Handling Variants of Business Document Models

By Christian Pichler .
Advised by Christian Huemer

This work has been finished in December 2011.

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) envisions seamless information exchange between business partners in electronic commerce. Therefore, UN/CEFACT provides the UML Profile for Core Components for the definition of document models based on UML class diagrams.

Having used this approach for three years in practice, it became evident that managing document model versions is a prerequisite for successfully utilizing Core Components. While managing software versions in the area of Software Engineering is well understood and successfully applied in industrial projects, the direct application of the same techniques for versioning models is conditionally appropriate. The thesis presents a model registry based on combining techniques from traditional Software Configuration Management with the concepts of Reference Modeling, where similar problems are addressed based on a different background. The benefits of such a registry include a repository for storing models and their variants, proper concepts for preserving consistency across model variants, as well as detecting similar model variants in order to reduce model complexity and duplication.