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Standards Reporter:
SBVR Version 1.3 Released

by Donald R. Chapin

Beginning this June, version 1.3 of the Object Management Group's "Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules" (SBVR) specification will be publicly available at

The primary improvement in SBVR v1.3 was to present the normative contents of the SBVR specification in a much more cohesive and easily understandable sequence.  This significant improvement was achieved by:

  • Regrouping terminological entries in the old Clauses 8, 11, and 12 so that:

    • all concepts on the same topic at a given level of detail are grouped together, and
    • the definitions of each concept almost entirely use terms already defined earlier in the document.

  • Presenting concept diagrams with the same content as in old Clauses 8, 11, and 12 but based on the new groupings of the terminological entries.

  • Merging three sets of duplicated terminological entries discovered in the regrouping process, each into a single terminological entry, without changing their meanings.

  • Making the clearly-implied meaning of the term 'element', which is used formally (styled) in other definitions, explicit by added a terminological entry for 'element'.

  • Revising the SBVR Table of Contents to reflect the new groupings and sequence of the terminological entries.

This re-sequencing of the SBVR Table of Contents made no changes to the substance of the SBVR specification or its XMI and XSD files except as follows:

  • Removed the four sub-vocabularies of the SBVR Vocabulary that were dependent on the old sequence of terminological entries and the old SBVR Table of Contents.  As per the transform rules from the SBVR Vocabulary terminological entries to the SBVR XMI Metamodel found in old SBVR Clause 13 (now Clause 23), the four corresponding generated SBVR v1.2 XMI packages were not generated into the SBVR v1.3 XMI Metamodel.

  • The three sets of duplicate entries that were merged were generated with only one entry in the SBVR XMI file for each set.

  • The terminological entry making 'element' explicit was generated in the SBVR XMI Metamodel.

  • Aligned SBVR Clause 2 "Conformance" with the Simplified UML Conformance as appropriate to SBVR and to the re-sequenced SBVR Table of Contents:

    • Added Abstract Syntax and SBVR Semantics types of conformance based on Simplified UML conformance.
    • Provided a standard way for vendors to document such conformance (since SBVR has always supported conformance at the individual terminological entry and corresponding SBVR XSD element level).
    • Removed four conformance points in SBVR v1.2 that were based on the four sub-vocabularies of the SBVR Vocabulary removed in SBVR v1.3 (see above).

standard citation for this article:
Donald R. Chapin, "Standards Reporter:  SBVR Version 1.3 Released," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 16, No. 6 (June 2015), URL:  

September 2015
Using Natural Language and SBVR to Author Unambiguous Business Governance Documents
By Donald Chapin & John Hall

June 2015
SBVR Version 1.3 Released
By Donald Chapin

May 2015
OMG Standards in Support of Business Communication: Governance Authors' Web Site
By John Hall

November 2014
OMG's 'Mind Your Business Event' Highlights SBVR at Work
By John Hall

November 2013
SBVR v1.2 Adopted by OMG / BMM v1.2 Approved by OMG Architecture Board
By Donald Chapin

April 2013
SBVR v1.1 Approved by the OMG Architecture Board
By Donald Chapin

October 2011
Object Management Group Adopts Date-Time Vocabulary Beta Specification
By Donald Chapin

June 2011
RFP Issued for Decision Model and Notation (DMN)
Special guest column by Paul Vincent

October 2010
ISO TC37 to Create a Standard UML Profile for Terminology
By Donald Chapin

April 2010
OMG Publishes 'Management of Regulation and Compliance (MRC)' Request for Proposal
By Donald Chapin

April 2009
Possible New Decision Model and Notation Standard
Special guest column by Paul Vincent

February 2009
New ISO/LISA Terminology Exchange Standard Will Give Business Rules Projects a Head Start
By Donald Chapin

November 2008
Opportunity to Contribute Requirements for New OMG Business Modeling Standards
By Donald Chapin

October 2008
OMG Business Modeling Standards — October 2008 Update
By Donald Chapin



 about . . .


Paul Vincent works in TIBCO’s Quantum Leap group for Business Optimization products. This covers high value and high performance technologies such as Complex Event Processing and Advanced Decision Services. He has worked in the business rules field for many years, in both the US and Europe, and is a contributor to the OMG PRR and W3C RIF rule standards efforts as well as TIBCO’s CEP blog (

 about . . .


Donald Chapin is co-chair of the OMG Business Modelling and Integration Domain Task Force. He led the team that developed the OMG's "Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules" (SBVR) specification, and is co-chair of its Revision Task Force. Donald is also the OMG's Liaison to ISO TC 37 (Terminology and other Language and Content Resources) and the ISO TC 37/SC 1/WG 5 SBVR project leader. He is a member of the British Standards Institute Terminology Technical Committee (TS/1) and a British delegate to ISO TC 37.

Donald has substantial experience in training and methodology development — starting in the late 1960s, when he first introduced decision tables into IBM's internal application development training, and continuing to his current practice, where he is developing and presenting workshops for application of SBVR. Currently he is working with a major manufacturing company and a UK government agency on federated business policies expressed in SBVR. Donald is a member of the Business Rules Group and contributed to the development of the Business Rules Manifesto.

Donald can be reached at



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