XML- EXTENSIBLE MARKUP LANGUAGE

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Theoretical background

This chapter is related with description of enterprise model, XML, ontology, enterprise ontology, OWL, XSL and different ‘model to model’ transformation approaches. We describe briefly that is found about these topics in literature

 Enterprise model

Enterprise modeling came into born in United States (US) at the beginning of 80’s within the initiative of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) and people came into know about it through large CIM projects like ICAM or CAM-I [2]. In mid 80’s Europe also launched different Enterprise Modeling projects.
In literature a number of definitions exist, given by different authors. Here we discuss few of them.
A model is a representation of something else”[23]. Soaccording to this definition one can say that anything that represents something could be considered as model.
The word model is interpreted and can be interpreted in various ways according to different situations. It might be a simplified representation of real world or may be an abstract picture, existing in someone’s mind [22] [24] [29].
An enterprise model must serve a purpose. There are many different purposes but fundamentally any enterprise model aims to make people understand, communicate, develop and cultivate solutions [22].
An enterprise model is a computational representation of the structure, activities, processes, information, resources, people, behavior, problems, goals, and constraints of a business, government, or other enterprise. A model can be both descriptive and definitional and covering or spanning what is and what should be. The role of an enterprise model for an enterprise is to achieve model-driven enterprise design, analysis, and operation [21].
Enterprise modeling is the abstract representation, description and definition of the structure, process, information and resources of an identifiable business, government body or other large organization.
Enterprise modeling is the set of activities or processes used to develop the various parts of an enterprise model to address some desired modeling finality. It can be defined as the art of ‘externalizing’ enterprise knowledge [2].
The prime goal of enterprise modeling is not only applied for better enterprise(s) integration but also to support analysis of an enterprise, and more specifically, to represent and understand how the enterprise works, to capitalize acquired knowledge and know-how for later use, to design (or redesign) a part of the enterprise, to analyze some aspects of the enterprise (by e.g. economic analysis, organization analysis, qualitative analysis or quantitative analysis,..), to simulate the behavior of (some part of) the enterprise, to make better decisions about enterprise operations and organization, or to control, coordinate and monitor some parts f the enterprise[2].
Enterprise modeling is an engineering discipline closely related to computerized systems. As such, it requires the combined use of Enterprise Modeling Software Environments (EMSE), Enterprise Modeling Languages (EML) and Enterprise Engineering Methodologies (EEM)[2].
Enterprise modeling deals with the process of understanding an enterprise business and improving its performance through creation of enterprise models.

Content of the enterprise model

The enterprise can be viewed and analyzed from different aspects. In practice it makes a model very complex or in other words it is not possible to show all the aspects of an enterprise in one model. The model would be so complex that it would be impossible to handle and to work with. Usually the enterprise model contains those aspects which are crucial to solve the problem. In a manufacturing context the following aspects need to be modeled [24].

  • Processes, that means manufacturing and business processes like administrative, management, finance, etc. In other words it is description of the flow of activities.
  • Products that mean products related information, all technical data related to a product and the manufacturing processes which are necessary to produce the product.
  • Resources, that means physical machines and devices,computer applications (software packages).
  • Raw Material
  • Information that means anything that can be represented by data can be modeled.
  • Organization, that means organization itself and management related issues. It involves organizational chart, goals and objectives.
  • Environment, that means the environment of the enterprise, business constraints, government regulations, legal issuesand other enterprises and business partners.
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Categories of enterprise model

On the basis of purpose of enterprise model, one can dividethe enterprise models into three categories which are as follow [24].

  1. Human sense making and communication – where the main or basic purpose of enterprise modeling is to make sense of aspects of an enterprise and make communication with other actors of enterprise.
  2. Computer assisted analysis – where the main purpose of enterprise modeling is to gain knowledge about the enterprise by the use of simulation or deduction.
  3. Model deployment and activation – where the main purpose of enterprise modeling is to integrate the model in or with an enterprise –wide information system and actively take part in the work performed by the enterprise [25].

Elements of enterprise model

  • Entities/Concepts- Process, goals, problems, actors, resource, concepts.
  • Relations-Entities are linked with each other through relations. Relations can be supports, hinders, responsible for, dependent upon, Is-A, Part-of etc.
  • Rules/constraints- For different kind of restrictions, there are rules or constraints which can be applied at different levels.

Objects and object type

We use enterprise models which are developed in “Troux Architect 7.1”. In these models the representing elements of enterprise model are objects. And object can be process, goal, problem, actor, resource, concepts etc.
In the Figure 2-12, there are four objects ‘ABC Corp’, ‘Sale’, ‘Admin’ and ‘Production’. The type (object type) of these objects is ‘organization’. The ‘ABC Corp.’ object has ‘has-a’ relation with ‘Sales’, ‘Admin’ and ‘Production’ objects.
Figure 2-2 shows the info rmation in XML format about ‘ABC Corp.’ , ‘Sales’, and ‘Admin’ and ‘Produc tion’ objects. This part of information is retrieved from “kmv” file, it is one of the file that is used by “Troux Architect Tool” to store information about en terprise model. We use this file as input t o retrieve information about enterpri se model.

Attribute & attribute value

Each object can have a number of attributes. The attributes may or may not be common among objects. For example, the attribute ‘country’ is common in object type ‘organization’ and ‘person’ while the attribute ‘Gender’ is only found in object type ‘pers on’ but not in object type ‘organization’. Figure 2-3, shows the attributes of ob ject type ‘person’ with values. The figure 2-4 shows the attributes of object nam ed ‘David Scott’ in XML format.

Relations

Objects are connected with each other through relations. For example, see at figure 2-5 &2-6, ‘Admin’ object has relation named ‘has employee’ with object ‘David Scott’.
Figure 2-5 shows the graphical representation of relation between tw o objects. While the figure 2-6 show s the information about relationship betw een same objects in XML format.
Each relation may have an inverse relation, for example, ‘David Scott’ object has ‘employed by’ relatio n with ‘Admin’. So, ‘has employee’ and ‘e mployed by’ are inverse to each oth er.

Source and target of a relation

Each relation has ‘origin’ and ‘target’ object.In Figure 2-5& 2-6, relation name is ‘has employee’, origin is ‘Admin’ and target is ‘David Scott’ and relation named ‘employed by’ has origin ‘David Scott’ and target ‘Admin’.

Purposes of enterprise model

An enterprise model can be developed to serve one purpose but it could as well be used for many different purposes.Here are few formal purposes of enterprise modeling [26].

  1. To capitalize enterprise knowledge and know how.
  2. To illustrate relations and dependencies within the enterpriseand with other enterprises, to achieve better control and management over all aspects.
  3. To provide support to business process re-engineering.
  4. To get a common and complete understanding of the enterprise.
  5. To improve information management across organizational and application system boundaries and provide a common means for communication throughout the organization. Rationalize and secure information flows.
  6. To provide operative support for daily work at all levels in the enterprise from top to bottom.
  7. To control, co-ordinate and monitor some parts of the enterprise.
  8. To provide support for decision making.
  9. To provide support the design of new parts of the enterprise.
  10. To simulate processes.
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 Languages& tools

A model is always expressed or illustrated in terms of a language. This language is more or less formal and is made of constructs. The most formal languages (mathematics) and less formal (natural languages) can be used to represent models. And in between these two extremes, many forms of languages exist to model things or reality such as

  • Symbolic languages – an example of symbolic languages is the set of symbols for the traffic regulations
  • Graphical or diagramming languages – graphical languages is the set of diagrams (rectangles, diamonds and arcs) to represent entity-relationship models.
  • Semi-formal languages – an example of semi-formal languages is the IDEF [24] notations.
  • Formal description techniques – an example of formal description techniques is the LOTOS language [24].

There are a number of modeling languages available like GRAI, CIMOS, ITM, GEM, EEMM, IEM, EEML etc.In 90’s different commercial tools were available to make enterprise model or business process model in market like ARIS ToolSet3, METIS, Enterprise Modeller4, FirstSTEP5, KBSI, CimTool,6 MO2GO7etc [2].
In Globeman21 project, METIS 2.1 tool was used for enterprise modeling purpose. Along with otherbusiness process engineering model, an extended enterprise engineering platform was built in the course of the project. The model (extended enterprise engineering model) serves as a knowledge management tool in the extended enterprise and enables extended enterprise integration [24].
METIS was renamed as Troux Architect 8tool. Once an enterprise model is developed by EMSE and saved the information as XML file format then other tools can read this model if those have access to DTD (data type definition) of Troux Tech.

 XML- Extensible Markup Language

Extensible Markup Language and abbreviated as XML, describes a class of data objects called XML application profile or restricted form of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).
By construction, XML documents are conforming SGML documents. XML documents are made up of or constituted by storage units called entities; these entities may contain either parsed or unparsed data. Characters form parsed data, some of which form character data and some of which form markup. Markup encodes/contains a description of the document’s storage layout and logical structure. XML provides a mechanism to apply constraints upon the storage layout and logical structure of document.
To read XML documents, a software module called XML processor is used and it provides access to the contents and structure of XML document. It is assumed that an XML processor is doing its job on behalf of another software module, called the application [8]

1 Introduction
1.1 BACKGROUND
1.2 PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES
1.3 LIMITATIONS
1.4 THESIS OUTLINE
2 Theoretical background
2.1 ENTERPRISE MODEL
2.2 XML- EXTENSIBLE MARKUP LANGUAGE
2.3 ONTOLOGY
2.4 OWL LANGUAGE
2.5 XSL
2.6 MODEL TRANSFORMATION APPROACHES
3 Research Methods 
4 Results
4.1 META MODEL BASED MODEL TRANSFORMATION
4.2 PROPOSED TRANSFORMATION APPROACHES
4.3 PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
5 Implementation .
5.1 CONCEPT BUILDING
5.2 SYSTEM BUILDING
5.3 MODULES OF SYSTEM
6 Recommendations for enterprise modeler 
7 Conclusion and discussion
7.1 EVALUATION
7.2 SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS
7.3 APPLICABILITY OF THE RESULTS
7.4 FUTURE STUDY
8 References
9 Appendix
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