Ideas on Enterprise Information Systems Development

This blog is devoted to ideas on Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) development. It focuses on Lean Thinking, Agile Methods, and Free/Open Source Software, as means of improving EIS development and evolution, under a more practical than academical view. You may find here a lot of "thinking aloud" material, sometimes without scientific treatment... don't worry, this is a blog!
Every post is marked with at least one of Product or Process labels, meaning that they are related to execution techniques (programming and testing) or management techniques (planning and monitoring), respectively.

Monday, September 6, 2010

BPDD | BLDD| CLDD | SLDD, Dynamic Business Process Composition, The Future of ERP, REST, and Here We go!

The economic dynamism has been pushing a lot enterprise systems development. Some business processes must be altered and/or re-composed frequently to meet changing business conditions. Dynamic Business Process (or Service) Composition represents a set of techniques that try to provide the basis for achieving this dynamism.
Also, some say the future of ERP is to become process integration frameworks. Instead of integrated modules, ERPs would provide the means for quickly integrating disparate business processes living in different systems - in fact, this is an old Supply Chain Management need, far away from be quickly (and cheaply) fulfilled in real world applications.

Many proposals are based on the use of Intelligent Agents, Ontologies and other automated decision making supportive methods. Agents and ontologies can be very, very useful for filtrating, among hundreds or thousands of options, the few dozen that may interest to a given organization. Ontologies are very, very useful for helping finding the points of integration for these process. However, I still think that in the end, it will be a human-decision-maker and a human-programmer who will choose the best combination of processes and implement their integration respectively.

Experience says that even if the leading-edge organizations can reach the Nirvana of totally automated dynamic composition of business process, we are going to find most of smaller organizations striving to do this "manually".

Therefore, I think there is still room (and a lot of it) for developing supportive techniques for "semi-automated" Business Process Composition (BPC). And I believe our proposal of having a Business Process extension of BDD (we are deciding which name to use - BPDD, BLDD, CLDD, or SLDD - see my previous post) associated to tools like Restfulie may offer a powerful method to implement executable documentation for business applications that demand integration of disparate applications and their business processes.

I can envision a business analyst building a graphical representation of the macro-process, using a shared development language - understandable by all stakeholders (see my previous post),  and, after implemented the automated tests, checking the live application running as he/she follows (clicks) on the different paths of a workflow representation. As the macro-process changes, the tool will visually identify where and what to change accordingly so that the system becomes business compliant again. That would be a way of building a "next-generation ERP" or "next-generation Enterprise Information Systems" through a combination of visually manipulating BP representations and Test Driven Development (TDD).

Well, that was one more teaser to the matters I want to discuss here, I will go back to it latter.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to use a different name because I think that when we go deeper on this business process integration to BDD we will find different things to work on and to propose. However, we can find in the end of this "name discussion" that we may use the name BDD and go ahead...