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Technologies for Information Management

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Please note that the project factsheet will no longer be updated. All information relevant to the project can be found on the  CORDIS factsheet . This is updated on a regular basis.

Project

plugIT logo

plugIT - Business and IT Alignment using a Model-Based Plug-In Framework

Plug your Business into IT

Today we’re witnessing the necessity to align Business and Information Technology (IT) as well as a change in the role of IT from that of an enabler to that of an industrial sector in its own right. Based on the assumption that businesses in different sectors of the economy will require IT for different reasons and in different ways, this project aspires to develop an IT-Socket that will realize the vision of businesses 'plugging-in' to IT.

Three demonstration scenarios deal with:

  1. 'Certification' of IT infrastructure to stay compliant with regulations,
  2. 'Virtual Organisation' by evolving the current service orientation to a higher, business driven abstraction as well as,
  3. 'Governance' of IT infrastructure introducing business context into highly distributed and complex systems.

The IT-Socket follows a model-driven approach by introducing graphical modelling languages as mediators between the domain experts and semantic technologies. The research challenge is to link human interpretable graphical models - semi-formal representations - with machine interpretable semantic formalisms to enable:

  1. a tighter involvement of domain experts when expressing formal knowledge,
  2. different graphical modelling languages for different views on the IT-Socket in order to enable the domain expert to work with languages she is accustomed to work with, as well as
  3. a domain-specific notation for semantics by integrating formal concepts of semantics with the graphical notations from modelling languages.

The Next Generation Modelling Framework integrates different modelling tools. The service-oriented middleware is responsible for the technical integration of heterogeneous modelling tools; the semantic kernel is responsible for the conceptual integration of different modelling languages and the Web-modelling platform is responsible for providing a common user interface.

Project description

Today we’re witnessing the necessity to align Business and Information Technology (IT) as well as, a change in the role of IT from that of an enabler to that of an industrial sector in its own right.

The reasons are manifold and compelling: legal aspects, regulations, business requirements, economic factors etc. Technological trends such as SOA, Software as a Service and Virtualisation are influencing the way in which IT services are rendered. Model-based approaches and IT-Governance are prominent candidates to bridge evolving business contexts and IT, in order to adapt the provisioning of IT for business needs. This challenge can be met by capitalizing on semantic technologies for IT-Governance.

Based on the assumption that businesses in different sectors of the economy will require IT for different reasons and in different ways, plugIT aspires to develop an IT-Socket that will realize the vision of businesses 'plugging-in' to IT.

Three demonstration scenarios deal with:

  1. 'Certification' of IT infrastructure to stay compliant with regulations,
  2. 'Virtual Organisation' by evolving the current service orientation to a higher, business driven abstraction as well as
  3. 'Governance' of IT infrastructure introducing business context into highly distributed and complex systems.

The 'Certification Use Case' demonstrates how the alignment between the business area and the IT domain during the certification process for regulations such as SOX, EuroSOX, ITIL®, CoBIT®, ISO20000 or BASEL II can be established.

The 'Virtual Organization Use Case' demonstrates how virtual organizations can be supported using business driven requirements and semantically enriched SLAs for intelligent interpretation.

The 'Governances Use Case' demonstrates how intelligent agents are used to identify the IT infrastructure of data centres. Graphical models are regarded as mediators between system administrations and an intelligent discovery environment.

plugIT Image

Figure 1: plugIT Demonstration Use Cases

For the development of the 'IT-Socket' a model-based approach is applied as graphical models can be interpreted by the domain expert in the form of semi-formal graphical representations and hence can act as mediator between domain experts and formal semantic representations that can be interpreted by machines.
plugIT will develop concepts, tools and methods summarized within the 'Next Generation Modelling Framework' that allows experts from both business and IT domains to use modelling languages that fit their concrete needs. This development relies on research advances in
  1. a tighter involvement of domain experts when expressing formal knowledge by using graphical modelling languages as input,
  2. different graphical modelling languages for different views and different formal expressiveness on the IT-Socket to provide modelling languages the domain expert is used to work with, as well as
  3. a domain-specific notation for semantics by integrating formal concepts of semantics with the graphical notations from modelling languages.

plugIT differentiates between Conceptual Integration and Technical Integration .

Conceptual Integration for the 'Next Generation Modelling Framework' targets the integration of modelling languages currently existing on the market (e.g. business process modelling languages such as EPC, BPMN, ADONIS®, UML Activity Diagrams, BPEL). The integration within the 'Next Generation Modelling Framework' targets the integration of semantic technology into different modelling languages that are required to describe the IT-Socket to enable an alignment based on semantics.

 

 

plugIT Image 2

 

Figure 2: plugIT Model-Based Approach

 

The Technical Integration is developed as the Next Generation Modelling Framework that integrates different modelling tools. The service-oriented middleware is responsible for the technical integration of heterogeneous modelling tools, the semantic kernel is responsible for the conceptual integration of different modelling languages and the Web-modelling platform is responsible for providing a common user interface.

 

 

More details

Events in connection with plugIT:


Project coordinator

Robert Woitsch , BOC Asset Management GmbH, Austria
Email to the plugIT coordinator

Participants
BOC Asset Management GmbH, Austria ( coordinator )
Elsag Datamat S.P.A., Italy
Universitaet Wien, Austria
Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Switzerland
Consorzio Interuniversitario Cineca, Italy
Innovation Technology Group Spolka Akcyjna, Poland
Universitaet Stuttgart, Germany
Administrative details
plugIT (ICT-231430) is a Specific Targeted Research Project (STP) of the European Union's 7th Framework Programme: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) – Call 3.
The project started on 1 March 2009, and will finish on 31 August 2011 (30 months).
There are 8 participants from 6 countries involved in the project, and the EC contribution is 2.55 million Euros (total cost: €3,65m).





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