L van Berlo, G Derks, C Pennavaire, P Bos
Collaborative Engineering with IFC: common practice in the Netherlands
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Zarli A, Richaud O
Requirements and Technology Integration for IT-Based Business-Oriented Frameworks in Building and Construction
Abstract: Key challenges nowadays facing industry are increased competition, increased complexity and wider market reach, and in such a context, the information infrastructure of an enterprise determines its strengths and weaknesses. As a consequence, this infrastructure has become vital to enterprise competitiveness, though the diversity of enterprise databases and the heterogeneity of strategic applications are still a barrier to industrial exploitation of the opportunities offered by this infrastructure. Modern enterprise information systems must interoperate in Inter/Intranets and with the WEB in a quite interactive, reliable and secure way, and have to be flexible enough in order to quickly adapt to today's fast moving business environment. This paper first gives a synthesised investigation of the requirements for a standardised open infrastructure, relying on now available distributed objects systems, and integrating in a flexible way the enterprise business model through the emerging concept of Business Objects (BOs), that allows systems designers to put the stress on the business they model and no more the data they exploit. It then focuses on a specific part of the work undertaken in the context of the Esprit project, relying on the OMG Business Object Component Architecture (BOCA) proposed by the BODTF. This was finally not accepted by the OMG board. Nevertheless, at the time we started our work, this proposition was the only one meeting requirements for distributed business objects, and especially the Component Description Language (CDL) and its concepts: a short presentation is given of a CDL compiler that produces IDL, according to the BODTF recommendations for CORBA-based implementations, and Java code, on the basis of a framework we developed. The originality of this approach resides in the fact that it takes into account most of the needs when developing BOs and gives an automated implementation whenever possible. Hence, we automated the generation of factories, event typed dispatching, and relationship handling. This approach lets the BO developers concentrate on the business and relies on improved solution backed by design patterns. This research is regarded as a solid foundation for designers to set up information systems that are a better fit to business user requirements, and expected to be a major step towards the forecast delivery of WEB-oriented software components for the Building Construction and other sectors as well.
Keywords: distributed client/server architectures, communication middleware, business objects, CORBA, CDL, open and standardised industrial business objects frameworks.
Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1999/4 (available to registered users only)
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