An MDA‐based framework for collaborative business process modelling

  • Bouchbout K
  • Akoka J
  • Alimazighi Z
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Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to present a new approach for developing a framework based on a model driven architecture (MDA) for the modelling of technology-independent collaborative processes. Design/methodology/approach – The paper suggests a new collaborative process modelling approach based on an MDA and a metamodelling technique. The research method, based on the design science approach, was started by identifying the characteristics of the collaborative processes, which distinguish them from the classical intraorganizational ones. Then, the generic collaborative business process (CBP) modelling framework is developed based on MDA approach and definition of a set of transformation rules through three layers: business, process, and technical. After that, the core component of the framework was the proposition of a generic CBP metamodel at PIM/MDA level. The specific collaboration participant's business processes (expressed as BPMN model) are generated from the generic CBP model represented as an UML2 Profile activity diagram, which is compliant to CBP metamodel. Finally, as proof-of-concept, the architecture of an Eclipse-based open development platform is developed implementing an e-Procurement collaborative process. Findings – The proposed framework for CBP modelling and the generic CBP metamodel contribute towards a more efficient methodology and have consequences for BPM-related collaboration, facilitating the B2B processes modelling and implementation. In order to demonstrate and evaluate the practical applicability of the framework, the architecture of an Eclipse-based open development platform is developed implementing a collaborative business application on the basis of an e-Procurement use case. Research limitations/implications – There is a need to focus future research efforts on the improvement of the semi-automatic transformation phase from public to private processes which needs human intervention by adding a suitable interfaces at both sides of the B2B interaction. In addition, the problem of semantic heterogeneities regarding the partner's business process elements (business documents, activity/task names) should be tackled by developing an approach that uses ontology. Practical implications – Business processes developers find a B2B technology-independent solution for implementing and using interorganizational information systems. Originality/value – The paper provides a framework that enables the CBP modelling and integrates a generic CBP metamodel. Currently, to the best of the authors' knowledge, such a generic metamodel and his instantiation have not so far been developed.

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Authors

  • Khoutir Bouchbout

  • Jacky Akoka

  • Zaia Alimazighi

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