Primary Business Concepts [Upper Ontology]

Figure 3 depicts the concepts of a meta-language for business systems.  Please note that these are not objects as would be found in an object-oriented model.  The principles of object modeling do not apply in this case, because we are talking about concepts, not software constructs. The arrows provide guidance as to the primary direction to read relationships.  The reader should assume all relationships can be many-to-many, with complementary verbs that read the other direction.

Figure 3


A key characteristic of this model is that it is designed to produce fractal patterns of information structure. Fractal patterns are those that repeat themselves at any scale on which they are examined.  An example of a fractal pattern in nature is the branching of a tree from the trunk and major limbs all the way out to the most minuscule stems and twigs.  Note that at the most basic level, each of these concepts is recursive, as indicated by the looping relationships on each of the concept boxes.  This means that a business location is composed of business locations, a business resource is composed of business resources, and so on.

Another implication of Figure 3  is that groupings of these concepts form intrinsic patterns.  For instance the relationships among role-players, function, and behavior are mutually defining.  These mini-patterns are fractal, by virtue of the recursions on the basic concepts.  Furthermore, the whole pattern is replicated at various levels of business organization.  In the same way that twigs are different than trunks, each level of recursion potentially has a different meaning.  This is particularly important in using this scheme to partition the work of building applications.