Business patterning creates an abstraction of complex concern procedures and enables stakeholders to understand concern maps by advancing invention and betterment. Business stakeholders may hold a different position of the system in which they operate and accordingly, a normally agreed conceptualization of the concern would function as a footing for doing determinations, bettering the understanding the concern and analyzing its construction.
Modeling provides a manner of simplifying the existent universe by leting us to work out complex jobs. In the context of Business Analysis, it provides a platform through which thoughts can be farther explored and is cardinal to the development, development and integrating of concern procedure rating and re-engineering. Harmonizing to Daniels ( 2002 ) , Models have different maps within the concern environment:
- They serve are a agencies of break uping jobs into smaller constituents
- They aid communicating between undertaking squad members such as the concern analyst, users and other stakeholders within the undertaking and
- They identify the relevant work flows in concern procedures
Futhermore, there appears to be a strong connexion between concern and information systems patterning since the end products of Business Modelling service as inputs to Information Systems Modelling. This paper will nevertheless concentrate on the function of concern patterning in information system development, construct of concern mold, the popular notations of UML and IDEFIX followed by a critical analysis and comparing of the two methods.
2. The Role of Business and Conceptual Modelling in Information Systems Development
Harmonizing to Wand and Weber, the demands analysis phase of a systems development undertaking frequently involves the usage of conceptual theoretical accounts. They further province that these theoretical accounts are utile for capturing information on both inactive and dynamic phenomena. Inactive phenomena refer to objects and their belongingss while dynamic phenomena refer to events and procedures within a peculiar sphere ( Wand and Weber, 2002 ) . Harmonizing to their research work, conceptual theoretical accounts are utile in the undermentioned ways:
- The bite of user demands to forestall project failure ; inaccurate demands specification is identified as one of the major grounds for undertaking failure
- The early sensing and rectification of mistakes ; mistakes found subsequently on into the undertaking are much more expensive to repair and may hold an inauspicious consequence on the destiny of the full undertaking ( Wand & A ; Weber, 2002 )
Business Modelling is an analytical activity that focuses on the specification of constituent concern procedures within a work flow. It is used within a package development environment to show relevant information to Stakeholders. Different squad members within a undertaking squad make usage of the end product. The concern procedures are identified and assembled by concern analysts ; proficient package developers ‘ focal point on implementing the relevant procedures while Mangers refine the procedures as needed ( Friend & A ; Tennent, 2005 ) .
Conceptual Modelling is utile in Systems development because it provides a agencies through which developers can pull out relevant information from a concern state of affairs through abstraction. IS undertakings are characterised by immense sums of information that need to be analysed and managed. Consequently, developers use patterning techniques to concentrate on the portion of a undertaking that ‘s relevant. Models are normally applied to system development undertakings as a representation of the model for system development ( Daniels, 2002 ) .
Conceptual Models are used to stand for a state of affairs in the existent word. They are aimed at depicting the footings, constructs and vocabularies within a system sphere and are highly utile in the sense that they clarify the ambiguity and relationships that exist within the concern state of affairs that is being modeled. Conceptual Models may be drawn for a concern operation or a mill procedure ( Wand & A ; Weber, 2002 ) .
Harmonizing to Daniel ( 2002 ) , there are other types of theoretical accounts that can be developed during an IS Undertaking:
These are used to depict what the package must make, the information it needs to keep to be considered effectual and all the system behaviour and functionalities it must exhibit
These are representations of how the package system is implemented or instantiated.
Wand et Al. besides identify four of import benefits of conceptual theoretical accounts: 1 ) they provide a agency of communicating 2 ) they serve as a footing for design 3 ) they serve as constituents of certification for care intents. They besides conclude their article by specifying a conceptual theoretical account as an abstract representation of a system that comprises the represented sphere and the usage environment.
3.0 The Concept of Business Modeling
Businesss are going progressively automated and complex. There is a demand to understand the concern, its complexnesss and operations. Businesss besides have to germinate and alter in line with the dynamic environment and intensive competition in which they operate. Consequently, a concern theoretical account can supply information to a company as to whether it is making the right thing or non. The Unified Modelling Language can besides be used in making concern theoretical accounts which theoretical accounts serve as a beginning of utile information to direction. A good concern theoretical account will supply organisations with the information they need to automatize concern procedures. Business analysts who are responsible for capturing indispensable concern demands can make so by doing usage of Business patterning notations such as UML and IDEFIX. Business Modeling can besides be described as an analytical activity that focuses on the specification of constituent concern procedures within a work flow ( Friend & A ; Tennent, 2005 ) .
3.1 Business Modeling with UML
Many methodologists claim that concern theoretical accounts can be built with methodological analysiss of object-oriented scheduling. This is possible through the usage of the Unified Modeling Language ( UML ) which is used to build, visualise and papers objects in an object-oriented environment. UML combines techniques from patterning notations such as entity relationship diagrams, work flows and object mold ( Daniels, 2002 ) .
The Unified Modelling Language ( UML ) is one of the most popular ways of stand foring objected orientated diagrams ( Daniel, 2002 ) . Daniel ( 2002 ) besides refers to a comprehensive definition of UML provided Booch, Rumbaugh, Jacobson in 1999 as “a standard linguistic communication for composing concern procedure constructions and blueprints” . UML may be used to visualize, stipulate, concept, and document the concern demands and workflow procedures of any organisation. Some parts of UML can be used in concern modeling but there are trade-offs. Classs of UML diagrams that are utile in concern patterning include Class Diagram, Sequence Diagram, State Chart Diagram, Sequence Diagram, Collaboration Diagram, Component Diagram, Package Diagram and so on. Work is in advancement to do UML more suited for concern modeling.
UML can nevertheless be used for the creative activity of concern theoretical accounts through the concern use-case diagram/model and a concern object theoretical account. Business usage instances are used for depicting relevant concern procedures which represent a series of actions that are of important importance to the concern histrion. It paperss the work flow by patterning the concern histrions which include the different people that have interactions with the concern and other stakeholders who are affected by the end products of the concern. They may include providers, spouses, clients, governments and other related stakeholders ( Marshal, 2000 ) . The most of import portion of this diagram is non how the concern goes about its operations but what the concern does to present value to stakeholders. The construction of the concern work flow may besides be depicted through the usage of an activity diagram. The UML activity is besides rather effectual because it represents the flow of activity, the determinations for which a set of conditions are defined and associated activity provinces ( Marshal, 2000 ) .
Where the concern usage instance depicts what a concern procedure does, the concern object theoretical account depicts how it is done. It shows how concern workers and entities are related and how they interact to execute concern activities. It besides indicates how workers relate with each other and with entities within the system by lucubrating the execution of a concern usage instance. The UML Sequence diagram can demo interaction information between concern histrions, how entities are accessed and the public presentation information of a usage instance. The UML-based concern theoretical account is utile because it can move as a direct input to the demands analysis stage of system development procedure. It can besides come in ready to hand when make up one’s minding which peculiar maps of a concern should be automated. UML theoretical accounts the full concern and its demands ( Eriksson & A ; Penker, 1999 ) .
3.2 Business Modeling with IDEFIX
IE or what is known as IDEF1X is used at the preliminary phase of the demands analysis stage to depict the type of information that needs to be stored in a database ( ANˆNˆleton, 1995 ) .
IDEFIX is a concern modeling technique and is an acronym for Integration Definition for Information Modelling. It is regarded as a information modeling linguistic communication that ‘s used for bring forthing in writing information theoretical accounts which stand for the construction and constructs of information within a system. It comprises semantic informations theoretical accounts that facilitate the development and integrating of concern procedures and is used as a recognized and standard templet for placing and synthesising informations resources within an organisation. Harmonizing to ANˆNˆleton ( 1995 ) , the chief intents of IDEF1X are to:
- Supply a comprehensive manner of analysing the information resources available to an organisation
- Demystify the complexness associated with informations
- Supply a method of achieving a holistic informations definition from bing informations resources
3.3 Comparison of Alternative Business Modeling Approaches
IDEFIX methodological analysis provides a dependable foundation for concern procedure technology. It is perceived as a more user-friendly methodological analysis compared to CASE tools which are suited for more proficient people. Though there are similarities between UML and IDEF household of linguistic communications, there are still obvious differences between the two. UML was initiated with package design as the chief focal point while IDEF served the foundation of Computer Assisted Manufacturing. Both methodological analysiss can nevertheless be extended to carry through each other ‘s set maps. UML is presently being extended to cover concern patterning ( Eriksson & A ; Penker, 1999 ) . The similarities are analysed as follows: Diagrams from the two linguistic communications can be mapped onto each other. IDEF0 is tantamount to UML activity diagrams ; IDEF1 and IDEF1x are both similar to UML category and object diagrams ; IDEF2 to a sensible extent is similar to coaction diagrams, activity and province diagrams ; IDEF3 ‘s procedure diagram may besides be similar to UML activity diagram/use instance diagram ; IDEF4 was designed to aim package development and has similarities with UML diagrams like category, activity, province and object diagrams. IDEF5 is besides similar to the meta-model degree in UML which describes linguistic communication ontology. UML and IDEFIX may besides be compared in footings of their informations patterning properties. IDEFIX represents relationships through the usage of verbs/verb phrases while UML represents relationships through the usage of associations ; IDEFIX can non stand for restraints between relationships but UML can ; IDEFIX can stand for cardinality in different ways ; UML does it excessively but is besides capable of showing more complex upper bounds ; IDEFIX can non stand for collection while UML can stand for merely binary collections ; IDEFIX can non stand for concern rules/components but UML can. Consequently, while both techniques are every bit effectual and similar, their capablenesss and suitableness will depend on the context and demands of the modeling procedure ( Noran, n.d. ) .
Business modeling is one of the major responses to the demand to formalize bing concern procedures and allows for the changeless reuse of concern information and cognition. Knowledge needs to be retained in companies through the intelligent administration and certification within a chiseled model and concern analysis certification.
We have besides evaluated the major methods of concern modeling. Though they both have their disadvantages and advantages, one point that is obvious is they try to widen their characteristics to each other ‘s spheres. While IDEF emanated from the manufacturing/information environment and screens object orientation, UML is in its babyhood and stems from object-oriented package development ; it is nevertheless, presently being extended towards concern procedure modeling. The method employed by a user would so depend on the occupation at manus, background, forms and the resources available to the user at any point in clip.
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