Model Driven Development of Inter-organizational Workflows

This work has been finished in May 2004.

The rise of the web has spurred automation of cooperation among organizations. Interorganizational workflows support such cooperations in a way similar to traditional intraorganizational workflows that support business processes within an organization. The distinct characteristics of inter-organizational workflows, such as heterogeneity and autonomy of the participating software systems, has lead to the development of several new XML-based technologies supporting inter-organizational cooperation. These technologies, however, introduce additional complexity into the development of inter-organizational workflows. Model driven development is an approach to master these complexities by using higher-level models as main development artifacts. In the model driven architecture (MDA), UML can be employed as common modelling language for models at various levels of abstraction and various technologies.

The goal of this thesis is to exploit the application of MDA for model driven development of inter-organizational workflows. In this respect, several contributions are made. First, a survey of current XML-based technologies is given, discussing the commonalities and differences of the various languages and identifying requirements on any modelling language supporting them as target technologies. Second, an extension of UML for platform-specific modelling of XML documents is defined, specifically addressing the problem of round-trip engineering. Third, different ways of extending schema specifications for XML documents are investigated, addressing the lack of expressiveness of XML schemas as compared to UML models.


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Gerhard Kramler
Dipl.-Ing. Dr.