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Advances in Software Engineering
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 525121, 22 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/525121
Research Article

Extending Conceptual Schemas with Business Process Information

1Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32. I20133 Milano, Italy
2Estudis d'Informàtica, Multimèdia i Telecomunicació, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Rambla del Poblenou, 156 E08018 Barcelona, Spain

Received 18 August 2009; Revised 17 November 2009; Accepted 4 January 2010

Academic Editor: Letha Hughes Etzkorn

Copyright © 2010 Marco Brambilla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The specification of business processes is becoming a more and more critical aspect for organizations. Such processes are specified as workflow models expressing the logical precedence among the different business activities (i.e., the units of work). Typically, workflow models are managed through specific subsystems, called workflow management systems, to ensure a consistent behavior of the applications with respect to the organization business process. However, for small organizations and/or simple business processes, the complexity and capabilities of these dedicated workflow engines may be overwhelming. In this paper, we therefore, advocate for a different and lightweight approach, consisting in the integration of the business process specification within the system conceptual schema. We show how a workflow-extended conceptual schema can be automatically obtained, which serves both to enforce the organization business process and to manage all its relevant domain data in a unified way. This extended model can be directly processed with current CASE tools, for instance, to generate an implementation of the system (including its business process) in any technological platform.