Test Driven Modeling
In today’s prevalent dynamic business environment, the economic success of an enterprise depends on its ability to react to various changes like shifts in customer’s attitudes or the introduction of new regulations and exceptional circumstances [1, 2]. Process-Aware Information Systems (PAISs) offer a promising perspective on shaping this capability, resulting in growing interest to align information systems in a process-oriented way [3, 4]. Yet, a critical success factor in applying PAISs is the possibility of flexibly dealing with process changes . To address the need for flexible PAISs, competing paradigms enabling process changes and process flexibility have been developed, e.g., adaptive processes [5,6], case handling , declarative processes , data driven processes  and late binding and modeling  (for an overview see ).
All these approaches relax the strict separation of build-time (i.e., modeling) and run-time (i.e., execution), which is typical for plan-driven approaches as realized in traditional Workflow Management Systems. By closely interweaving modeling and execution the approaches mentioned above allow for a more agile way of planning. In particular, users are empowered to defer decisions regarding the exact control-flow to run-time, when more precise information becomes available.
Depending on the concrete approach, planning and execution are interwoven to different degrees, resulting in different levels of decision deferral. The highest degree of decision deferral is fostered by Late Composition  (e.g., as enabled through a declarative approach) which describes activities that can be performed as well as constraints prohibiting undesired behavior. A declarative approach, therefore, is particularly promising for dynamic and unpredictable processes . The support for partial workflows  allowing users to defer decisions to run-time , the absence of over-specification , and more maneuvering room for end users  can be all considered as advantages commonly attributed to declarative processes. Although the benefits of declarative approaches seem rather evident, they are not widely adopted in practice yet. Declarative processes are only rudimentarily supported and integrated process lifecycle support has not been in place yet, while methods and tools for supporting imperative processes are rather advanced (e.g., ).
Reasons for the lacking adoption of declarative approaches seem to be related to understandability and maintainability problems [14, 15]. In particular, methods and tools addressing respective issues are still missing. In order to tackle these problems, we adopt well established techniques from the domain of software engineering. More specifically, Test Driven Development  and Automated Acceptance Testing  are combined and adapted for better supporting the declarative process life-cycle.
The Test Driven Modeling approach has been implemented in the Test Driven Modeling Suite (TDMS), which is freely available. To obtain TDMS, please follow these steps:
- Download TDMS.
- Unzip the content, please be aware that TDMS contains long path names, so if you are using Windows XP, please unzip the content to the root of your drive (e.g., C:\ or D:\).
- Start TDMS using TDMS.exe
If you have further questions or experience troubles using TDMS, feel free to contact Stefan at any time.
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