The Purity of Separation of Concerns: The Service Oriented Business Process -a Design Approach for Business Agility

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Child mortality because of infectious preventable diseases is a global tragedy. Millions of children die in vain every year. This thesis presents a sincere effort to decrease child mortality on given reason. The servitized Business Information System (BIS) named VacSam provides unique vaccination recommendations to any child thus service orienting a part of the Swedish vaccination activity. Designing a Service Oriented Business Process (SOBP) automated through servitized BIS took an approach devising architecture, which did not yet exist. Thus, this thesis departs from viewing Business Information Systems (BIS) as services.
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) seen as realizing technology e.g., Web services, impedes viewing SOA as a conceptual architecture. The excess of different understandings of SOA obstruct the purpose of SOA: to service orient a business. This thesis deals with two problems: 1) SOA does not manage the separation of the concerns, process and decision logic, which impedes BIS flexibility for business agility and, 2) there is no approach supporting SOA for realizing business service orientation through designing for SOBP. These problems indicate a lack of design decisions in how to realize SOA. The purpose of this thesis is to provide an approach supporting design of a business rules governed SOBP, supporting SOA through combining Business Rules Approach (BRA) and Business Process Modelling (BPM). Designing the approach supporting SOA as a conceptual architecture managing Separation of Concerns (SoC) leads to question: how should a business process be designed as service-oriented through SOA interplay with BRA and BPM for business agility?
The SOA manifesto and basic principles provide explanatory properties expressing “what” to do, but not “how” to carry out SOA and became the theoretical point of departure. Following this, I present the Design Proposition (DP) as the theoretical result and as the empirical departure. The design proposition was 1) used, 2) tested and 3) evaluated, in the design studio, also, named VacSam. Data were collected through 1), 2) and 3), through workshops, interviews and observations, thus revealing the artefact’s utility. The expert evaluation further developed the DP into the approach useful for designing SOBP. The intrinsically related fields, SOA, BRA and BPM, established the theoretical foundation and research topics informing the design of the approach. Undoubtedly, the research was conducted through design.
This design study presents the construction of the approach from where aspects were gathered and explored to achieve the functional goal of making things better. The approach is the artefact, which is the research contribution, thereby revealing that Design Science Research (DSR) influenced, and was applied in this thesis. The empirical findings shaped the approach supporting SoC expressing the conceptual architecture i.e., the SOBP, thereby bridging the gaps between SOA, BRA and BPM. Separating business logic, into 1) process and, 2) decision logic, became a criterion for bridging the gaps but simultaneously maintaining logical boundaries between the responsibilities of SOA, BRA and BPM. The result of maintaining the logical boundaries, supporting the purity of SoC, was found as the effect of business logic separation leading to design two separate species of digital services composed to provide business service orientation. Using the approach, made confined business logic available through SOBP automated through digital services composing the servitized BIS reflecting and automating operational business. In VacSam, this research contribution was used for increasing the chances for better child prosperity and health safety.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Informatics
  • Steen, Odd, Supervisor
  • Carlsson, Sven, Supervisor
Award date2014 Jan 10
Print ISBNs978-91-977186-7-7, 978-91-977186-6-0
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2014-01-10
Time: 13:00
Place: Holger Crafoords Ekonomicentrum, building 2, room 101, (EC2:101), Ole Römers väg 6, Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Perjons, Erik
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Information Systems, Social aspects


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