25. – 30. März 2012, Dagstuhl-Seminar 12131

Open Models as a Foundation of Future Enterprise Systems


Robert B. France (Colorado State University, US)
Ulrich Frank (Universität Duisburg-Essen, DE)
Andreas Oberweis (KIT – Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, DE)
Matti Rossi (Aalto University, FI)


Stefan Strecker (FernUniversität in Hagen, DE)

Auskunft zu diesem Dagstuhl-Seminar erteilt

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Programm des Dagstuhl-Seminars [pdf]


To effectively support business operations and managerial decision-making, future enterprise systems require an elaborate conceptual foundation that promote a tight mutual alignment of information systems and the business. Enterprise models provide such a foundation. They integrate conceptual models of an information system (e.g. an object model) with models of the surrounding action system (e.g. business process models or strategy models). Thereby, they provide a versatile instrument for the conjoint development of large-scale, mission-critical enterprise systems and for analyzing and (re-) designing the corporation. However, the development of comprehensive enterprise models requires efforts, expertise, and resources beyond the capabilities of even large corporations.

However, the development of comprehensive enterprise models requires efforts, expertise, and resources beyond the capabilities of even large corporations. Therefore, the development and dissemination of reference enterprise models that can be adapted to a wide range of companies is a pivotal success factor. Enterprise models are usually specified by domain-specific modelling languages (DSML). The development and evaluation of reference enterprise models and corresponding DSML is an attractive scientific challenge. It corresponds to the development of theories: Reference models and DSML are linguistic constructions (on different levels of abstraction) that come with the claim for general validity or suitability respectively -- not just for one particular occurrence but for an entire class of organizations.

They integrate and consolidate contributions from several scientific disciplines such as Computer Science, Information Systems, and Management Science. Both, reference models and DSML provide a reification of an attractive vision: Higher quality of software systems at lower cost. It is the complexity of modern organizations and the diversity of involved perspectives that renders the development of reference enterprise models and corresponding DSML a particular research challenge. Inspired by the remarkable results of the free/open source movement, recent work on reference enterprise models has resulted in the notion of open reference enterprise models (open models for short). Research into open models does not only address the feasibility issue. Furthermore, it introduces a new model of collaboration among researchers, developers, and prospective users of reference enterprise models -- leading to the prospect of shaping future enterprise systems. Recent initiatives on joint, collaborative modeling of open licensed conceptual models, thus, provide a new, innovative model for research on reference enterprise models that served as the starting point to this Dagstuhl seminar. It links to research on collaborative modeling, modeling tool development, model management, models@run.time, enterprise systems, and model-driven engineering.

This Dagstuhl seminar was aimed at bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of academic and industry researchers from the disciplines of Wirtschaftsinformatik, Computer Science, Information Systems, and Software Engineering, specifically those working in Requirements Analysis, Conceptual Modelling, and Enterprise Modelling to foster our understanding of how to develop, evaluate, disseminate, and promote the use of open reference enterprise models. The primary emphasis of the seminar was to determine the present state-of-the-art in this multi-disciplinary research field, and to establish a research agenda for future work towards solving theoretical and practical challenges related to the development of open reference enterprise models.The following overview describes more particular questions/objectives and related achievements:

  • What are key characteristics of future ES?
  • What is a promising strategy for the development of a common modeling platform?
  • What are key features to be offered by a repository to integrate contributions from a wide range of participants?
  • What are appropriate guidelines to establishing and sustaining initiatives and corresponding processes of collaborative modeling of open models?

A joint publication by the organizers is currently in preparation to reflect the seminar's key results. It is to appear in 2013.


  • Enterprise Modeling
  • Enterprise Systems


  • Business Process Modeling
  • Conceptual Modeling
  • Domain-Specific Modeling
  • Enterprise Systems
  • Information Systems Architectures
  • Meta Modeling
  • Method Engineering
  • Models@run.time
  • Open Models
  • Organizational Modeling


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