Active knowledge modeling (AKM) is a business-centric approach to dynamically reconfigurable service oriented architectures (SOA). Services are made available to users in the situation they find themselves, as captured by enterprise models, in a business level language. The role of a knowledge architecture is to bring purpose and context to the services, and to dynamically compose and configure business solutions from basic services in a manner far more flexible than a conventional BPMS.   

We here explore the relationships between AKM and SOA, through SOA reference models, reference architectures, maturity models, and standards. Several frameworks have been developed in order to capture and explain just exactly what service oriented architectures are. This post gives an overview of different frameworks, their purpose and perspectives:   

  • Reference models developed to explain and create agreement about the meaning of key terms, and the dependencies between them,
  • Reference architectures, template solutions for a domain, outlining typical components and subsystems, aspects and layers of services,
  • Development and maturity models that describe different generations of SOA, or the path from a conventional application architecture towards a fully service oriented realization.
  • Modeling architectures, presenting overviews of modeling methods, which models should be developed and how they fit together, and how the modeling languages are structured.

Web services (WS) standards are also plentiful. People have mapped them before, but the dependencies between different standards are seldom visualized. We present a WS standards map that captures major dependencies.

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Active knowledge modeling and business process management are two approaches for executing models of business processes. In its most recent reincarnation, business process management deals with composition, choreography and orchestration of web services. It includes mapping of data between the services, but compared to earlier workflow management systems, BPM standards such as BPEL is weak in the area of user involvement. Mechanisms for to-do-lists, progress monitoring, and manual exception handling are lacking(cf. BPEL4People, and human interaction management).
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With model-driven applications in Oslo, Microsoft aims to reduce the amount of code needed for custom applications by 90%. Recognizing that “the model is the application”, they envision a move away from the model editor as a separate tool for developers. In our perspective, UML is a visual programming language and Microsoft’s M is a textual modeling language. To be accessible to business users, a visual modeling language is needed.
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During the past decade, model-driven software engineering has matured through the standards developed by the OMG (Object Management Group). Model-driven architectures (commonly known as MDA) and model-driven applications are complementary approaches to developing new IT solutions. Business level enterprise models serve as an excellent starting point for conventional software application development. The main objective of model-driven applications however, is not to increase the amount of software code, but rather to create a new kind of software platform that can be configured and repurposed through modeling, rather than programming. There are therefore some clear differences between MDA and model-driven applications: Read the rest of this entry »