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|Business DEXs||Date: 2010/03/30 10:39:30
This technical description provides an overview of how the same constructs used for generic DEXs may be used to further specialize PLCS to operate within a more constrained Business Context. The context may be a project, an organization or enterprise. One or more Business DEXs may be defined within such a context.
Note: In order to distinguish between the similar terms used for components developed by the OASIS PLCS TC for submission as a standard and business specific components, the components may be prefixed "PLCS" or "Business" respectively. A DEX that is standardized by the OASIS PLCS TC is then referred to as a "PLCS DEX" rather than a "Business DEX".
The PLCS DEXs are defined using standard terminology and support activities defined in the ISO 10303-239 Activity Model. Whilst this provides a definition of a data exchange that satisfies a particular business need, it may still be too generic for defining a contractual data exchange agreement. In particular:
The approach is, therefore, to define one or more Business DEXs within a specific Business Context.
The set of Business DEXs then provide a library of mappings to PLCS components that can be reused.
A Business DEX contains at least one Business Object, which is mapped to a Business Template, which can make use of other Business Templates and PLCS Templates. The relationships between the various parts of a Business DEX and other DEXlib components are illustrated in Figure 1 and described below.
Organizations that wish to exchange data must agree on both the technical aspects of the data exchange (what information and in what format) and the business processes that should be applied (when to exchange data, how to approve it, etc). A Business DEX is a full specification of the technical aspects of a data exchange, and fulfills the technical requirements of an exchange agreement.
A Business DEX might be created because its scope is not considered generic enough to apply across different businesses and therefore not meaningful to become a OASIS PLCS DEX, or because it was developed to only meet a specific business need. When it is made available for public scrutiny and feedback, Business DEXs may be found to be of interest in a broader context. This might lead to such DEXs being generalized and adopted by the OASIS PLCS TC. Developing and publishing a Business DEX can also be used as a first step to initiating a new PLCS DEX, if no suitable PLCS DEXs is available. The fact that the DEXlib development platform is available also for non OASIS PLCS DEXs, facilitates such transitions.
There are no explicit Capabilities for Business DEXs or direct relationships between the Capabilities and the Business Templates.
A Business Object describes a specific business requirement. It may be documented using EXPRESS, UML, or some other modelling paradigm. The component concepts of a Business Object are represented using the EXPRESS datatypes specified by one or more Business Templates that are equivalent to the Business Object.
A Business Template is very similar to a PLCS Template, in that it defines PLCS entities and their relations, and uses PLCS Templates as needed to simplify this. The only difference is that a Business Template may use both PLCS Templates and Business Templates whereas a PLCS Template can only use other PLCS Templates.
Each Business DEX must define a Business RDL with Reference Data Classes that fulfil the requirements of the Business Objects. Classes from OASIS RDL may, of course, be used unmodified, but it is unlikely that these classes will suffice for all purposes.
The DEXlib development environment has a specific section for Business DEXs. This is not part of the official OASIS PLCS standardization work, but is provided for the mutual benefit of projects and organizations working with ISO 10303-239 PLCS. It is used to publish work that has been developed in parallel to the OASIS PLCS TC work, and is typically either project specific (with a much more narrow context than PLCS), or work that is intended to become part of OASIS PLCS TC but is not yet not generalized enough.
The business specific information in DEXlib is organized into "Business Contexts" - a context for the information. The Context may be a project, an organization, or an enterprise. One or more Business DEXs may be defined within the same Context.Definition: A "business context" is a context in which a specialized vocabulary is employed. This may be an individual organization, a larger business community, or a particular project (or initiative). A number of Business DEXs and Templates are identified within a given Business Context and each DEX is defined using the specialized vocabulary of its Business Context.
Each Business DEX Contains: