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Re: RE: Keep business-process-specific data separate?

  • From: Frank Manola <fmanola@a...>
  • To: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@m...>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:15:49 -0500

Re:  RE: Keep business-process-specific data separate?

This focuses things a bit, but how about some qualifications on these  
lessons?  Or, alternatively, how elastic is your definition of  
"business process"?  For example, an XML vocabulary might well exist  
to support *multiple* business processes, and the creator might wish  
to distinguish (in some way) that vocabulary from a vocabulary that is  
(at least at some point in time) specific to a single business  
process.  In your earlier example, imagine an airline creating an XML  
vocabulary to express its flight schedule.  The airline certainly  
understands that the schedules written using that vocabulary are going  
to be used in many of its business processes (flight operations,  
maintenance scheduling), but presumably it creates that vocabulary  
based primarily on the requirements for expressing flight schedules  
(and potentially interacting with concepts/vocabulary from other  
sources;  e.g., both scheduling and flight operations require  
vocabulary for expressing a "flight").

So, for example, doesn't lesson 1 simply say that an XML vocabulary  
ought to exist for some purpose (eliding whether the vocabulary  
actually *does* have a purpose, and whether or not that purpose is  
"enabling a business process" or something the creator would describe  
some other way)?

And shouldn't some of the lessons refer to multiple purposes (and  
multiple producers and consumers)?

As a "validity check", you might want to take your lessons, and apply  
them to a sample of XML vocabularies you think are "successful" in  
some sense.  If a "successful" vocabulary doesn't seem to satisfy one  
or more lesson, perhaps the lesson needs to be tweaked.


On Jan 29, 2009, at 8:07 AM, Costello, Roger L. wrote:

> Hi Folks,
> This has been, for me, an enlightening discussion. Thanks so much to  
> Jim, Frank, Paul, and Len. Awesome responses!
> Here are the lessons I've learned:
> 1. An XML vocabulary does not exist in a vacuum. It exists in a  
> context. Specifically, it exists for the purpose of enabling a  
> business process.
> 2. If an XML vocabulary does not support the data needed by the  
> business process then it is not serving the very purpose for which  
> it was created.
> 3. "Business-process-specific data versus business-process- 
> independent data" is a false distinction. There is only kind of  
> data: data for a business process, and there is only one kind of XML  
> vocabulary: vocabulary that supports a business process.
> 4. An XML vocabulary must support the data needs of both the data  
> producer and the data receiver.
> 5. If there is markup (data) needed by the receiver but not the  
> producer then make it optional. Thus the producer can omit the  
> optional markup while the receiver can add it.
> 6. The conclusion that I came to in my transportation example - keep  
> business-process-specific data separate - is false, for the above  
> reasons.
> Do you agree? Have I captured all the lessons?
> /Roger
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