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Ontological evaluation of enterprise systems interoperability using ebXML

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3 Author(s)
Green, P.F. ; Queensland Univ., Ipswich, Qld., Australia ; Rosemann, M. ; Indulska, M.

Enterprise systems interoperability (ESI) is an important topic for business currently. This situation is evidenced, at least in part, by the number and extent of potential candidate protocols for such process interoperation, viz., ebXML, BPML, BPEL, and WSCI. Wide-ranging support for each of these candidate standards already exists. However, despite broad acceptance, a sound theoretical evaluation of these approaches has not yet been provided. We use the Bunge-Wand-Weber (BWW) models, in particular, the representation model, to provide the basis for such a theoretical evaluation. We, and other researchers, have shown the usefulness of the representation model for analyzing, evaluating, and engineering techniques in the areas of traditional and structured systems analysis, object-oriented modeling, and process modeling. In this work, we address the question, what are the potential semantic weaknesses of using ebXML alone for process interoperation between enterprise systems? We find that users lack important implementation information because of representational deficiencies; due to ontological redundancy, the complexity of the specification is unnecessarily increased; and, users of the specification have to bring in extra-model knowledge to understand constructs in the specification due to instances of ontological excess.

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Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 5 )