Business rules and business processes are more and more considered as first-class objects in Information Systems. That is, they are considered as separate design entities independent from data and application programs. The Unified Modelling Language (UML) provides elementary features to support the modelling of business rules and business processes (employing triggers and statecharts), but it falls short of corresponding application-oriented consistency notions and techniques for specialisation and integration of business rules and business processes.
Research in that area investigates techniques for the integration of business rules and business processes across departments and enterprises. In particular, the project “Integration of Object Behaviour in Federated Database Systems” funded under an ARC Discovery grant (investigators: Prof Markus Stumptner and Prof Michael Schrefl) investigates the integration of object behaviour, especially object life-cycles. A major application area is the integration of business processes, which is typically required when companies merge or enter into consumer-producer relationships, a common scenario in E-Business.