Abstract

Business language analysis grows out of a philosophy that treats business organizations as living systems.  Individual applications are giving way to enterprise-wide nervous systems.  A key concern is the meaning of business information that provides adaptive survival advantage and strategic leverage.  Accurate and timely understanding of information needs is a prerequisite for effective enterprise-wide information systems, whether ob-ject-based or procedure-data applications.

Popular object-oriented methodologies correctly recognize the need to identify business objects by analyzing the problem domain.  The approach described in this article fills in the details that are implied, but not specified, by other methods.  It builds a business language model that clarifies both the content and structure of the terminology actually used in the business.   With this content and structural foundation, business process modeling, system performance budgeting and the various other techniques for creating an information system can proceed with confidence, and information systems can be co-evolved with the business.

Business language analysis identifies domain specific business terms from documents and conversations.  It draws on pre-defined patterns of generic business concepts to classify and link business terms into a semantic net-work.  This network of terms then provides the basis for object modeling, user interface design, persistent data management design, and test case generation.  The reader will gain an appreciation of business language analysis work products, activities and techniques through simple examples of business language analyses.  For those wanting deeper insight, lexical semantic and category theory is discussed, and the notion of business language patterns is proposed.  The latter may become the generalized foundation that enables meaningful reuse of business objects.