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An activity describes what an enterprise does - it consumes time and produces an output. An activity converts resources into outputs. By our terminology, activity and function are synonymous.

Acquisition Architecture

Acquisition Architectures strictly adhere to rules defining architecture views, and are used to influence a pending decision in one way another. In the public sector this type of architecture is often called an Enterprise Architecture, even though it is used primarily to influence funding decisions around acquisition programs. Acquisition Architectures may be formally linked to policy, but they are seldom linked to software solutions. The primary uses of an Acquisition Architecture are: Compliance in the public sector acquisition process, and Portfolio analysis to control the flow of dollars to programs that are associated with families-of-systems.

Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS)

Advance Planning & Scheduling (APS) is a type of supply chain planning methodology that “optimizes” production or other plans based on an in-memory model of relevant parameters: orders, materials, productive capacity, and so forth. The solution approaches fall in the general area of Decision Support as they are based on algorithms, heuristics, and rules processing.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)

AJAX is a technique used in applications to invoke functions on a server and change what is displayed on a Web page without reloading the entire page.

Back-Office Systems

Back-office systems enable business administration processes. Business administration processes are focused on the traditional administrative functions: accounting, purchasing, production planning, inventory management, controlling, funds management, etc. Most enterprises implemented standard software (i.e., ERP systems) to enable their back offices in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Best Practice (or Leading Practice)

With respect to standard software, best practice business processes are those that are configurable within the software solution.


A Bolt-on is a separate software solution, perhaps provided by a third party, that interfaces with an enterprise application. It is common practice for the Application Program Interface be certified, so that the interface is guaranteed to perform as either product is modified (usually enhanced through upgrades) over time.

Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)

BAM brings together and analyzes data from transactional systems and databases. BAM is typically an add-on EAI module, monitoring operational events across applications and database. Examples are eBAM Studio by SeeBeyond, BusinessFactor by Tibco, and Business Cockpit by Vitria.

Business Intelligence

Many executives view enterprise information systems as useful sources of information, but they are also frustrated by their inability to extract information from these systems in a timely and useful way. The “data call” is the norm, where reports are manually created and forwarded to managers. When they arrive, in many cases it is too late to influence the decision making process. The automation of the collection, display, and analysis of this information is called business intelligence (BI), and a special variant of BI is called process performance management (PPM). Some of this information may not be specifically oriented to business processes (e.g., financial ratios, static metrics, etc.), but other information may be specifically related to the performance of business processes (cycle times, quality defects, etc.). The static case is called BI, and the process-oriented variant is called PPM.

Business Performance Management (Sometimes Called Corporate Performance Management)

Business Performance Management (BPM) is an umbrella term that describes all of the processes, methodologies, metrics and systems needed to measure and manage the performance of an organization. It is a top-down approach to optimizing business processes. BPM is sometimes called by the names “Enterprise Performance Management” or “Corporate Performance Management.” Business Performance Management should not be confused with Business Process Management, a more bottom-up approach to understanding and improving business processes. Wise (2006) provides a review of these concepts.

Business Process

A Business Process is a sequence of functions that are executed by organizational units, according to appropriate process logic, using the necessary data. This ensures that an overriding task (relating to certain objects) is completely carried out (Kirchmer, 1999).

Business Process Architecture

A Business Process Architecture is a hierarchically decomposable documentation of the totality of the business processes that are planned or implemented to enable an enterprise. The architecture is usually documented using a particular modeling methodology and is stored in an object linked repository. Architectures usually contain other views in addition to the business process view.

Business-to-Business (B2B) Connectivity

Business-to-Business (B2B) Connectivity is the passing of data (not business process logic) through agreed-upon implementation conventions of standards; e.g., EDI, XML, etc. B2B Connectivity is sometimes called Data-Centric Interfacing.

Class, Java

A Java Class consists of a group of related methods and variables aggregated together under one name. The static class variables are for class-as-a-whole data. They are allocated only once at load time and are shared by all instances of objects of that class. The instance variables are allocated inside each object of that class. Static class methods work when there is no current object. They can only reference static class variables and static methods, unless they allocate an object and then use explicit references to the instance variables. Instance methods work by default on the fields of the current this object. There can be only one public class (see http://mindprod.com/jgloss/publicscope.html) in each source file. In Java there is no such thing as a method or variable that does not belong to some class. Java comes with a built in set of classes arranged in a class hierarchy (Green, 2005).


Collaboration is inter-enterprise business process integration. The intra-enterprise information flows are managed by business process logic that is shared by two or more organization. The term is most often used within the context of Supply Chain Management [See Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR)], but it can apply to other areas; e.g., Collaborative Product Development.

Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR)

Collaborative forecasting, planning, and replenishment (CPFR) is an industry model intended to facilitate suppliers and buyer interaction by synchronizing supply and demand. The objective is to align trading partners so that the right product gets to the right place at the right time in the right quantity.

Component, Java

A Java component is a generic term for the various features that are placed on windows, including buttons, listboxes, choices, checkboxes, checkbox groups, menus, etc. Component is also the name of a class that contains methods common to all components such as setVisible and setForegroundColor (Green, 2005).

Composite Applications

Enterprise information systems are efficient and effective when they precisely provide the relevant information to support critical end-to-end business processes. Of course, the most efficient alignment of systems to processes would be if all information was in a single system, and the alignment is 1-to-1. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case, since end-to-end business processes almost always flow across multiple systems and data sources. This creates a more difficult situation for aligning systems and data with end-to-end processes. Collections of business processes that flow across multiple systems and data sources are called Composite Applications, and they are typically enabled using service-oriented methods.

Container, Java

A Java Container is generic term for a graphical element that has subcomponents. Windows, Panels, Frames and Dialog boxes are all types of Containers. The term container also refers to any class that holds or organizes other objects such as trees, bags and vectors, but these are usually called collections to avoid confusion. A component can belong to at most one container at a time. To move a component between containers, you must first remove it from the old one then add it to the new one. Similarly you may add a component to a container only once, unless you remove it first. You can simulate the effect of a component moving between containers by having two components and keeping only one visible at a time (Green, 2005).

Core Business Process

Core business processes “are those central to business functioning, which relate directly to external customers” (Earl, 1994). For manufacturing companies, order management is emerging as the key core process that spans the enterprise (Knolmayer, et. al, 2002).

Cross Docking

Cross docking is the practice of expediting the flow of product from receiving to shipping with a minimum of handling in between. Cross docking accelerates speed to market by routing items to their end destinations as soon as they are received. Cross docking improves profitability because product is not sent into inventory. Companies that cross dock reduce their storage requirements and consequently eliminate storage-related labor and inventory costs. Cross docking allows companies to meet customers’ specific needs when time is of the essence. Some examples of such needs include product promotions and other timed marketing strategies, support of just-in-time practices, and consolidation of multiple supplier networks.

Cross-Functional Business Process

A business process that spans organizational domains is called a Cross-Functional Process. These domains could be defined by an organizational chart; e.g., sales, production, shipping, etc. They could also be defined by the informal organization; e.g., political or budgetary boundaries.

Cross-Functional Business Process Integration

Cross-Functional Business Process Integration (sometimes called horizontal integration) is the alignment of an information system and supporting information technology infrastructure with a Cross-Functional Process.

Data Copy (Local)

Local data copies exist when data is retrieved from a central database and stored locally by an application. The application retains the copy, and always works with the copy as opposed to the original data.

Data Copy (Shared)

A shared data copy is data that is pulled from one or more sources to be used by several applications. To create the shared data copy, data from heterogeneous databases are merged. A typical example of a shared data copy is an operational data store, which combines data from many sources for access by many applications.

Data Models

A data model is a plan for building a database. The model represents data conceptually, the way the user sees it, rather than how the computer stores it. Data model focus on required data elements and associations; most often they are expressed graphically using entity-relationship diagrams. On a more abstract level, the term is also used in describing a database’s overall structure; e.g., a relational or hierarchical data model (Kay, 2003).

Data Quality

Defective data quality leads to customer complaints and customer defection. Organizations must clearly define a standard for data requirements and how these requirements should support specific business objectives and processes. Poor data quality is often the result fast paced business environments where information is constantly evolving. People change jobs and continuity is lost. This evolution results in a number of common issues involving incorrect or inconsistent collections of customer/supplier/vendor details, duplicate data records, inconsistent synchronization among multiple databases, and multiple databases scattered throughout different departments or organizations, with data structured according to the particular rules of that database. A good reference for these issues is Ramesan (2004). Data quality problems are most successfully addressed using modern tools and Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) methodologies.

Data Redundancy

Data Redundancy is the storing of data multiple times. The issues around data redundancy are discussed in detail by Schwinn and Schelp (2003). Redundancy has the potential to cause integrity problems when changes require the modification of stored data. Modification requires that all copies of the original data must be modified in order to avoid inconsistencies that could cause future processing problems. Compare with redundancy-free approaches, data redundancies always require additional effort because the data must be synchronized. With synchronization there is always the danger of evolving integrity problems, which leads to data quality problems. Even though additional effort is required, in some cases data redundancy is preferred. In data warehousing redundancy may increase query performance. Complex queries are not executed on the production database, but in a data warehouse, using a copy of the data.

Descriptive Architectures

A Descriptive Architecture shows how activities, data, and systems interact in families of proprietary developed systems. Since the focus is on connecting operational and system components, this type of architecture is useful for network infrastructure analyses or for economic portfolio analyses. This type of architecture could also be use to document some types of policies, but it is typically not useful for defining integrated commercial software solutions.

Dedicated Contract Carriage

Dedicated contract carriage, or more simply called “dedicated trucking” or “dedicated service,” is a type of arrangement where equipment and drivers are “dedicated” to a particular shipper’s specified, predictable routes. It is most advantageous on short-haul (under 500-mile) “loops” where return loads can be scheduled in advance. Dedicated flexibility has become more appealing as shippers’ logistics requirements have become increasingly complex. From the shipper’s point of view the whole idea behind dedicated service is to guarantee sufficient capacity and an extra service edge where normal for-hire carriage may not be enough, or is simply not a good fit economically.


In the technology-relevant context, an enterprise is broader than departments or business units, and is managed at a higher organizational level. The enterprise has responsibility for managing across business units, including joint responsibility for money, materials, equipment, or other assets or process that flow across departments or business units.

Enterprise Application Integration

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the sharing of data and business rules across hetero/homogeneous software application instances through message-oriented-middleware (MOM). EAI may be managed by packaged vendors (e.g., SAP or Oracle) or through solutions provided by 3rd party vendors (e.g., IBM, WebMethods, etc.). EAI is sometimes called Application-Centric Interfacing.

EAI is not integration [see Gulledge (2006)]. EAI is interfacing, using a hub-and-spoke model, as opposed to point-to-point interfacing. Some efficiencies are gained by the vendor providing “connectors,” an interface that is partially developed and can be tailored to a particular implementation project.

The systems to be interfaced must be specified in advance of implementation, and if a connector does not currently exist, the interfaced must be designed, developed, and tested. Furthermore, system changes require additional testing cycles to insure transactional integrity. Messages are queued at the hub, and they are distributed in the proper sequence using principles of intelligent routing. Business rules are managed at the hub, and some aspects of business process logic may be imposed. The imposition could be of two types. If logic is missing, it can be added at the hub. If the communicating systems have overlapping process logic, duplicative logic can be eliminated at the hub.

EAI architectures were prominent in the late 1990s, with similar hype that surrounds SOA today. However, the concept has continually faded, mainly because of the cost and complexity of maintaining large scale EAI environments. Furthermore, EAI does not provide direct business process enablement; i.e., it is simply the routing of data using an interface model that is more efficient than point-to-point. Interfacing by any other name is still interfacing. Some efficiencies were obtained by having the partially developed connectors, but the technology solution still does not directly address the problems that drive executive decision making.

Enterprise Engineering

Enterprise Engineering is the design of an enterprise for eventual technology enablement. The technology enablement is usually through the configuration, implementation and maintenance of packaged software solutions for Enterprise Integration.

Enterprise Integration

Enterprise Integration is the alignment of strategies, business processes, information systems, technologies, and data across organizational boundaries to provide competitive advantage. The process of achieving Enterprise Integration includes all managerial and technological factors that enable Cross-Functional Process Integration. The result is a customer oriented management structure with information systems that are formally linked to processes and the integration of processes needed to establish/retain customer satisfaction.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

ERP is the popular name for Standard Software. ERP software provides integrated business applications across the enterprise. ERP systems have their origins from two sources: Manufacturing Resource Planning systems and Financial Accounting systems. MRP software providers added human resource, financial, and other functionality to evolve into an ERP system. An example of this type of Standard Software Solution is the Microsoft Solomon solution. Financial Accounting solution providers added human resource, manufacturing, and other functionality to evolve to an ERP system. An example of this type of Standard Software Solution is the Microsoft Dynamics-GP solution.

Enterprise Services Bus

An Enterprise Services Bus is software infrastructure that uses a standard interface and messaging to enable application interoperability. An Enterprise Services Bus (ESB) is one way to implement a Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA). An ESB typically encompasses messaging technology like the Java Messaging Service or IBM’s MQSeries middleware and supports Web services standards for transforming formats, binding Web services together and routing them without having to write code and to change interfaces. Havenstein (2005) provides the characteristics an Enterprise Services Bus:

  • Acts as an intermediary layer of middleware through which a set of reusable business services can be made widely available to users,
  • Includes metadata that handles routing an orchestration of services, plus business rules and quality-of-service capabilities,
  • Can map the data formats of message payloads in order to aggregate services,
  • Can send persistent messages to queues and retry operations when failures occur.

An ESB is a critical component of a SOA solution, but it is not a SOA solution. When as ESB is positioned as a message routing solution (similar to EAI), it has different characteristics and meaning than when positioned as a component of a complete SOA solution. When positioned as EAI with Web Service wrappers and connectors, the technology is often called EAI 2.0, or next generation EAI. All of the benefits and limitations of EAI apply to EAI 2.0, with the addition benefit that the connectors are standards-based. Specifically, proprietary connectors are replaced with Web Service-wrapped connectors, providing additional flexibility in interfacing. EAI 2.0 based on ESB technology is not SOA.

Extended Enterprise Integration

Extended Enterprise Integration is inter-enterprise integration. Intra-enterprise integration is extended to incorporate other entities into the integration domain. These other entities include customers, suppliers, partners, and other organizational claimants.

Extract, Transform, and Load

Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) is the processes that enable organizations to move data from multiple sources, reformat and cleanse it, and load it into a database, a data mart, or a data warehouse for analysis, or on another operational system to support a business process (Songini, 2004). In the support of a business process, ETL is often called Extract, Transform, and Present (ETP).


A “family-of-systems’ is a set or arrangement of independent (not interdependent) systems that can be arranged or interconnected in various ways to provide different capabilities. The mix of systems can be tailored to provide desired capabilities dependent on the situation. Under today's warfighting, assembly of forces for contingencies is primarily ad hoc, based on a generic set of requirements rather than preplanning that designates specific forces for a particular contingency. Thus, interoperability of the independent platforms is a key consideration in the ad hoc deployment of a “family-of-systems.” (Defense Acquisition University >http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/Docs/FAQs%20--%20SoS%20&%20FoS.doc)

Federated Identity Management

Federated Identity Management refers to the agreements, standards, and technologies that enable the portability of identities, identity attributes, and entitlements across multiple enterprises and numerous applications, supporting large numbers of users. When multiple organizations implement interoperable federated identity schemes, an employee in one organization can use Single Sign-on to access services across the federation with trust relationships associated with the identity. Other attributes of identity can be shared with trust, including account numbers, organizational roles, physical location, and file ownership. A user may also have multiple identifiers associated with multiple roles, each with its own access permissions. The principal standard for Federated Identity Management is the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), which defines the exchange of security information between online business partners.

Fourth Party Logistics Provider (4PL)

A 4PL provider is a supply chain integrator that assembles and manages the resources, capabilities, and technology of its own organization with those of complementary service providers to deliver a comprehensive supply chain solution. There has been a lot of speculation as to how this concept could really be put into practice in its entirety and whether potential 4PL providers would ever live up to its original definition. A lot of emphasis was placed on the 4PL provider being a single point of contact for the shipper, whilst becoming an integrated part of their business to the point of representing their Logistics department. Being non-asset based was also regarded as a fundamental feature of a 4PL provider as it would-in theory-ensure that they would be "neutral" in selecting the partners for the shipper.


A framework is a basic conceptual structure used to solve or address complex issues.


A function is an "operation carried out on an object with the aim of supporting one or more goals" (Scheer, 1992). See Activity.

Function-Oriented Implementation

Some Standard Software is not explicitly integrated around a Business Process Reference Model. The software is designed and developed to support business functions, such as human resources, manufacturing, procurement, etc. For software with this type of orientation, the data model is the Reference Model. Since the business process is not explicit, additional flexibility is obtained, which is an advantage. However, implementation cycles tend to be longer with function-oriented Standard Software, since additional tailoring is required to align the software with enterprise business processes. Oracle Applications 11i is an example of function-oriented Standard Software.


Governance is the establishment of a structure to manage an initiative. Managing is used in its broadest sense, and it includes monitoring and controlling. Compliance is the execution of a sequence of procedures underneath the governance model.

Implementation Methodology

An Implementation Methodology is a collection of principles, tools, and techniques for designing and implementing Standard Software. The Implementation Methodology provides a mechanism for documenting the collective experience of the implementation team. The benefits of following an Implementation Methodology are reduced implementation cycle times, reduced total implementation costs, and reduced failures, rework, and confusion over what to do next. Examples of Implementation Methodologies are Accelerated SAP (ASAP), Oracle Application Implementation Methodology (AIM), Oracle Fast Forward, etc.

Implementation Methodology (Rapid)

Rapid Implementation Methodologies are a particular type of implementation methodology. They are designed to shorten implementation cycle times. Examples of Rapid Implementation Methodologies are Oracle Fast Forward and Accelerated SAP (ASAP).

Inbound Logistics

Inbound Logistics is the business process that defines the movement of materials from suppliers and vendors into production processes or storage facilities.

Instance (of an Application)

An instance is a software application, complete with its servers, which share a common system profile and business process logic; i.e., a separate installation of a software solution.


Integration implies that all relevant data for a particular business process scope is processed by the same software application logic. Updates in one application module are reflected throughout the business process scope with no complex external interfacing. The data are entered once and shared through the same production database environment.


Interoperability, in practical terms, is the ability of two or more systems, or components to exchange information, and to use the information that has been exchanged. More precisely, Interoperability is the rules, formats, and business processes required to pass data, commands, events or messages between solution applications.

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a disciplined approach for driving variation from business processes. The approach is to drive down process variation so that 2-3 defects are realized per one million opportunities. Lean Six Sigma is sometimes confused with Lean Principles that are used to reduce waste. The concepts are related, but Lean Six Sigma is focused on reducing process variability in striving for perfection. By definition, Lean Six Sigma has a business process orientation; i.e., the whole concept is about reducing the variability in business processes. Given that fact, Lean Six Sigma should be applied to end-to-end business processes that are embedded in enterprise solution architectures. However, care must be taken with applying Lean Six Sigma to segments of end-to-end processes. If Lean Six Sigma is used to optimize a particular process segment that is embedded in a sequence of process segments, them sub-optimization is most certain to occur. One runs the risk of creating an efficient bottleneck. A good summary of Lean Six Sigma is provided by the Aberdeen Group (2006).


Logistics is the process of managing the acquisition, movement and storage of materials, parts and finished goods (and the related information flows) through the organization and its marketing channel in such a way that relevant performance measures are optimized while enabling the fulfillment segment of the Order Management business process.

Loosely Coupled

Loosely Coupled components use well-defined interfaces to connect services. Service-Oriented Architectures are built using a loosely coupled approach, where a change in one service does not require changes in linked services.

Master Data Management(MDM)

Master Data Management (MDM) is the strategies, processes, technologies and people that create and maintain a single, complete view of all master data that enables a bounded business process scope. Master data management solutions are used to deliver complete, real-time views of vendors, customers, materials, equipment, and other master data that are dispersed across multiple application systems and databases.

Message-Oriented Middleware (MOM)

Message-Oriented Middleware provides a mechanism for connecting various applications, even across platforms. Data resides in message queues where receiving programs can retrieve it without creating a direct connection with the sending applications. MOM is sometimes referred to as a Message-oriented architecture.


Orchestration, or service orchestration, is the method by which new business processes and composite applications are built from existing services. A key component of the business case for SOA is the ability to rapidly orchestrate services into new business processes or composite applications.

Order Management Process

Order Management is the key core process for a manufacturing firm. There is no more fundamental business process to the supply chain than Order Management. The order is the point of intersection between supply and demand. The order is configured at the front of the value chain (possibly through CRM) and is fulfilled at the end of value chain (through Supply Chain Execution). In between, the process includes Order Processing, Engineering, Production Planning, Supply Chain Planning, and Manufacturing Execution. In some cases, the definition of Order Management is restricted to intra-enterprise sub business processes, and when the suppliers are brought into the process, the term Extended Order Management is used.

Outbound Logistics

Outbound Logistics is the business process that defines the movement and storage of products from the end of the production line to the end user (e.g., usually the customer).


Platforms are digital environments in which contributions, interactions, and other digital media are globally visible and persistent over time.

Policy Architectures

Policy Architectures translates legal, policy, and regulatory documents, as well as guiding principles, into execution guidelines. That is, the Policy Architecture is a model, providing a conceptual and more precise view of how policy-related items bound business process and system artifacts. Policy Architectures are often used to monitor compliance for regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley in the private sector and the Chief Financial Officer’s Act in the public sector.

Political Architectures

Political Architectures strictly adhere to rules defining architecture views, and are used to influence a pending decision in one way another. In the public sector this type of architecture is often called an Acquisition Architecture, since it is used to influence funding decisions around acquisition programs. Political Architectures are usually not formally linked to any type of policy or solution.

Portfolio Management

A method for aligning projects/initiatives with strategic goals by prioritizing the projects/initiatives as you would a financial portfolio.

Procedural Model

A Procedural Model is a project management model. The model is represented as a process. Our methodology for documenting procedural models is the extended event-driven process chain (e-EPC) diagram. The functions in the e-EPC diagrams may be associated with any number of attributes, including cost, schedule, word documents, video clips, audio clips, etc. Implementation procedural models may be used to generate what-if scenarios, as well as providing the structure for discrete next-event simulation exercises.


a “Process is an occurrence of some duration that is started by an event and completed by an event” (Scheer, 1993).

Process-Oriented Implementation

Some Standard Software is designed to execute predefined business processes. The information system (resulting from the software implementation) is aligned with the business process, enabling process management and cross-functional process integration. The standard software modules are designed so that they explicitly execute a best practice business process. This process is called the Reference Business Process or Reference Model.

Process Performance Management

Many executives view enterprise information systems as useful sources of information, but they are also frustrated by their inability to extract information from these systems in a timely and useful way. The “data call” is the norm, where reports are manually created and forwarded to managers. When they arrive, in many cases it is too late to influence the decision making process. The automation of the collection, display, and analysis of this information is called business intelligence (BI), and a special variant of BI is called process performance management (PPM). Some of this information may not be specifically oriented to business processes (e.g., financial ratios, static metrics, etc.), but other information may be specifically related to the performance of business processes (cycle times, quality defects, etc.). The static case is called BI, and the process-oriented variant is called PPM.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

PLM is a process for guiding products from idea through retirement to deliver the most business value to an enterprise and its trading partners. The applications that support the business activities enabled through PLM includes product ideation, design, engineering, manufacturing process management, product data management, and product portfolio management.

Proprietary Solution (as Opposed to Commercial Standard Software)

This is a solution that is designed and developed as opposed to designed and configured.


A system where services post (i.e., publish) data that other services can request (i.e., subscribe to). When the published information changes, the subscribed services automatically receive updates.


Rails is a Ruby-based Model-view-controller-patterned full-stack framework for developing Web applications. Since Rails is a full-stack framework, it addresses all aspects of the Web development process. Rails promotes a common set of assumptions about how a Web application should be designed, including object naming conventions, database tables, files, and directories. By following the conventions, Rails developers can achieve rapid application development by eliminating the preliminaries of setting up a development environment. See Carr (2007) and Swaine (2006).

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

RSS alerts users to new information available on Web sites, blogs, and other Internet services.

Reference Business Process

See Process-Oriented Implementation and Reference Model.

Reference Model

A Reference model is one or more pre-engineered and integrated organizational views. For example one type of reference model might be a business process (one view of an organization) and a depiction of the data flows (another view of an organization) that are aligned with the business process. Standard Software either implicitly or explicitly executes pre-defined business processes; hence, by definition it is based on the reference model concept. The main benefit of a reference model is that certain tedious views (e.g., the data view as realized in a data model) do not have to be individually developed for every implementation. The idea is to design and develop once, and then refine and replicate many times. The reference model may have to be tailored for individual organizations, but this effort is significantly less than approaching each implementation as a new software project.

Requirements Definition Model

In the context of ERP, a Requirements Definition Model is a documentation of enterprise requirements. It includes business process, function, organizational, data, outputs, and other requirements. The requirements definition Level is usually the highest level in an architectural repository.

Revenue Ton

A revenue ton is a ton measurement on which shipments are freighted. If cargo is rated as weight or measure (W/M), whichever produces the higher revenue will be considered the revenue ton. Weights are based on metric tons and measures are based on cubic meters. Hence, one revenue ton is equal to one metric ton (2204.62 pounds) or one cubic meter (35.31 cubic feet).


Ruby is a programming language that is typically deployed on Rails. Ruby is an interpreted scripting language for quick and easy object-oriented programming. It has many features to process text files and to do system management tasks (as in Perl). It is simple, straight-forward, extensible, and portable.

Service Directory

“The Service Directory is the place where all information about all available services in maintained. A service provider that wants to offer services publishes its services by putting appropriate entries in the service directory. A service requestor uses the service directory to find an appropriate service, that is, a service that matches its requirements. An example of such a requirement is the price a service requestor is willing to pay for a service. The service directory will thus include not only taxonomies that facilitate the search, but also information such as the price or the delivery time associated with a service. When a service requestor locates a suitable service, it binds to the service provider, using binding information maintained in the service directory. The binding information contains the specification of the protocol that the service requestor must use as well as the structure to the request messages and the resulting responses. The communication between the various agents occurs via an appropriate transport mechanism” (Leymann, et al., 2002).

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A service level agreement is a formal agreement that is negotiated between two or more parties. It is a contract between a customer and a service provider, or possible between service providers. It documents the common understanding about services, priorities, responsibilities, guarantees, etc. with the main objective to specify the level of service that will be provided. These services could relate to availability, serviceability, performance, operations, quality, cycle-time, or other attributes of the service that is being provided. The SLA typically specifies penalties in the case of violation of one or more of the agreed performance measures defined in the SLA.

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

An architecture built around a collection of reusable components with well-defined interfaces. SOAs start with services, which are groups of components that are executed within business processes; for example, verifying a credit card transaction or processing a purchase order. In other words, a SOA is a collection of services on a network that communicate with one another. The services are loosely coupled (meaning that an application doesn’t have to know the technical details of another application in order to talk to it), have well-defined and platform-independent interfaces, and are reusable. Enterprise SOA is a higher level of application development (also referred to as coarse granularity) that, by focusing on business processes and using standard interfaces, helps mask the underlying technical complexity of the IT environment. See the reference by Datz (2004).

Schmelzer (2008) clearly provides the distinction between SOA and EAI 2.0. , “The main concept of SOA is that we want to deal with frequent and unpredictable change by constructing an architectural model, discipline, and abstraction that loosely couples the providers of capability from the consumers of capability in an environment of continuous heterogeneity. This means that we have to somehow develop capabilities without the knowledge of how they might be used.” EAI 2.0 requires that the source and target systems be known in advance, which by definition, violates the definition of SOA.

This definitional difference does not, however, justify an aggressive investment in Enterprise SOA. Most organizations must leverage their existing technology investments, so it is literally impossible to follow a “rip and replace” strategy that would eliminate existing systems and replace them with a “grad design” that adheres to SOA purity. A more practical and incremental approach to SOA realization is required.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

SOAP is a lightweight protocol for exchanging information in a decentralized and distributed environment. This XML-based protocol is typically used with HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). SOAP is a key component for accessing and invoking a web service. In short, SOAP defines a mechanism for communication with Web Services over the Internet. “It specifies the format of messages that are exchanged between the service requestor, the service provider, and the service directory. In particular, SOAP describes how HTTP can be used to realize a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) mechanism over the Internet -- a combination of the information in the HTTP header and a SOAP body, which allows one to exactly specify the endpoint of a SOAP request. An encoding schema for the SOAP body describes how to exchange requests and the corresponding responses” (Leymann, et al., 2002).

SOA Governance

Services are enterprise assets. These assets must be developed with the highest quality standards, and they must strictly adhere to standards and policies during their operational life. If a governance solution is implemented to establish auditing and conformance mechanisms, while limiting liabilities and security exposures, then integration costs and complexities are reduced. The impact of ungoverned integration projects can be significant to operations, resulting in service redesign, maintenance, and project delays. A SOA is typically realized as a result of many independent projects; therefore, the relationships among the projects must be clearly defined and managed over time. There are strong incentives for adopting an integrated design, development, and deployment environment since there many activities that must be governed, including business requirements, design patterns, meta data, versioning, semantics (for service design), deployment issues, security, quality of service, service level agreements, and interoperability/usability issues. Since these activities must interoperate within a larger enterprise framework, governance is required. If SOA governance is not implemented, the vision of a SOA is usually not realized. SOA governance is the ability to ensure that all of the independent efforts in the design, development, deployment, and sustainment of a service are managed and controlled to meet SOA requirements.

Solution Architecture

A Solution Architecture shows how systems align with organizational processes within and across natural boundaries. The boundaries could be organizational stovepipes, software boundaries (Enterprise, proprietary, or legacy), budgetary, or other relevant partitions of an enterprise. It is quite common to see enterprise Solution Architectures for large scale commercial products such as the Oracle e-Business Suite or the mySAP Business Suite. One characteristic of a Solution Architecture is that it is typically directly linked to the product (i.e., solution) that is being implemented in or to enable monitoring and control as the implementation proceeds. This implies that Solution Architectures are often used in conjunction with an Implementation Methodology.

Standard Software and Standard Software Solution

Certain types of software are designed and developed once, and then replicated many times. For example, Microsoft Office is a type of Standard Software, since the purchaser accepts the functionality of the software without modification. That is, most individuals (or even large organizations) would not consider designing and developing their individual desktop office suites. Certain software companies (e.g., SAP, Oracle, etc.) have applied this same concept at the enterprise level. They have designed and developed modular Standard Software Solutions that enable business applications across the enterprise. The idea is to implement the software without modification or interfacing in order to avoid the cost and risk associated with individual and proprietary design and development efforts. An additional benefit of a Standard Software Solution is that it is easier to upgrade internal applications in accordance with the version releases of the software provider. The major disadvantage of Standard Software is the loss of flexibility in the enabled business processes.

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) enables supply chain participants to utilize technology solutions to build networks of collaborative (see Collaboration) relationships. SRM enables the supplier side of Supply Chain Management, allowing supply chain partners to act as a single business entity in a linked supply chain. The key factors that make this possible are the ability to collaborate across entire networks of suppliers while aligning common objectives, sharing key performance metrics, and maintaining visibility across multiple tiers of suppliers.

Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM)

Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM) is a Web-based solution that tracks the multiplicity of events that follow from planned purchases, production, and distribution. The ability to computerize the "reaching out" to suppliers and distribution channels to track Supply Chain Execution improves exception management and minimize unforeseen disappointments. The goal of SCEM is to provide visibility and resolve critical situations as they occur in the course of executing a planned sequence of business processes along the supply chain. SCEM is event-driven because there is an increasing focus on manufacturing being driven by firm customer orders, rather than by a forecast or master production schedule. Event-driven manufacturing, in this view, focuses on 1) responding directly to actual demand; and 2) reducing order cycle time. SCEM provides for seamless and immediate visibility into inventory and demand at customer sites. Agreed-upon replenishment levels or algorithms will trigger orders.

Supply Chain Execution (SCE)

Supply Chain Execution (SCE) is the realization of an organizations supply chain; i.e., the automated execution of supply chain functions. For example, the execution of the plan may require creating and sending a purchase order, tracking orders, updating inventory, etc. SCE includes all activities that transform a planned supply chain into a working, live supply chain. SCE software solutions monitor and enable management to the execution of the supply chain. An analogy that relates Supply Chain Planning (SCP) to Supply Chain Execution is the following. SCP is the constructing of the blueprint and SCE is the building of the house. SCE is enabled by “execution-oriented software applications for effective procurement and supply of goods and services across a supply chain. It includes manufacturing, warehouse, and transportation execution systems, and systems providing visibility across the supply chain” Jakovljevic, 2004)

Supply Chain Integration (SCI)

Supply Chain Integration (SCI) is the free and seamless flow of relevant data up and down the supply chain. Supply Chain Integration enables Supply Chain Management. In general, SCI is a vision for the future.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a strategy where buyers and sellers collaborate to bring greater value to the customer. The Collaboration includes Supply Chain Planning and Supply Chain Execution activities. Effective supply SCM enables business to make informed decisions along the entire supply chain, from acquiring raw materials to manufacturing products to distributing finished goods to the consumer. At each link, businesses need to make the best choices about what their customers need and how they can meet those requirements at the lowest possible cost. Supply Chain Integration enables SCM. Supply chain applications can provide benefits such as reduced costs, improved quality and product design, and effective inventory management.

Supply Chain Planning

Supply Chain Planning is the execution of business processes that plan supply chain activities. In particular, Supply Chain Planning is the determination of a set of policies and procedures that govern the operation of a supply chain. Planning includes the determination of marketing channels, promotions, respective quantities and timing, inventory and replenishment policies, and production policies. Planning establishes the parameters within which the supply chain will operate (Jakovljevic, 2004). The primary business processes are demand planning (including demand forecasting), capacity planning, and scheduling (jobs, workforce, and resources). The following analogy can be used to relate Supply Chain Planning (SCP) to Supply Chain Execution. SCP is the constructing of the blueprint and SCE is the building of the house.


A key principal to the understanding of a “system-of-systems” is the notion that a system performs a function not possible with any of the individual parts acting alone. Thus, a system can be viewed as any organized assembly of resources and procedures united and regulated by interaction or interdependence to accomplish a set of specific functions. In this context, a “system-of-systems” can be viewed as a set or arrangement of interdependent systems that are related or connected to provide a given capability. The loss of any part of the system will degrade the performance or capabilities of the whole. A “system-of-systems” may be physically bounded in a single platform or consist of a collection of separate, but interdependent, interconnected platforms performing different functions. An aircraft would be an example of a single platform with different systems on board, such as airframe, propulsion, weapons, navigation and communications systems. A ground station dependent on a satellite is an example of interconnected platforms performing different functions. A distinguishing factor for the “system-of-systems” is that it depends on all its elements working interactively and continuously within a network to accomplish a pre-specified capability. (Defense Acquisition University http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/Docs/FAQs%20--%20SoS%20&%20FoS.doc)

Supply Chain Visibility

Supply Chain Visibility is the ability to access or view relevant data or information as it relates to logistics and the supply chain.


A TEU is a 20-foot equivalent container; the standard size of a sea-freight container.

Third Party Logistics (3PL) Providers

3PLs are organizations that manage and execute particular logistics business processes, utilizing their own assets and resources, on behalf of another company. Third Party Logistics Providers are transportation, warehousing and other logistics related service providers employed to assume tasks that were previously performed in-house by the client. 3PLs can be either asset-based (owns a fleet and moves shipments) or non asset-based. In short, 3PL providers provide outsourced logistics business processes to their customers, with a focus on transportation management, and in accordance with appropriate service level agreements.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

TCO is the holistic view of costs across enterprise scope and over time. It includes the costs of systems and enabling technologies, but it also includes related costs, such as human resources and facilities. TCO is a blend of direct and indirect costs, with a large proportion associated to maintenance, especially from users who provide informal technical support. In a typical implementation environment, the cost of hardware and software is typically a small part of TCO.

Transportation Management System (TMS)

A transportation management system (TMS) works with one or more transportation modes, including ocean, air, rail, truckload, less-than-truckload, and private fleet with a core objective of managing the physical flow of goods. They also manage the flow of transportation related data, documents, and money, while providing performance management and collaboration capabilities (McCrea, 2007).

Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI)

UDDI is an industry initiative to create a platform-independent, open framework for describing web services, discovering businesses, and integrating business services using the Internet. UDDI defines the structure and the contents of the Service Directory. UDDI provides the “registration of the service types, and actual business information such as name of the company offering the service, the type of services, taxonomies that classify the offered service, and references to those standard service types or to Web Services Descriptive Language (WSDL) specifications” (Leymann, et al, 2002). More information about UDDI may be found at http://www.uddi.org/.

Web Service

Web Services (Jakovljevic, 2004) provide a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications using the Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) open standards over an Internet protocol backbone. XML is used to tag the data; SOAP is used to transfer the data; WSDL is used for describing the services available; and UDDI is used for listing what services are available. Used primarily as a means for businesses to communicate with each other and with clients, Web services allow organizations to communicate data without intimate knowledge of each other's application systems. Unlike traditional client/server models, Web services do not provide the user with a Graphical User Interface (GUI), but instead share business logic, data, and processes through a programmatic interface across a network. Web services allow different applications from different sources to communicate with each other without time-consuming custom coding, and because all communication is in XML, Web services are not tied to any one operating system or programming language, and they do not require the use of browsers or hypertext markup language (HTML).

Web Service Directory

See Service Directory.

Web Services Description Language (WSDL)

WSDL is a specification for describing web services as a set of end points operating on messages. “WSDL provides the capability to describe a Web Service, without the need to have it formally standardized. A WSDL description of a Web Service provides all of the information needed to actually invoke it. A port type, the operations that the port type supports, and the structure of the input and output messages, describes a particular service in an abstract way. In order to actually communicate with the service, this abstract specification of the service must be translated into concrete formats and protocols (for example into SOAP over HTTP) based on separate binding information. The separation of the binding and the description of the service provides for great flexibility for the service requestor by allowing the service requestor to select the most appropriate binding. The third piece of information defines the provider where the individual services are offered and the ports that implement the bindings by which the port types and operations can be reached” (Leymann, et al., 2002). In simple terms, when a “client queries a registry to locate a Web Service, it’s referred to a WSDL document. That document provided the data that applications need to interact with the Web Service” (Robinson, 2004)


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