Seminar: Trends in Enterprise Interoperability - BPM vs ACM

Hajautetut järjestelmät ja tietoliikenne
Syventävät opinnot
Vuosi Lukukausi Päivämäärä Periodi Kieli Vastuuhenkilö
2017 kevät 17.01-02.05. 3-4 Englanti Lea Kutvonen


Aika Huone Luennoija Päivämäärä
Ti 14-16 C220 Lea Kutvonen 17.01.2017-07.02.2017
Ti 14-16 C220 Lea Kutvonen 14.03.2017-11.04.2017
Ti 14-16 C220 Lea Kutvonen 25.04.2017-02.05.2017

Information for international students


Trends in Enterprise Interoperability - Business process management versus adaptive case management



Capabilities of networked collaboration between independent organisations has become a critical success factor both in private sector (enterprises, companies) and public sector (governmental organisations, 3rd party actors). Computer science and software engineering can provide efficient collaboration environments for such networked collaboration, despite of the business domain at hand (healthcare, forest industry, new innovative application areas) by providing service ecosystem infrastructure support for the independent organisations. This support includes facilities such as selecting partners for networked business, interoperability management, collaboration contract management, and breach resolution. These facilities are essential elements of service oriented computing (SOC, SOA) as well.

Simultaneously, emergence of new discipline of service science has redefined the concept of service. Currently business services are seen as events of co-creation of value. The business relevant values may include money, but also reputation, trust, market share, and knoweledge. For engineering of the supporting environment, the definition means a change from client-server paradigm to multiple peers interacting in more equal terms.

Enterprise interoperability

Enterprise interoperability denotes the capability of enterprises (e.g., companies, organisations from public sector, independent units within organisations) to govern mutual activities with the help of their independent computing systems.

Obstacles for enterprise interoperability can arise from conceptual and technological domains, but also from the organisational domain. Examples of conceptual barriers include mismatches on the essential concepts on the business area, like one security-service producer considering security to include physical security measures only, while the client acts on software licencing where software tools would be more relevant. Examples of technological barriers include mismatches in computing platforms and their communciation. Finally, organisational barriers arise in the mismatches on expected responsibility and authority structures used in partner enterprises, causing mismatches on decision-making and approval processes involving all partner enterprises.

Therefore, enterprise interoperability is addressed by multidiciplinary research: social, organisational, economical, business sciences; computer science and software engineering; and modeling of organisations, software and systems. Research methods involved also vary depending on the aspect under study, but due to the nature of the field, should always combine the user requirements (enterprise, people, interoperation from enterprise to another) with the aligned computing solutions.

Collaborating services and management of collaborations

When we consider inter-enterprise collaborations that involve business services from different organisations, we must consider two conceptual levels:

  • service ecosystem within which collaborations run their life-cycle; and
  • individual collaboration cases that are governed by contractual relationship between the involved parties and executed by services agreed to be part of the collaboration.


The service ecosystem provides basic services for supporting the collaboration case lifecycle. That infrastructure comprises of services for

  • discovering and selecting services;
  • contracting between organisations, supported by joint ontologies and vocabularies;
  • controlling the collaboration lifecycle in case breaches of the contract occur;
  • collecting and sharing trust and privacy related information for decision-making by the organisations.


For running and controlling the collaboration cases, the behaviour between the provided business services must be specified. These specifications are business process models. They are expressed in terms of

  • roles, i.e., definitions on which services to require and to provide,
  • interaction between roles, i.e. the high level abstraction on exchange of information and control knowledge; and
  • policies that restrict the co-behaviour of the involved business services by allowing or disallowing alternative behavour tracks in the specification.


The business process specifications include decision-points for alternative behaviours for different situations. The decision-making processes may be difficult to grasp in the BPM language and lead to complex stuctures. This is where adaptive case management (ACM) is wished to help.

In ACM, decision sub-processes are not fully specified, but experts can choose the decicion-making model and subsequent behavour of the case. In the model, the decision is encapsulated and only the inputs and outputs with regard of the remaining business process is preserved. In addition, the sub-process is given information flows to show what data is available for the decision-making. The sub-process is also labeled to show who are the decision-making partners obligated.

This way ACM is a methodology to connect big data and business processes together.

Potential topics

In this seminar the focus is on learning basics of business process modeling, business process management and enhancements of the BPM ideas to ACM. The papers can focus on a phenomenon on this field, or study one of the European research projects and their results. Further, studies on large systems, such as systems by Google, Amazon, IBM, or Microsoft, show current state of the art on BPM field.

Topic approaches can be classified into three categories, basic knowledge, modern techniques, and challenges:

  • Principles of business process modeling, Principles of business process management, Executing business processes, Monitoring business processes, Principles of ACM
  • Verification of business processes, Business transactions, Business process conformance and compliance, Declarative business processes, Expressive power of business process languages, ACM language standard compared to BPML
  • ACM application to (some application domain), Mining business processes, Data flow management complementing business processes, Pragmatic interoperability challenges and solutions (pragmatic interoperability addresses the partners' shared understanding of the co-behaviour of their services)



Pre-seminar readings