Consuming industry-standard capability and process maps with WebSphere Business Modeler and WebSphere Business Compass

Industry-standard business and process models are the foundation for many SOA and BPM projects. IBM® provides WebSphere® Industry Content Packs for a range of industries, including telecom, healthcare, insurance and banking. Learn how to use a variety of WebSphere tools to consume the capability and process maps provided in the content packs so that you can them use them as the basis for more refined business modeling. This content is part of the IBM Business Process Management Journal.

Scott Glen (scott.glen@uk.ibm.com), IT Architect, IBM

Scott Glen photoScott Glen is an IT Architect with IBM's Business Process and Service Optimisation (BPSO) team. He has over 18 years of experience in the architecture, design, and development of object-oriented systems, providing consulting to the finance, government, telecommunications, and media sectors. With a particular interest in WebSphere, Java EE architectures, and associated design patterns, Scott now specializes in SOA and BPM, providing consulting and implementation services to clients across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.



08 September 2010

Industry models

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
IBM 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.

Telecom industry standards

Within the telecom world, the TeleManagement (TM) Forum is the leading industry association focused on enabling best-in-class IT for service providers in the communications, media, and cloud service markets. As such, they have developed the Solution Frameworx program, defining best practices in process, information, integration, and application architectures. The Process Framework, formerly known and still often referred to as eTOM (enhanced telecom operation model), provides an idealized business architecture for a generic communications service provider. IBM has constructed an eTOM-based capability model as part of the TCP; this model can be used as the foundation for business analysis and the construction of BPM solutions.

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:

  1. Start the Compass server and log in with administrative rights
  2. 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
      Create Space dialog
  3. Select your new space, click the Design tab, and then select Upload File to import the capability model component from the TCP.
  4. 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).
  5. 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
    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
    Imported capability and process maps

From here you can analyze and refine the process maps to accurately reflect the operational procedures in your enterprise.

Removing orphaned documents from Compass

When you delete a Business Design space in Compass, the references to any documents contained in that Space are also deleted. However, the underlying documents themselves are not deleted; they merely become orphaned and remain in the Compass repository. If you want to completely remove these documents, you must reconnect to them and explicitly delete them. To do this:

  1. Log in to Business Space using the user ID of the document owner, then create a new Business Design space.
  2. Select Repository and search under My Documents for the documents to be removed. Select the relevant documents and click Add Shortcut under the Share section of the toolbar. This reconnects the documents to your new Space.
  3. Now navigate to your workspace documents, select the documents to be deleted, and remove them by selecting Actions => Delete.

Special thanks to Chris Walk and Curtis Miles for this tip.

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.

TCP upload

If you have access to the TCP installed source, do the following:

  1. Start WebSphere Business Modeler (V7.0.0.2 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Select the process maps that are of interest and click OK to import them.
  4. Next, select Transform to convert the process maps into business models that can be rendered in the Business Modeling perspective.
  5. 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
    Transform a 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
    Transform error message
    Hopefully, however, all will go well, and in a few seconds you should see a message that the transformation completed successfully.
  6. 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
    sformed 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:

  1. Right-click inside the Modeler Project Tree view and select Import. The dialog shown in Figure 8 displays.
    Figure 8. Compass repository import
    Compass repository import
  2. Select Business Compass Repository elements and click Next..
  3. 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
    Configure Compass repository
  4. 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 repository elements
  5. 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.

Wrap-up

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.

Resources

Comments

developerWorks: Sign in

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).


Need an IBM ID?
Forgot your IBM ID?


Forgot your password?
Change your password

By clicking Submit, you agree to the developerWorks terms of use.

 


The first time you sign into developerWorks, a profile is created for you. Information in your profile (your name, country/region, and company name) is displayed to the public and will accompany any content you post, unless you opt to hide your company name. You may update your IBM account at any time.

All information submitted is secure.

Choose your display name



The first time you sign in to developerWorks, a profile is created for you, so you need to choose a display name. Your display name accompanies the content you post on developerWorks.

Please choose a display name between 3-31 characters. Your display name must be unique in the developerWorks community and should not be your email address for privacy reasons.

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

(Must be between 3 – 31 characters.)

By clicking Submit, you agree to the developerWorks terms of use.

 


All information submitted is secure.

Dig deeper into WebSphere on developerWorks


static.content.url=http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/js/artrating/
SITE_ID=1
Zone=WebSphere
ArticleID=513319
ArticleTitle=Consuming industry-standard capability and process maps with WebSphere Business Modeler and WebSphere Business Compass
publish-date=09082010