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Enhancing E-Service Collaboration with Enforcement and Relationship Management: A Methodology from Requirements to Event Driven Realization

Dickson K.W. Chiu, Shing-Chi Cheung, Sven Till, Lalita Narupiyakul and Patrick C.K. Hung
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Dickson K.W. Chiu: Dickson Computer Systems, Hong Kong
Shing-Chi Cheung: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Sven Till: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Lalita Narupiyakul: University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
Patrick C.K. Hung: University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada

International Journal of Organizational and Collective Intelligence (IJOCI), 2010, vol. 1, issue 1, 15-43

Abstract: In a business-to-business (B2B) e-service environment, cross-organizational collaboration is important for attaining the interoperability of business processes and their proper enactment. The authors find that B2B collaboration can be divided into multiple layers and perspectives, which has not been adequately addressed in the literature. Besides regular e-service process enactment, robust collaboration requires enforcement, while quality collaboration involves relationship management. These problems are challenging, as they require the enactment of business processes and their monitoring in counter parties outside an organization’s boundary. This paper presents a framework for B2B process collaboration with three layers, namely, collaboration requirements layer, business rule layer, and system implementation layer. The collaboration requirements layer specifies the cross-organizational requirements of e-service processes. In the business rule layer, detailed knowledge of these three types of process collaboration requirements is defined as business rules in a unified Event-Condition-Action (ECA) form. In the system implementation layer, event collaboration interfaces are supported by contemporary Enterprise JavaBeans and Web Services. Based on this architecture, a methodology is presented for the engineering of e-service process collaboration from high-level business requirements down to system implementation details. As a result, B2B process collaboration can be seamlessly defined, enacted, and enforced. Conceptual models of various layers are given in the Unified Modeling Language (UML). We illustrate the applicability of our framework with a running example based on a supply-chain process and evaluate our approach from the perspective of three main stakeholders of e-collaboration, namely users, management, and systems developers.

Date: 2010
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