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The Definition of Business Processes

The purpose of defining a standard way to describe business processes is to allow interoperability between  organisations.  If one organisation can understand another organisations business process it makes the actual process of doing business simpler.

As part of the ebXML semantic framework, ebXML describes a way to define an organisations business process. To achieve this ebXML has developed the Business Process Specification Schema.

Business Process Specification Schema (BPSS)

A schema to allow business to define their Business Processes in a uniform and consistent manner. Its goal is to provide the bridge between e-business process modelling and specification of e-business software components. Specification location: http://www.ebxml.org/specs/index.htm.

The ebXML BPSS is currently at version 1.05.  It provides a standard framework by which business systems may be configured to support execution of business collaborations consisting of business transactions.  It is based upon prior UN/CEFACT work, specifically the metamodel behind UN/CEFACT Modelling Methodology (UMM).

The specification schema supports the specification of Business Transactions and the choreography of Business Transactions into Business Collaborations.  Each Business Transaction can be implemented using one of many available standards.  These patterns determine the actual exchange of Business Documents and business signals between the partners to achieve the required electronic commerce transaction.

The schema produced is available as an XML Schema and a Unified Modelling Language (UML) description of the Schema.

Using Business Process Modeling, a user may create a complete Business Process and Information Model. Based on this Business Process and Information Model and using the ebXML BPSS the user will then extract  and format the nominal set of elements necessary to configure an ebXML runtime system in order to execute a set of ebXML business transactions. The result is an ebXML Business Process Specification. Alternatively the ebXML Business Process Specification may be created directly, without prior explicit business process modeling.

An ebXML Business Process Specification contains the specification of Business Transactions and the choreography of Business Transactions into Business Collaborations. This ebXML Business Process Specification is then the input to the formation of ebXML trading partner Collaboration Protocol Profiles and Collaboration Protocol Agreements. 

The architecture of the ebXML Business Process Specification Schema consists of the following functional  components:

  • UML version of the Business Process Specification Schema.

  • XML version of the Business Process Specification Schema.

  • Production Rules defining the mapping from the UML version of the Business Process Specification Schema to the XML version.

  • Business Signal Definitions.

Together these components allow you to fully specify all the run time aspects of a business process model.

Similar Standards Efforts
Current efforts that are similar in nature to ebXML Business Process Specifcation Schema are:
- Open Applications Group Inc (OAGI) Business Process Modeling.

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This page last modified on 2009-03-02