Closing the Gap between Business Process Analysis and Service Workflow Design with the BPM-SIC Methodology

Vairetti, Carla Marina (2016) Closing the Gap between Business Process Analysis and Service Workflow Design with the BPM-SIC Methodology. PhD thesis, University of Trento, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.

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Abstract

Nowadays companies and organizations are challenged to integrate and automate their business processes. A business process is a set of logically related tasks, carried out to produce a product or service. Business processes are typically implemented using Web services. Web services are programmable interfaces that can be invoked through standard communication protocols. In general, the need to outsource parts of a business processes results in a large number of Web services, which are, generally, heterogeneous and distributed among various organizations and platforms. The ability to select and integrate these Web services at runtime is desirable as it would enable Web services platforms a quick reaction to changing business needs and failures, reducing implementation costs and minimizing losses by poor availability. The goal of dynamic and automatic Web services composition is to generate a composition plan (workflow) at runtime that meets certain business goal. Semantics based techniques exploit specialized services annotation to facilitate the discovery of simple or composed services (matchmaking) that form part of composition plan. Usually, the process of matchmaking places more attention in the selection of services and much less on the behavior of the composed service (workflow) that tends to be very simple. In the industry, on the contrary, the service compounds or workflows are manually defined and typically follow complex control flow patterns that implement elaborate business processes. Although a technique of dynamic and automatic service composition produces an executable workflow that implements a business process, it must be validated in relation to the business goal. This high-level analysis is usually performed by domain experts (BPA Business Process Analyst) who must coordinate with the experts (SA: System Architect) the implementation of the business processes. The conversation between BPA and SA is a fundamental requirement for the cycle of creation of an executable business process. The lack of communication between both participants not only causes delays in development time, but also generates product failures and unnecessary cycles involving often increases in production costs and large losses of money in organizations. In this thesis, we have developed three approaches that allow decreasing the gap between BPA and SA and making their collaboration more effective. On one hand we present a Web service composition technique that is dynamic and automatic and is based on services’ semantic descriptions. The composed service corresponds to an executable workflow with complex control flow, facilitating the SAs implementation task. On the other hand, we provide a tool that allows BPAs to verify and analyze the performance of their business processes. And finally, we exploit both tools in order to propose a methodology that integrates both perspectives allowing knowledge transfer in both directions. We obtained promising results that reveal inconsistencies in the development and design of the business processes as well as provide recommendations for best practices in both directions.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Information and Communication Technology
PhD Cycle:24
Subjects:Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche > INF/01 INFORMATICA
Repository Staff approval on:15 Sep 2016 11:57

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