User interface derivation based on a role-enriched business process model
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:14 authored by Lei Han
In recent decades, the boom of information and communication technology has brought countless business process changes in a wide range of organizations and enterprises. A business process (BP) describes a collection of linked tasks to produce a particular product or service. Each task is a logic unit of work performed by human users or applications. Human users participate in a business process through user interfaces (UIs). In a business process, the UI accepts input and provides output for the process users. The implementation of a business process often involves a lot of hard coding work. In particular, the development of the UI of process often constitutes 70% to 80% of the manually written code for the BP implementation. The hard coding for UI development can cause many problems. The realization and maintenance of the UI of a process are often not only costly and effort-consuming but also error-prone due to the nature of hard coding. Moreover, the hard coding leads to a tight coupling between the BPs and their UIs. Any changes of existing UIs/BPs cannot be easily adapted without recoding. To overcome the problems mentioned above, it is highly desirable to develop a UI derivation method based on a business process model. The business process model should support the UI logic with the following features: (1)each participating user role includes a UI logic; (2) each UI logic consists of a set of containers and the execution constraints of these containers; (3) each container includes a set of data items specified with access types (read,write). In this thesis, we propose a UI derivation method based on a role-enriched business process model to derive complex UI logics. The proposed UI derivation method has the following features: A role-enriched business process model is proposed with the capabilities to specify (1) the control ow relations between tasks; (2) the relationships between the participating user roles and individual tasks; (3) the data operation ow inside each task. In the process model, we identify a set of control ow patterns and data operation patterns to build up the rules for UI derivation. The business process is abstracted and aggregated for each user role based on the role-enrich BP model. A set of elementary operations are developed according to the control flow patterns to reserve or abstract tasks for each user role. With the abstracted and aggregated business process (AABP), a customized UI logic is derived for each participating user role. Data relationships are extracted from the AABP for each user role. A set of elementary operations are developed according to the data operations inside individual tasks and the identified control flow patterns in the AABP. The extracted data relationships are the foundation to analyze and derive the UI logic. A set of mandatory and recommended rules are specified. The UI logics are derived from the extracted data relationships based on these specified rules. A UI Derivation Tool (UIDrvTool) is developed as the implementation of our proposed UI derivation approach.In summary, this research sheds new light on the state-of-art of the UI development for business processes.