GREAT Process Modeller: Global Reengineering Environment with Automated Transformations

great_minThe research group in Requirements Engineering at PROS Research Centre (UPV) has created GREAT Process Modeller, a prototype tool for modelling business processes and specifying information system requirements, aimed at capturing organisational needs in an agile way, while reducing the length of development.

Agility is favoured by the communicational perspective of the method, which allows the analyst to focus on business activities that convey new meaningful information to the organisation, abstracting details that do not contribute to the later development of the computerised information system. The reduction of development time is achieved by using model transformation technologies to automate part of the system design.

GREAT Process Modeller is conceived to be used in the following way. (1) The analyst models agilely the business processes employing the graphical editor and the associated requirements templates, in collaboration with the stakeholders. (2) Model transformation is used to generate, from the requirements model, a UML-based conceptual model that specifies the needed information system. The transformation rules include heuristics that make design decisions often appropriate, so the generated conceptual model can either be accepted as is or be modified a posteriori. (3) The conceptual model is expressive enough, not only for undertaking a manual programming development, but also to be sent to a model compiler (such as Integranova Model Execution System) that generates the final software code automatically. In the latter case, software generation from requirements comes true.

To achieve this objective, an information systems ontology has been defined. On top of the ontology, a method oriented to the analysis of organisational communications has been designed, intended to speed up requirements discovery, modelling and validation. GREAT Process Modeller is the tool that supports the method and it is based on state-of-the-art technologies for constructing model-driven development tools (Eclipse EMF, GMF, Xtext). We intend to facilitate the graphical modelling of processes and the fast specification of user requirements, but also to leverage this information to accelerate the software lifecycle.