SBVR & BPMN as Pillars of Business Engineering
The optimal combination of BPMN and SBVR is an excellent language to undertake the challenge to specify the structure and processes of Business Engineering. BPMN is a graphical language. An SBVR graphical language based on CogNIAM has been introduced and combined with SBVR. The Business Engineering Community has started to describe the contributing silos such that the result is an integrative Business Engineering discipline.
Business Engineering is the emerging integrative discipline for business-driven development of substantially automated business services, including human involvement and interaction. Business Engineering continuously adapts business services to stay aligned with business vision, mission, strategy, and policy.
One major pillar of Business Engineering is a formal version of SBVR. Another pillar is a well-selected subset of BPMN. The major idea of Business Engineering is to provide a truly integrative discipline to help the business. The optimal combination of BPMN and SBVR is called Semantic Modeling.
Semantic Modeling is an approach to describe (part of) a business or subject in such a way that all communication about that (part of) the business or subject is
- understandable to all stakeholders,
- free of redundancy,
- determinate, and
It furthermore provides the means to describe the process aspects, including a selectable degree of abstraction, sub-processes and tasks, both for persons and machines, events, and decisions.
Semantic Modeling consists of a structural part and a structuring part, fully integrated.
A prime candidate for the contents of and description of the structural part of Semantic Modeling is ORM3, the optimal combination of SBVR,   CogNIAM, and ORM2. The contents of the structuring part are primarily based on CogNIAM. A prime candidate to describe the structuring part is a version of BPMN combined with SBVR.
The optimal combination of BPMN with SBVR embedded is the language of integrative Semantic Modeling. Semantic Modeling is an emerging independent discipline to describe the structure and the structuring of communication between persons and between persons and communication equipped artifacts. It is proposed to teach such a discipline in nearly every first year of higher education, using a formal SBVR Structured English version to teach predicate logic.
Body of Knowledge of Business Engineering
Our current challenge is to come up with the body of knowledge of Business Engineering. One of the immediate questions is: what is the process to develop the body of knowledge for the generic subject called Business Engineering?
It is proposed to make a bridgehead, or several bridgeheads and gradually extend and integrate them. To develop a fully-integrated BE discipline will be a first-class challenge. My interpretation of the aim is to integrate all of the following sub-disciplines, with a few extensions, into one coherent body of shared meanings that can have various sub-models (or sub-bodies of shared meanings):
- Business Intelligence (BE)
- Business Process Management (BPM)
- Business Rules Management (BRM)
- Corporate Performance Management (CPM)
- Enterprise Architecture (EA)
- Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
- Enterprise Decision Management (EDM)
- Enterprise Information Management (EIM)
- Knowledge Management and Engineering (KME)
- Model Driven Development (MDD)
- Regulative Compliance Management (RCM)
- Requirements Engineering (RE)
- Semantic Modeling (SM)
- Semantic Web (SW)
- Value Chain Management (VCM)
Let us start somewhere, i.e., let's build a bridgehead. We need an architecture for
- the structure,
- the structuring, and
- how these two relate.
For various practical reasons I prefer to start with the architecture of the structure. Postulations — there are three levels of structure:
- The level of the ground facts
- The level of the domain specific conceptual schema
- The level of the generic conceptual schema
How to describe the structure of the knowledge or how to describe the results? SBVR has been chosen as it provides the means to use:
- concept definitions,
- fact types,
- fact type forms, and
When needed semantic and speech communities are added.
How to describe processes or structuring? BPMN, enhanced with SBVR where necessary, will be used to describe processes.
This is the core part of Business Engineering. In this language all the following subjects will be integrated: BE, BPM, BRM, CPM, EA, ECM, EIM, KME, MDD, RCM, RE, SM, SW, and VCM.
References Halpin, Terry & Tony Morgan, Information Modeling and Relational Databases, March 2008, ISBN: 978-0-12-373568-3.
 Hermans, Leo, forum post on Business Engineering Community, URL: http://beta.be-c.org.
 Nijssen, Sjir & John Hall, "SBVR Diagrams: A Response to an Invitation," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 9, No. 7 (Jul. 2007), URL: http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2008/b429.html
 Object Management Group (OMG), Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) Specification, Version 1.1, Jan. 2008. Available as document formal/2008-01-17 at http://www.omg.org/spec/BPMN/1.1/PDF
 Object Management Group (OMG), Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR), Version 1.0, Object Management Group (Jan. 2008). Available as document 08-01-02 at http://www.omg.org/spec/SBVR/1.0/PDF
SBVR 1.0 and supporting files are available at http://www.omg.org/spec/SBVR/1.0/
 Ross, Ronald G., "The Emergence of SBVR and the True Meaning of 'Semantics': Why You Should Care (a Lot!) ~ Part 1," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3 (March 2008), URL: http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2008/b401.html
 Vanthienen, Jan, "SBVR: The ABCs of Accurate Business Communication," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3 (March 2008), URL: http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2008/b403.html
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