SBVR: Modeling’s New Powertool


It called The Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) and if you’re a system modeler those words will never leave you the same.

“SBVR specification defines a metamodel and allows to instance it, in order to create different vocabularies and to define the related business rules; it is also possible to complete these models with data suitable to describe a specific organization. the SBVR approach provides means (i.e. mapping rules) to translate natural language artifacts into MOF-compliant artifacts; this allows to exploit all the advantages related to MOF (repository facilities, interchangeability, tools, …).

Several MDA-related OMG works in progress are expected to incorporate SBVR, 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).
  • Knowledge Discovery Metamodel (KDM)
  • Wider interest in SBVR– Semantic Web, OASIS

The Ontology Definition Metamodel (ODM) has been made compatible with SBVR, primarily by aligning the logic grounding of the ISO Common Logic specification (CL) referenced by 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 link SBVR to the Web Ontology Language for Services (OWL-S), Resource Description Framework Schema (RDFS), Unified Modeling Language (UML), Topic Map (TM), Entity Relationship Modeling (ER), Description Logic (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, through the bridge provided by ODM. SBVR will extend the capability of MDA in all these areas.”

Here is the PDF of the SVBR Specification

Systema: Whyever? Part 1


Over the past few weeks I have been reflecting on the concept of a Business Motivation Model and have thought about it in the context of physics as “cause”. The Business Rules Group attempted to create a Business Motivation Model, but I came to the conclusion they have failed. When they should have been attempting to create a notational system, they instead came up with a generalized business model.

The purpose of the “Why” focus in the Zachman Framework and correspondingly the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework, is to gauge the order of the system. The Green Hat row and Green Coat Column describe how legalistic the system is–how many causes a system contains.

The best way to think about the causality of a system is not business rules, but game theory. In particular, causality as a three dimensional network relating strategies. A good Business Motivation Model notation would allow the modeler to represent the strategies of all parties, how they interact and the expected outcomes. The Extensive Form Game notation is a good start but I think with some work I could come up with something better.

Part 2 here.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

The Need for a New Language

I have been searching the web looking for modeling standards for each of the Zachman focuses in an effort to explore the feasibility of creating the Structured Thinking Language.


I am finding that my abstract (above) holds more promise to create an integrated modeling language than anything currently out there. The reason for this is the modeling languages I have encountered, all of them, have to at one point or another incorporate more than one focus to be of any value. In other words, the modeling languages are multi-focus views.

The Business Motivation Model by the Business Rules Group is not the solution I foresee as meeting the needs of Business Motivation Modelers. I agree with The Business Rules Manifesto, but I feel the Model is more a generic structure than a suitable modeling language or notation. What it does offer is a common vocabulary for business rule structures. However, rules are the atoms of motivation and the Business Motivation Model does not address that atomicity in a way I see as satisfactory.

We have to create a single language that addresses all six focuses at once. There is not a current language up to the task.