Introduction of the notion
Source: Semantic Aspect Guide; page 31
The “heart of the business” is very stable. It changes only when the enterprise modifies its product and service offering or when external factors (legislation, regulation) require it to adapt. In the case of physical systems, the stability of the description is even more self-evident. It is, therefore, important to safeguard this aspect from the introduction of decisions more susceptible to change.
When designing the semantic model, the modeler eliminates those decisions that he/she is entitled to question, as they do not belong to the semantic aspect as previously defined. These decisions can concern practices, organizational choices, the IT solution and even the current state of products sold. The objective is to rediscover the simplicity of the objects at the heart of the operations. The semantic model is all the more better because it is simple and “speaks” to the user of the system. The modeler expels the artificial objects, the pseudo-concepts resulting from the fossilization of administrative habits, or the bureaucratic perception of things, from the model.
The semantic model only retains those objects and concepts which indisputably belong to the business fundamentals. The criterion to recognize them is their universality. The semantic classes will later be restituted as they are, in the IT system. They will take the shape of very stable units, which will last and will not be impacted by changes to the other aspects.
In addition, this modeling basis enables existing practices to be revisited and processes to be redesigned and simplified, by centering them on the “natural” life cycle of business objects. The modeling effort focused on this aspect has another important consequence: it enables the common points between the different practices to be picked out. Indeed, at this level of design, the variations that may exist between one enterprise and another are glossed over: there is no place for them in this plane. Semantic modeling is, therefore, a powerful instrument for system convergence.
Other justifications for the abstraction principle:
- to contribute to the quality of the system;
- to facilitate the dialogue between the actors of the systems;
- to facilitate the novice's comprehension of the enterprise world.
- Each development is based on a “semantic” model, in other words, a business object representation, free from organizational and technical references.
- The quality of the semantic model is subject to verification as planned in the development approach. Formal verification focuses on the conceptual “purity” of the model.
- The simplicity of the semantic model is the result of abstraction and genericity. It can sometimes disconcert the user when it leads to concepts and objects being restructured.
Objects and concepts at the heart of the business are modeled for themselves; abstraction of organizational and technical circumstances