Postdoctoral grant in the area of software development based on business processes
Supporting the evolution of digital business processes is the subject of a research project by Enciso Systems, Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Universidad de los Llanos. Through a postdoctoral grant, a team of researchers will enhance the software's capabilities to detect changes in business process models, identify necessary modifications, and help developers update source code. The goal is to bridge the gap between updates to business process models and corporate capabilities to optimize the software that supports them.
Business processes are constantly evolving. Companies identify customer expectations, user experiences, and environmental opportunities to gain insight and improve their processes. Unfortunately, there is a gap between the need to update business processes to meet market changes and corporate capabilities to improve the software that supports these processes.
Many companies use work suites called Business Process Management Systems (BPMS). With these systems, business experts and analysts use models to represent, simulate, and implement business processes. Erroneously, these experts often expect that any change in the models will produce a change in the corresponding software. However, many times these model changes do not reach the software. For example, in technologies such as JBoss JBPM, Camunda BPM, and IBM Websphere BPM; there are cases where a change to the model requires manual source code updates.
The research group of Enciso Systems, the National University of Colombia and the University of Los Llanos  works together on the BMEu-Trace project. This research project aims to improve the software's capabilities to detect changes in business process models, identify necessary modifications, and help developers update source code. In particular, the researchers use information about the coincidence between the elements of the model and their respective source code in order to determine the impact of any changes in the processes. At the current stage, the research team is working on the design (and identification) of tools that can maintain these correspondences (also known as traceability links) automatically, which implies an improvement in the maintenance times of the support software, in addition to facilitating the work of software developers.
“The evolution of business processes is key for companies interested in digital transformation. These companies usually implement a continuous cycle where the business processes, after the initial design, are always in constant change, either through improvements or via their redesign. The software that supports these processes cannot be an impediment for this cycle to take place. Our work will help companies streamline their digital transformation processes”, says Olga Vega, who leads the research.
“Our work with the universities help us to provide the most advanced technologies to our partners and clients. Collaboration projects like this help us to provide technologies that enable new business strategies.”, mentions Javier Enciso, CEO of Enciso Systems.
The most recent research proposal from Enciso Systems, Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Universidad de los Llanos received a grant from Minciencias, as part of CFP 891 of 2020 “Fortalecimiento de vocación y formación en CTeI para reactivación económica en el marco de la post-pandemia 2020” . This grant will finance the hiring of a doctor in Systems Engineering for a year.
“This grant will help us to accelerate our research. Using this fund, we can build new tools that automatically maintain the correspondences among the elements in the BPM models and the source code that implements these processes. We expect to use that information to analyze the impact of the changes, to provide hints to the developers and to automatically propagate some changes. We will use some on-the-edge technologies and theories to achieve this.” concludes Jaime Chavarriaga, one of the researchers in the project.
With this project, participating institutions ratify the benefits of the University-Company-State collaboration. In addition, the participants' commitment to disseminate and apply the investigation results in the productive sector.
 Researchers behind BMEu-Trace project are Olga Vega (Universidad de los Llanos/Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Helga Duarte (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Jaime Chavarriaga (Universidad de los Andes) and Javier Enciso (Enciso Systems/Universidad de los Llanos). Enciso Systems provides administrative and intellectual property support.
- Press Release Video
- Call for the strengthening of vocations and training in CTeI for economic reactivation in the framework of the 2020 post-pandemic
- Minciencias website
- ColSWE Research Group
Olga Lucero Vega Márquez
School of Engineering Professor
Universidad de los Llanos
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
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