Object Management Group (OMG) – Jason Chuang

March 26, 2011

Object Management Group (OMG) is an international, open membership and not for profit computer industry consortium (1). This group develops a set of standards and relationships where any type of organizations can join this group and have a way to be able to have a set of specifications yet it does not provide the information for implementation. The OMG standards are used for any type of industries such as manufacturing, transportation, space, health care and information technology. Another way I see the OMG is similar to the Project Management Office (PMO), where they are a centralized organization that set up the standards and rules within the group. However what’s different between the two is that once the PMO makes their decisions within the group, they implement the project while OMG does not, only set standards.

The Object Management Group was originally founded in 1989 by eleven companies (including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Apple Computer, American Airlines and Data General) and the international headquarters is located in Needham, Massachusetts; OMG’s initial focus was to create a heterogeneous distributed object standard (2). Today, over 800 companies from both the computer industry and software-using companies from other industries are members of OMG. (2) The OMG has gone through many changes since it was founded and always changing to use as a better source of business process. In June of 2005, the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI.org) and the Object Management Group™ (OMG™) announced the merger of their Business Process Management (BPM) activities to provide thought leadership and industry standards for this vital and growing industry. The combined group has named itself the Business Modeling & Integration (BMI) Domain Task Force (DTF) (4). In 2007 the Business Motivation Model (BMM) was adopted as a standard by the OMG. The BMM is a metamodel that provides a vocabulary for corporate governance and strategic planning and is particularly relevant to business undertaking governance, regulatory compliance, business transformation and strategic activities (2). Before anything can be accepted as a standard, there has to be a majority of companies to agree to a new standard otherwise the standard will not be accepted by anyone. A good example of a standard specification that is accepted by the OMG is the Unified Modeling Language (UML). UML is OMG’s most used-modeling specification. UML allows users to model the business process, application structure, application behavior, data structure, and architecture (3).

Model Driven Architecture

OMG evolved towards modeling standards by creating the standard for Unified Modeling Language (UML) followed by related standards for

* Meta-Object Facility (MOF),

* XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) and

* MOF Query/Views/Transformation (QVT).

These together provide the foundation for Model Driven Architecture (MDA), and related set of standards, building upon the success of UML and MOF.

Systems Modeling Language (SysML), a modeling language based on UML for use in Systems Engineering, has been standardized in collaboration with INCOSE.

Significant progress has also been made in bringing the world of UML modeling and the Semantic Web together through the adoption of the Ontology Definition Metamodel which relates UML models in a standard way with RDF and Web Ontology Language (OWL) models.

Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) is a landmark for the OMG, the first OMG specification to incorporate the formal use of natural language in modeling and the first to provide explicitly a model of formal logic. Based on a fusion of linguistics, logic, and computer science, and two years in preparation, SBVR provides a way to capture specifications in natural language and represent them in formal logic so they can be machine-processed. SBVR is an integral part of MDA (2).

OMG also provides a number of professional certifications as well. They are OCRES – OMG Certified Real-time and Embedded Systems Specialist, OCUP – OMG Certified UML Professional, OCEB – OMG Certified Expert in Business Process Management (BPM) and OCSMP – OMG Certified Systems Modeling Professional (2). One of the examples is the OMG Certified Systems Modeling Professional sponsored by IBM, Lockheed Martin, No Magic, Inc. and Sparx Systems out of Australia. The program awards the OMG Certified Systems Modeling Professional certification at four levels. The first level, OCSMP Model User, covers a wide range of essential MBSE and SysML knowledge and skills and so enhances the résumé of those who contribute to a model-based systems engineering project. Building on this foundation, since all lower levels will be prerequisites for the levels above, are three levels targeted at model builders and advanced model users.

These levels, termed OCSMP Model Builder – Fundamental, Intermediate, and Advanced, cover advanced topics with an emphasis on the interconnectedness among the different model viewpoints that gives MBSE its advantage over conventional engineering methods. (5).

References

1. http://www.omg.org/gettingstarted/gettingstartedindex.htm

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_Management_Group

3. Minoli, Daniel. Enterprise Architecture A to Z: Frameworks, Business Processing, SOA, and Infrastructure Technology. Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. 2008

4. http://www.bpmi.org/

5. http://www.omg.org/ocsmp/

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