Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules is approved to become an OMG Final Adopted Specification

ATLANTA, GA, September 16, 2005. The Business Modeling & Integration Task Force and the Architecture Board of the Object Management Group today approved the Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) proposal to become a final adopted specification in response to the Business Semantics of Business Rules Request for Proposals (BSBR). The BSBR RFP was issued in June 2003. Final approval of SBVR is subject to ratification by the Domain Technical Committee (DTC) and approval of the OMG Board of Directors. Voting by the DTC extends through November 11, 2005, and approval by the Board is expected before the December Technical Meeting. A finalization task force has been organized for SBVR, tasked to convert the proposal into ISO/OMG standard format and perform final editing prior to release as an OMG formal specification. Finalization is expected to require about one year to complete.

SBVR is a metamodel specification for capturing expressions in a controlled natural language and representing them in formal logic structures. SBVR is aimed for widespread adoption to promote semantic integration of businesses and for formal specification of system requirements in natrual language. The logics supported by SBVR provide for broad expressive capabilities in writing specifications. SBVR logic includes typed first-order predicate logic with equality, restricted higher-order logic with Henkin semantics (function variables can only range over functions in the vocabulary), restricted alethic and deontic modal logic (for necessities and obligations, respectively), set theory with multi-set comprehension, and mathematics. Projections are included to support definitions and answers to queries, and questions, for formulating queries. Interpretation of a SBVR logical formulation is based on model theory. SBVR has a MOF (OMG Meta Object Facility) model, so SBVR models can be stored in MOF repositories, interchanged, and linked with other models based on MOF, including UML models. SBVR is being fully integrated into the OMG’s Model-Driven Architecture® (MDA).

Several MDA-related OMG works in progress are expected to incorporate the SBVR standard, including

  • Business Process Definition Metamodel (BPDM)

  • Organization Structure Metamodel (OSM)

  • Business Motivation Model (BMM)

  • UML Profile for Production Rule Representation (PRR)

  • UML Profile for the Department of Defense Architecture Framework/Ministry of Defense (Canada) Architecture Framework (DoDAF/MODAF).

Hendryx & Associates has been involved in the development of each of these standards. The Ontology Definition Metamodel (ODM) is an emerging OMG standard for relating various knowledge representation languages. ODM has been made compatible with SBVR, primarily by aligning the logic grounding of the ISO Common Logic specification (CL) (included in ODM) with the SBVR Logical Formulation of Semantics vocabulary. CL itself was modified specifically so it potentially can include the modal sentence requirements of SBVR. ODM provides a bridge to transform SBVR to the Ontology Web Language for Services (OWL-S), Resource Description Framework Schema (RDFS), Unified Modeling Language (UML), Topic Maps (TM), Entity Relationship Modeling (ER), Description Logics (DL), and CL. Other programs outside the OMG are adopting SBVR. The Digital Business Ecosystem (DBE), an integrated project of the European Commission Framework Programme 6, has adopted SBVR as the basis for its Business Modeling Language. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is assessing SBVR for use in the Semantic Web, with the bridge provided by ODM. SBVR will extend the capability of MDA in all these areas. Many leading software companies have announced their support for SBVR and are expected eventually to incorporate the specification into their products in some fashion. Open source implementations of SBVR are expected to emerge. SBVR is expected to further lend to standardization of tooling for modeling and model interchange, promoting semantic integration through SBVR vocabularies.

SBVR was submitted by the Business Rules Team, a consortium organized by Stan Hendryx of Hendryx & Associates in August 2003 to respond to the BSBR RFP.
Co-submitters of SBVR are:

Business Rule Solutions LLC
Business Semantics Ltd
Hendryx & Associates
Neumont University
Unisys Corporation

Supporters of SBVR are:

Automated Reasoning Corporation
Business Rules Group
Fujitsu Ltd
Hewlett-Packard Company

Model Systems
Perpetual Data Systems
Sandia National Laboratories
The Rule Markup Initiative
X-Change Technologies Group

These organizations have voted in the OMG Domain Technical Committee to adopt SBVR:

Adobe Systems Inc.
Borland Software Corporation
Business Rule Solutions, LLC
Business Semantics Ltd.
Deere & Company
DoCoMo Communication Laboratories Europe GmbH
Fair, Isaac & Co.
Fraunhofer FOKUS
Hendryx & Associates
Intelligent Solutions
International Business Machines
Lockheed Martin
MEGA International
Neumont University
Objective Interface Systems
Sparx Systems Pty Ltd
Sterling Commerce
The Open Group
Visa International

So far (10/18/2005), there have been no NO votes against SBVR in the OMG adoption process.

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