion Standard. This
resulted in the initiation of three activities:
- ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 21 WG7 initiation of a New Work Item proposal for
an Enterprise Viewpoint Component Standard to be reviewed at the May 1996
meeting of S21 in Kansas City.
- X3H7 initiation of a close liaison with the OMG BOMSIG work on a Business
- X3H7 and OMG BOMSIG sponsorship of an OOPSLA'95 Workshop on Business
Object Design and Implementation to facilitate technical input from industry,
government, and academic communities.
Object Domain Task Force (formerly BOMSIG)
The Object Management Group's central mission is to establish an architecture
and set of specifications, based on commercially available object technology,
to enable distributed integrated applications. Primary goals
are the reusability, portability and interoperability
of object-based software components in distributed heterogeneous environments.
To this end, the OMG adopts interface and protocol specifications that
define an Object Management Architecture (OMA) that supports applications
based on distributed interoperating objects.
The current focus of OMG BODTF is a Request For Proposal (RFP) to address
the OMA component called Common Facilities. The RFP solicits proposals
for the following:
- Common Business Objects
- Business Object Facility
The objectives of the RFP are:
- To address the need for significantly enhanced levels of simplicity,
over and above that which exists today, to the task of defining, designing,
building and deploying integrated yet flexible business solutions. Reduction
of complexity is to be achieved through a higher level of abstraction and
greater reuse than exists today for business applications.
- To provide a common starting point for the work of domain standards
Providing the required higher level of abstraction has two separate,
but closely related, aspects:
- Business objects as design-time (modeling-time/analysis-time etc.)
constructs or models, some of which are domain-specific, others having
cross-domain applicability (Common Business Objects)
- A set of facilities that brings significantly greater levels of simplicity
in developing the run-time deployable software that implements those constructs
or models (Business Object Facility). This set of facilities would include
both behaviors shared by all business objects and through business object
linkages to underlying computational mechanisms.
The Business Object Facility should provide the abstraction which hides
computational complexities, and enables business objects to interoperate
efficiently and reliably in multi-user, concurrent, distributed, heterogeneous
The Common Business Objects component of this RFP should provide a common
starting point for enterprise application developers and domain industry
standards groups by providing a set of business concept abstractions from
which more specific business objects can be specialized. In some cases
these abstract objects may be quite generic since the concept varies considerably
from one industry to the next. In other cases, the abstractions may be
quite specific because the concept occurs much the same in all industries.
The objective is to promote consistency across industries and enterprises
and minimize the duplication of effort to define and eventually implement
(using the Business Object Facility) enterprise and industry frameworks.
The people who will benefit from the greater levels of simplicity include:
- those tasked with business object modeling, analysis and design, and
- those whose job it is to implement those designs in code such that
their end products will interoperate with those of other implementers,
- the business that use the resultant business object based applications,
through a flexible information system designed to serve business needs.
The work of OMG BODTF is directly related to the current work of the
X3H7 Object Information Management Committee. Industry consortia standards
developed by OMG can be formalized through the accredited standards process
through the current ISO work item that is the designated task of X3H7.
Secretary X3H7 Object Information Management, liaison to X3H2
IDX Systems Corporation
116 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: +1 (617) 266-0001 x2920| Fax: +1 (617) 721 1226
Chair, OMG Business Object Domain Task Force
Data Access Corporation
14000 SW 119 Ave
Miami, FL 33186-6017, USA
Phone: +1 (305) 238 0012 | Fax: +1 (305) 238 0017
Thomsen Due' and Associates Limited
Edmonton T6G 2C6
Phone: +1 (403) 439 4627 | Fax: +1 (403)
Chair, X3H7 Object Information Management
8390 LBJ Freeway
P.O. Box 655303 MS 3663
Dallas, TX 75243, USA
Phone: +1 (214) 927-6267 | Fax: +1 (214) 927-6267
IBM T J Watson Research Center
30 Saw Mill River Road
Hawthorne, NY 10532, USA
Chair, X3H7 Object Information Management Rapporteur and Project
Editor, ISO ODP Enterprise Viewpoint
Chief Scientist-Objects & Models
12750 Center Court Drive, Suite 700
Cerritos, CA 90703-8583, USA
Phone: +1 (713) 222-2345 | Fax: +1 (562) 860-9668
Chair, Centre for Information and Office Systems
South Bank University
School of Computing, Information Systems & Mathematics
103 Borough Road
London, SE1 0AA, UK
Phone: +44 0171 815 7429
Pointers of Interest