Information Process-Oriented Technologies - Theory...

Information Process-Oriented Technologies

The process approach (which can be considered the development of the functional-technological approach ) is based on the structuring in time, on the representation of processes in the form of graphs.

With the undoubted attractiveness of the application of the functional and technological approach for a long time was practically unrealizable because of the great complexity, lack of rules and means of automating the formation of graphs that display processes in systems.

In the 1990's. The SADT methodology (proposed by Douglas Ross) was developed, which is a set of methods, rules and procedures designed to construct a functional model of an object of a particular domain. On its basis, functionally oriented and object-oriented CASE- and RAD-technologies were developed and widely used. The computer implementation of the SADT methodology is called IDEF (Icam Definition). The main structural models are the IDEF0 and IDEF3 process models, the IDEF1X data model. IDEF and DFD standards have been developed, focused on the analysis of processes (including business processes). To implement models, automated tools are used - BPWin, ARIS, UML (Unified Modeling Language).

The popularity of CASE-methodology and RAD-technologies is based on the development of principles and automation of the formation of processes, on the development of methods for their formation based on the analysis of the "life cycle" production, service or other processes, cause-effect relationships, etc., which ensured the development of the process approach, the advantages of which are the ability to take into account the characteristics of a particular object and the conditions of its operation.

For the first time, the term "business process reengineering" (from English, business process reengineering, BPR) was introduced M. Hammer, , which defines this activity as a "fundamental redesign of the business processes of companies to achieve fundamental improvements in the main current indicators of their performance: value, quality, services and pace."

M. Hammer views the idea of ​​redesigning business processes of companies (BPR) as a revolution in business, a departure from the basic principles of building businesses, which turns the construction of business into engineering activities. This idea arose at the intersection of two different spheres of activity of management (management) and informatization. That is why new specific means of presenting and processing problematic information, understood by both managers and developers of information systems, were required. One of the main features of BPR is the orientation of reengineering not to functions, but to processes. Apparently, therefore, the name "process approach"


Various tools are used to display the workflow, one of which is the use of data flow diagrams (DFDs) that are part of the CASE family of software design tools for information system professionals.

To implement the business process modeling (BP) process, the IDEF family of methodologies is used, which is the state standard in the United States. Using the methodology of the IDEF family, it is possible to efficiently display and analyze the operation models of a wide range of complex systems in different sections.

At the moment, the following standards are included in the IDEF family:

- IDEF0 - methodology of functional modeling. With the help of visual graphical language modeling using IDEF0 represents the system under study in the form of a set of interrelated functions ( function blocks ). As a rule, IDEF0 modeling is the first stage of studying any system;

- IDEF1 - methodology for modeling information flows within the system. Allows you to display and analyze their structure and relationship;

- IDEF1X (IDEF1 Extended) - methodology of building relational structures. IDEF1X refers to the type of methodologies Entity-relationship (ER - Entity-Relationship) and, as a rule, is used to model relational databases relevant to the system under consideration;

- IDEF2 - methodology of dynamic modeling of systems development. Due to the serious difficulties associated with the analysis of dynamic systems, this standard has now been virtually abandoned, and its development has been suspended at the very beginning. Existing algorithms and their computer implementations make it possible to turn a set of static IDEF0 diagrams into dynamic models built on the basis of "colored Petri nets" (CPN - Color Petri Nets);

- IDEF3 - methodology for documenting processes occurring in the system. IDEF3 describes the scenario and the sequence of operations for each process.

- IDEF3 is directly related to the IDEF0 methodology: each function (function block) can be represented by IDEF3 as a separate process;

- IDEF4 - methodology for building object-oriented systems. IDEF4 tools allow you to visually display the structure of objects and the principles of their interaction, allowing you to analyze and optimize complex object-oriented systems;

- IDEF5 - methodology of ontological research of complex systems. Using the dictionary of terms and rules allows you to describe the ontology of the system. As a result, reliable statements about the state of the system at some point in time can be generated, on the basis of which conclusions are drawn about further development of the system and its optimization is carried out.

The IDEF0 methodology can be considered the final stage in the development of a well-known graphical language for describing SADT functional systems.

In our country, this methodology is developed by G. N. Kalyanoe and With. V. Cheremnykh .

The peculiarity of this family of methodologies is, firstly, the ability to "ask questions" in the process of modeling, and secondly, the inextricable relationship of graphic means (notation), methodology and technology. From this point of view, the IDEF family is the only tool that not only provides the ability to display business processes, but also reflects the methodology of interaction "expert analyst", and also gives a technology for creating projects covering all stages of the "life cycle" - from the initial analysis to the form of submission of the final draft.

For different classes of systems, their development methods are used. They are determined by the type of the system being created, the means of implementation. Probably the most widespread in terms of development volumes are business-class information systems. The specification of these systems in most cases consists of two main components: functional and informational. By the way of combining these components, approaches to the representation of information systems can be divided into two main types - structural and object-oriented.

Of course, object-oriented methods are also structural. But historically in software engineering this term was fixed in the names of a number of disciplines: structural programming, structural design, structural analysis. In structural technologies, the functional and information models are built separately, most often in the form of data flow diagrams and "entity-relationship" diagrams. Object-oriented technologies consider information inseparable from the processing procedures.

Object-oriented technologies dominate in the field of creating operating systems, tools for developing and executing applications, real-time software systems. Structural technologies are in the field of creating business systems, as they are maximally adapted for interaction with customers and users who are not specialists in the field of information technology.

The analysis of the experience of the development of information systems has shown that the active involvement of users at the stages of identifying requirements and setting the task is extremely important. When developing business-class systems, the main efforts are spent specifically on understanding and specific requirements of the user.

As the tools for the execution of design work, the software packages listed in Table 1 are used. 4.1.

Table 4.1

Business Process Modeling Tools

Software packages


Design/IDFF from Meta Software

For functional and information modeling, analysis and design of business processes

Easy ABC Plus by ABC

For functional and cost analysis of business processes

PROMODEL Service Model

To simulate the execution of business processes, analysis of time-dependent resource allocation characteristics

Powersof S-Designor package

To create conceptual and physical models of database structures

The Platinum BPwin and Erwin package

For functional modeling and data model construction

The ARIS Toolset family

Includes not only modeling tools, but also a powerful analysis tool, as well as interface modules that integrate with other systems - ERwin, Designer-2000, etc.

With a brief characteristic of the packages listed in Table. 4.1, can be found, for example in [17].

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