Foundation of Aspect Oriented Business Process Management
Reducing the complexity in information systems is a main concern on which researchers work. Separation of concerns, also known as the principle of ‘divide and conquer’, has long time been a strategy for dealing with complexity. Two examples of the application of this principle in the area of information system design are the break out the data management into Database Management Systems(DBMSs) and the separation of the business logic from the application logic into Business Process Management Systems (BPMSs). However, separation of cross-cutting concerns from the core-concern of a business process is not yet supported in the Business Process Management (BPM) area. Aspect Oriented principle recommends such a separation. When looking into the business process, several concerns, such as security and privacy, can be identified. Therefore, a formal model that provides a foundation for enabling BPMSs to support separation of concerns in BPM area is needed. This thesis provides a formal model for dealing with separation of concerns in the BPM area. Implementing this model in BPMSs would facilitate the design and implementation of business processes with a lower level of complexity, which in turn would reduce the costs associated with BPM projects. The thesis starts with a literature review on aspect orientation both in programming and in the BPM areas. Based on this study, a list of requirements for an Aspect Oriented Service for BPMSs is compiled. Then a formal model for such a service, fulfilling a set of these requirements, is designed using Coloured Petri Nets and implemented in CPN Tools. The model is evaluated through the execution of a number of scenarios. The solution is also validated through an industrial case study. The results of the case study are presented the direction for future work outlined. The case study demonstrates that separation of concerns through aspect orientation does indeed reduce the complexity of business process models.
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