Added by gunther.stuhec, last edited by Anthony B. Coates on Sep 20, 2007



Objectives (from the project proposal)


Context, as a key driver to precisely determine business meaning and intent of information definition and exchange, requires a formal structure and methodology. Although context has been identified as a key component of the UN/CEFACT standard, a formal mechanism for defining and using context has not been in place. With an increasing maturity of a number of standards (CCTS, CCMA, UMM, etc.) that all have strong needs to define and use context, now is the time to form a project to tackle this problem.

The purpose of this project is to develop a methodology and technical specification for developing, registering, and using context drivers as part and for the application of a number of UN/CEFACT standard artefacts, such as Business Data Type, Business Information Entity, Business Message, Business Area, Business Process Models etc. This project will start from the current context mechanism described in the Core Components Technical Specification (CCTS).

This project will be a joint effort between TMG, TBG, and ICG. It will be, however, led and managed by TMG with participation from TBG and ICG members, as context methodology will impact a number of standards artifacts being developed under UN/CEFACT.


The specification will provide a methodology for assigning context to business information using a number of defined context drivers by advancing the context driver mechanism of the CCTS. The specification will take into account the ongoing work within TMG (UMM collaboration models), ICG (Registry Implementation Specification) and within TBG (Common Business Process Catalogue). The methodology will also include a recommendation for the code lists that can be used to represent context drivers and a proposal of how to maintain these code lists.

The proposed steps to develop the draft specification are as follows:

  1. Review and evaluate current UN/CEFACT standards that are related to and potentially impacted by the context methodology;
  2. Develop a context framework meta-model and a context methodology for the implementation of the meta-model;
  3. For each area (category) of the context meta-model, develop a taxonomy that can be used to populate the eventual context driver value instance. Existing taxonomies it shall be used.
  4. Collaborate with TBG in developing business process related context model and examples;
  5. Collaborate with ICG in registry meta-model and implementation;
  6. Develop first complete draft for review;

Requirements List

Number Category Name Description Comment Contributor
1 General Context Concept, Representation, and Methodology It shall define Context concepts and their representation(s) as they applies to CCTS, and a methodology for managing contextual refinements (customizations, extensions, restrictions, etc.) to core components and related information modeling artifacts [~joe.zhou]
2 General Sections It shall include sections covering goals, (sample) use cases, dictionary of terms, implementation recommendations and guidelines etc. in addition to a typical standard specification document [~joe.zhou]
3 General Meta-Model It shall include a meta-model, showing the Context concepts and their representation(s), including appropriate associations, properties, enumerations, and cardinalities, to reduce ambiguity and promote common understanding of the context model. [~joe.zhou]
4 General Define Scope Of CCTS Related Standards It shall define the scope of the CCTS related standards that can be contextually refined (e.g. BIE, ACC, BP, etc.) based on assessment of use cases.
  • It shall be developed in phases, where phase one will focus on context to CCTS; phase two on context to message assembly, and phase three and beyond on context to business transactions and business process models etc.
5 General Migration Path It shall not preclude migration of existing CCTS contexts to UCM
  • It shall specify a migration path from previous methodology
6 General Support Assembly It shall support assembly of business information entities and schemas using elements from multiple contexts [~joe.zhou]
7 General Classify Contexts It shall include a mechanism to organize or classify contexts into categories (e.g. geopolitical region, industry) through taxonomy, ontology, folksonomy (tagging), or other means, to (for example) promote and facilitate reuse of components, and to enable context-driven message assembly [~joe.zhou]
8 General Context-Driven Assembly of Business Information It shall support context-driven assembly of business information entities using context, by choosing between contexts that specify refinements to included elements in each applicable category (i.e. context drivers, possibly using categories or other organization mechanism), i.e. context values from multiple categories and mixed levels of the hierarchies shall be allowed to form a composite context driver for a given assembly of a business information entities. [~joe.zhou]
9 General Design Time And Run Time It shall provide a mechanism for specifying and applying contextual refinements to supported artifacts at design time, as well as for using context to facilitate and/or simplify validation at run time [~joe.zhou]
10 General Extension And Maintenance It shall define an extension and maintenance method for the context model, to allow additional information pertaining to contexts and related artifacts to be included [~joe.zhou]
11 General Governance And Harmonization It shall allow and facilitate governance and harmonization of contexts and related artifacts
  • Control changes based on an (externally defined) authority model and process
  • Allow management of lifecycle-related compatibility problems (e.g. determination of dependencies, facilitation of model merges)
  • Registry of context models and relative to other UN/CEFACT standards
12 General Minimize Dependencies It shall structure the methodology and specifications to minimize dependencies on specific implementation technologies and other specifications
  • It shall build upon and form a cohesive approach with CCTS, CCMA, and BPWG, but should be as loosely coupled as possible, see requirements #4 for the phased approach.
  • It shall provide minimal implementation guidance in order to further understanding, not to prescribe a solution (e.g. use of namespaces, packages, and similar mechanisms, if appropriate)
  • It shall specify "what" aspects and facilities comprise the methodology, not "how" they should be implemented
13 General Context-Driven Assembly of Business Transactions It shall support context-driven assembly of business transactions to create business collaborations using context, by choosing between contexts that specify refinements to included elements in each applicable category (i.e. context drivers, possibly using categories or other organization mechanism) [~joe.zhou]