Industry-standard business architecture models are becoming more prevalent as the basis for software development projects, especially within the domains of service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM). These models typically define a standardized, accepted representation of a specific industry, allowing enterprises and their suppliers and partners to share a common frame of reference when descrithe bing their business operations. The content is necessarily generic, but you can refine it to derive enterprise-specific models that truly reflect your organization's operational procedures.
IBM has embraced this approach by providing a range of WebSphere Industry Content Packs, covering the telecom, insurance, banking, and healthcare industries, as well as a cross-industry Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) pack. These products adhere to the standardized pack architecture illustrated in Figure 1, and provide a range of analysis, design, and development accelerators drawn from industry standards and best practices.
Figure 1. Industry content pack architecture
This article focuses on the capability model element, and demonstrates how it can be consumed by a range of business analysis and design tooling -- specifically by Version 7 of WebSphere Business Compass (hereafter called Compass) and WebSphere Business Modeler (hereafter called Modeler). The capability model contains two types of artifacts:
- A capability map: This map provides a high-level view of business capabilities. It is similar to a CBM (component business map).
- Process maps: These are essentially abstract business processes in the BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) sense, and relate to specific business capabilities.
In this article, you'll walk through the process of importing these artifacts into Compass and Modeler. The example shown here will use content from the WebSphere Telecom Content Pack, hereafter called TCP, to illustrate the key concepts; however, the approach you'll learn here is applicable to any of the industry packs.
Consuming maps with Compass
Compass is a collaborative Web-based tool for designing and developing business process assets. It enables users to view and comment on draft processes, and enables analysts to work together to define best practice models and optimized processes. It contains the Business Space runtime and the specific Business Design templates required to view and manipulate the capability model provided by the TCP.
To create a space in Compass and upload capability and process maps, complete the following steps:
- Start the Compass server and log in with administrative rights
- Create a new business space to hold the assets from the Telecom
Content Pack by doing the following:
- Select Manage Spaces => Create Space.
- In the Create Space dialog shown in Figure 2,
specify a name and description for the space, and select
Business Design Space as the template.
You can also customize the appearance by selecting a style and
icon, if you'd like.
Figure 2. Create Space dialog
- Select your new space, click the Design tab, and then select Upload File to import the capability model component from the TCP.
- If you refer to Figure 1, you can see that this artifact contains both a capability map and the supporting process maps. Browse to the capability model file Telecom_Capability_Model_V7.0.bda, which can be found in the assets\capability-models\blw folder in your TCP installation. (For example: S:\Program Files\IBM\WICP\Telecom\assets\capability-models\blw).
- Click OK and then select the capability and process
maps you're interested in from the subsequent document selection
dialog, shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Upload capability maps
The selected documents are imported, and you can see both the capability and process maps in the Compass user interface, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Imported capability and process maps
From here you can analyze and refine the process maps to accurately reflect the operational procedures in your enterprise.
Consuming maps in Modeler
Modeler is also able to consume elements from the WebSphere Industry Content Packs, though you can't use it to view the capability maps, because they don't contain any process flows. However, you can display the process maps and use them as the basis for developing more refined business models. There are two ways to achieve this. If you have access to the TCP installation, you can upload the TCP directly; if you have access to a Compass repository containing the TCP artifacts, you can import that repository. I'll describe these in more detail in the following sections.
If you have access to the TCP installed source, do the following:
- Start WebSphere Business Modeler (V184.108.40.206 or higher) and switch to the Business Designer perspective. You'll see an interface similar to the one you would have seen when you created a Business Design space in Compass.
- As before, select Upload File and browse to the capability model .bda file. You'll be presented with the same list of artifacts as shown in Figure 3. Note that you can select the capability map, but it will not be imported into Modeler.
- Select the process maps that are of interest and click OK to import them.
- Next, select Transform to convert the process maps into business models that can be rendered in the Business Modeling perspective.
- Select the desired process maps, as shown in Figure 5, and select
whether to import them into an existing project or create a new
project for each map. (If you choose the latter course, each new
project will be given the same name as the associated process map.)
Figure 5. Transform process map
During this procedure, you may receive an error, shown in Figure 6, while transforming the Resource Management & Operations process map. At the time of writing, this is under investigation by the product team, and should be resolved in the near future.
Figure 6. Transformation error message
Hopefully, however, all will go well, and in a few seconds you should see a message that the transformation completed successfully.
- You can now switch to the Business Modeling perspective to view the
newly transformed business processes, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7. Transformed process maps
Compass repository import
Alternatively, you can import the process maps from an existing Compass repository directly into Modeler. This is the preferred option if you're using Compass to enhance the assets delivered by the TCP, or if you do not have access to the TCP installation. To do this:
- Right-click inside the Modeler Project Tree view and select
Import. The dialog shown in Figure 8 displays.
Figure 8. Compass repository import
- Select Business Compass Repository elements and click Next..
- If you've performed an import from the repository before, you may be
able to select the repository from the drop-down list of known
repositories; otherwise, you'll have to configure a new repository, as
shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9. Configure Compass repository
- Specify the URL for the Compass repository; in this example, I'm
linking to the repository I created at the start of this article,
which contains the eTOM capability maps space. Once the connection is
established, you should see the dialog shown in Figure 10, which
provides a list of available process maps. (Note that the capability
map, which also exists in the repository, is not in this list.)
Figure 10. Select repository elements
- Select the desired process maps and choose whether you want to create a new project or import to an existing one. After a few seconds, you should receive an import confirmation message and be able to view the process maps, now rendered as business process models, in the business modeling perspective.
In this article, you've learned how you can consume capability and process maps from WebSphere Industry Content Packs in both WebSphere Business Compass and WebSphere Business Modeler, using the WebSphere Telecom Content Pack as an example. The assets contained in these models provide a valuable starting point for business analysis, and can be used to derive industry-standard aligned business process models.
- Learn more about Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).
- Find out more about eTOM at the TM Forum site.
- Learn more about the IBM products discussed in this article from the following information centers:
- developerWorks BPM zone: Get the latest technical resources on IBM BPM solutions, including downloads, demos, articles, tutorials, events, webcasts, and more.