Automatic derivation of conceptual database models from differently serialized business process models

Abstract

The existing tools that aim to derive data models from business process models are typically able to process the source models represented by one single notation and also serialized in one specific way. However, the standards (e.g., BPMN) enable different serialization formats and also provide serialization flexibility, which leads to various implementations of the standard in different modeling tools and results in differently serialized models in practice, which therefore significantly constraints usability of the existing model-driven tools. In this article, we present an approach to automatic derivation of conceptual database models from business process models represented by different notations, with particular focus on differently serialized process models. A deterministic rule-based approach is proposed to overcome the serialization specificities and to enable extraction of characteristic elements from differently serialized process models. Based on the proposed approach, we implemented an online web-based model-driven tool named AMADEOS, which is able to automatically derive conceptual database models from process models represented by different notations and also differently serialized. The experimental results show that the proposed approach and implemented tool enable successful extraction of specific elements from differently serialized process models and enable derivation of the target conceptual database models with very high completeness and precision.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Business Process Model and Notation [63].

  2. 2.

    Extensible Markup Language.

  3. 3.

    XML Schema Definition.

  4. 4.

    XML Metadata Interchange.

  5. 5.

    http://m-lab.etf.unibl.org:8080/amadeos/.

  6. 6.

    Unified Modeling Language [66].

  7. 7.

    OMG (Object Management Group) offers two XSLT transformations (XML2XMI and XMI2XML) to convert BPMN models from XSD to XMI format and vice versa.

  8. 8.

    ATLAS Transformation Language [47].

  9. 9.

    Query/View/Transformation [61].

  10. 10.

    Web Services Business Process Execution Language.

  11. 11.

    BPMN Model Interchange Work Group (http://www.omgwiki.org/bpmn-miwg/).

  12. 12.

    BPMN MIWG tools (https://github.com/bpmn-miwg/bpmn-miwg-tools).

  13. 13.

    http://www.eclipse.org/acceleo/.

  14. 14.

    The complete formal specification of transformation rules for direct BPM-driven CDM synthesis is given in [14, 18, 24].

  15. 15.

    Without loss of generality, source BPM concepts are represented with BPMN.

  16. 16.

    The given approach (as shown in Fig. 7) enables extensibility and support for other (not necessarily metamodel-based) notations by implementing additional extractors.

  17. 17.

    The complete formal specification of rules for both phases are given in [13, 21].

  18. 18.

    Business Model Representation Language

  19. 19.

    http://www.eclipse.org/Xtext/.

  20. 20.

    As already stated, this makes the preexisting extractor services unusable for differently serialized BPMs, which motivates our research presented in this article.

  21. 21.

    JavaScript Object Notation.

  22. 22.

    http://www.jrromero.net/tools/jsUML2.

  23. 23.

    Diagram Interchange.

  24. 24.

    Diagram Common.

  25. 25.

    Diagram Definition.

  26. 26.

    eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation [82].

  27. 27.

    All source XSD-serialized BPMN models are available at: https://gitlab.com/m-lab-research/amadeos_re_xsd.

  28. 28.

    https://www.eclipse.org/papyrus/.

  29. 29.

    All source XMI-serialized models are available at: https://gitlab.com/m-lab-research/amadeos_re_xsd.

  30. 30.

    All reference artifacts are available at: https://gitlab.com/m-lab-research/amadeos_re_xsd.

  31. 31.

    XML Path Language [83].

  32. 32.

    All generated artifacts are available at: https://gitlab.com/m-lab-research/amadeos_re_xsd.

  33. 33.

    The remaining tools (which do not provide XSD-based serialization functionality) are available at: https://www.lucidchart.com/, https://online.visual-paradigm.com/, https://bpmn.studio/, https://www.gliffy.com/, https://www.heflo.com/, https://www.diagrameditor.com/, https://cacoo.com/, http://www.bicdesign-free.com/webedition/.

  34. 34.

    All models from the control set are available at: https://gitlab.com/m-lab-research/amadeos_re_xsd.

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Brdjanin, D., Ilic, S., Banjac, G. et al. Automatic derivation of conceptual database models from differently serialized business process models. Softw Syst Model 20, 89–115 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10270-020-00808-3

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Keywords

  • AMADEOS
  • BPMN
  • Business process model
  • Conceptual database model
  • Extractor
  • Robustness
  • Serialization
  • Structural differences