Three Integrated Tools for Designing and Prototyping Object-Oriented Enterprise Models
The paper presents an integrated environment for designing object-oriented enterprise models. The conceptual framework it is based on recommends a multi-perspective approach. For this purpose three main views on the enterprise are proposed: a strategic view, an organizational/operational view and an information system view. The environment that is introduced is intended to encourage the design of enterprise models on these three levels as well as interconnecting them. It features three tools each of which is related to one or more main levels of abstraction. The Object Model Designer guides conceptualization of an enterprise wide object model. Object models are represented using a graphical notation that is completed by a structured description of classes and associations. In order to facilitate user feedback fast prototyping is supported by generating code from class descriptions. The object model´s implementation demonstrates the automatic control of semantically rich integrity constrains as well as the benefits of inter-application communication using domain concepts as common references rather than technical ones. The Office Procedure Designer guides the description of office procedures which are conceptualized as ordered graphs of activity blocks. It provides means to analyze the effectiveness of business procedures and generates prototypical user-interfaces as a representation of a virtual procedure document. The Value Chain Designer is mainly a tool for representing and documenting business activities and for strategic scrutiny. Based on Porter ´s value chain concept it provides a general framework as well as analytical categories to segment business units and to establish relations between different activities. It thus supports modelling of alternative future strategies. Beside a detailed description of the tools listed above the paper presents a conceptual framework for the design of multi-perspective enterprise model. Furthermore it is demonstrated how the tools and the related methods interact during analysis and design and how the partial models managed by the tools are integrated.
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