Here in the land of the Red River, we purpose to identify and/or defined business architectures, ontologies and environments that promote trusted business solutions.
Whether conducting business via electronic media or via good ole traditional ways, such as dinner at a fanciful restaurant, business is very much a human activity. It is heavily influenced by human philosophy and psychology. Familiarity with the activity being conducted is as crucial to business as the conducting of business itself. If a business person is unable to associate a business activity with their defined business goals or objectives, they will resist all pressures to conduct such activity. It really makes little sense for them to be involved in something that they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. Familiarity means that they involved in or conducting an activity that they understand, that there are predictable results or outcomes and when they perform the activity, what they thought they did is in fact what they did. When business is conducted, it is conducted according to generally accepted business principles and practices. Many of these principles reflect human behavior traits such as commitment, accountability, authority, responsibility and fulfillment. These philosophical ideologies are as important to a small sweater seamstress in Peru they are to the CEO of a fortune 500 company.
Along with familiarity, a complimentary and key aspect of business is trust. While a business person is conducting business, they must be assured that what they meant to do, is what they did and they it was done accurately. It is also very important that their privacy be respect, both in the activity they conduct and the information they share. If a business solution is both familiar and trusted, then a business person will embrace the solution as viable and useful.
Familiarity and trust are the key architectural principles behind the Red River Architecture. The Red River Architecture is a multi-faceted, layered perspective of the problem domain of business process automation. The key issue regarding both familiarity and trust is how to take the business process or activity, the business information and all of the terms and conditions as defined by a business person and translate these into a computational form without altering any of the meaning or intent of the original definition and at the same time not requiring any change in behavior or conduct of the business person. There are three integrated concepts that the Red River Architecture uses to facilitate these goals. These are the multi-facet views, reification between the views and use of standard industry ontologies and reference models.
The multi-faceted views provide for architecture that enables the separation of concerns within the problem/solution domain. Reification is a legal or biology concept that means that any information or process that is transformed into new information or process, it is in effect identical to the original, though it may have structural changes, it has the same meaning. A problem or solution viewed from one perspective may look different if viewed from a different perspective, but in fact they are the same. The third critical ingredient is to ensure that the terminology and grammar at each perspective is precise and unambiguous.