Concrete or abstract object, essential to the Enterprise System’s mission
Introduction to the notion
The term “object” has had strange fortunes. Referring to the most commonplace notion there is, as the most generic, it was not part of enterprise vocabulary. The object-oriented design and programming approach made it fashionable, from the 80s onwards, in the IT domain. In this context, the object (or class instance), when we take a close look at it, has an ambiguous status: both the IT representation of something (in a computer’s memory) and the actual thing that is represented. It very quickly became necessary to clarify things. The expression “business object” thus appeared to represent the object as seen by the actors of the enterprise, upstream therefore from IT. Then, the expression moved around on different levels. For example, it can be found in software to compare classes that, on the one hand reflect objects from the real world and, on the other hand, realize purely technical services.
Praxeme uses the expression to refer to objects of the world, whether they be external or internal to the enterprise. These objects can be physical: a person, goods, a machine or a weapon… In other cases, especially in the service sector, objects are abstractions: a contract, a service offering, an account…
We would like to simply say “object” but that would lead to confusion with how this term is understood in IT; hence the specification “business object”.
In this definition, “business object” refers quite spontaneously to the semantic class, which is the means of representing the business object or its concept. Indeed, it is in this way that semantic modeling expresses the business fundamentals. Nevertheless, we also find objects of an organizational nature that we must take care to place in the pragmatic aspect.