Evolving process views

H. Eshuis, Alex Norta, R. Roulaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context: Process views support the paradigm of Business Process Outsourcing, in which providers perform business processes on behalf of their clients. A public process view shields secret or irrelevant details from a private, internal business process, thus allowing a provider to reveal only relevant, non-confidential parts of its business process to its clients. Providers can change their internal business processes that may result in inconsistencies with the corresponding process views.

Objective: This paper aims to develop an approach for propagating changes from an internal, private process to its public process view, such that the internal process and its process view remain consistent.

Method: We develop the approach in a formal way. Definitions of process models and process views are based on BPEL, the standard language for realizing process models using state-of-the-art service-oriented technology. We validate the feasibility of the approach by showing how it can be supported by a conceptual system architecture.

Results: The approach relies on two key results. First, a formal characterization of the set of private changes to an internal process, i.e., changes that do not need to be propagated to the process view. Second, a characterization of the non-private changes that can safely be propagated from an internal process to its process view such that they remain consistent. Other non-private changes result in an internal process and a process view that are not consistent. The approach is supported by a system architecture for process-based business collaboration.

Conclusion: The approach supports providers in deciding if and how changes to a private, internal process propagate to its public process view such that the process view and the internal process remain consistent. The approach allows clients to monitor a public process view such that they can safely track changes made to a private, internal process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Volume80
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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