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ERP, BI and UML 2.0

Posted by Anahita | Posted in Business Analysis, Business Intelligence | Posted on 03-01-2012

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Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) systems are  organisational platforms for coordination of organisational processes and supporting data in order to provide cohesive and timely services by providing integration of HR, Finance, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Customer Services as core activities. These could be extended further to contain other entities such as Project Management, Asset and Maintenance Management, etc. ERP systems normally are supported by a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS).

Business Intelligence Systems are created to provide timely decision making power for organisations. More and more organisations use Business Intelligence to gain ability to access the correct information in the format that is easy to understand and analyse, or even in the form of applications providing answers to specific business queries.

As both ERP and BI systems are complex, supporting vast number of business processes and related information, to model and communicate the relation between business processes in ERP systems and related  Business Intelligence Objects, an extension to OMG (Object Management Group) UML 2.o Activity Diagram  for Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse is suggested in the white paper “Extending UML 2 Activity Diagrams with Business Intelligence Objects” by Veronika Stefanov, Beate List, Birgit Korher. In this paper a BI profile is introduced by defining new object stereotypes “DataRepository”, “DataObject” and “PresentationObject”. “DataRepository” covers “OperationalDataStore”, “DataWarehouse” and “Datamart”. “DataObject” covers “Entity” and “Fact”, and finally “PresentationObject” covers “Report” and “InteactiveAnalysis”. To view the extended meta model see Fig 2.0 in the above paper.

With the corresponding notation for the extended stereotype, the profile is a powerful tool for modelling the BI Objects in UML 2.0 activity diagram.  As in the above diagram, the diamonds are notation for “Fact” Objects, representing multidimensional data models, showing “Customer” and “Policy Transactions”, as well as “insurance company” Data Warehouse.