Building Enterprise Systems with ODP: An Introduction to Open Distributed Processing, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Building Enterprise Systems with ODP

An Introduction to Open Distributed Processing, 1st Edition

By Peter F. Linington, Zoran Milosevic, Akira Tanaka, Antonio Vallecillo

Chapman and Hall/CRC

284 pages | 81 B/W Illus.

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The Reference Model of Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP) is an international standard that provides a solid basis for describing and building widely distributed systems and applications in a systematic way. It stresses the need to build these systems with evolution in mind by identifying the concerns of major stakeholders and then expressing the design as a series of linked viewpoints.

Although RM-ODP has been a standard for more than ten years, many practitioners are still unaware of it. Building Enterprise Systems with ODP: An Introduction to Open Distributed Processing offers a gentle pathway to the essential ideas that constitute ODP and shows how these ideas can be applied when designing and building challenging systems. It provides an accessible introduction to the design principles for software engineers and enterprise architects. The book also explains the benefits of using viewpoints to produce simpler and more flexible designs and how ODP can be applied to service engineering, open enterprise, and cloud computing.

The authors include guidelines for using the Unified Modeling Language™ (UML) notation and for structuring and writing system specifications. They elucidate how this fits into the model-driven engineering tool chain via approaches, such as Model-Driven Architecture® (MDA). They also demonstrate the power of RM-ODP for the design and organization of complex distributed IT systems in e-government, e-health, and energy and transportation industries.

All concepts and ideas in the book are illustrated through a single running example that describes the IT support needed by a medium-sized company as it grows and develops. Complete UML models and more are available at

Table of Contents


What Is ODP About?

The ODP reference model


Fundamental concepts

Useful building blocks

Service orientation

Human computer interaction

The right tools for the job


Enterprise Viewpoint

Designing with communities

Identifying roles

Organizational structure

Roles and role filling

More than one community

Community behavior

Accountability and related concepts

Quality of service and other constraints

Identifying the system’s user interfaces

Writing enterprise specifications

Information Viewpoint

The primacy of information

The elements of the information language

Writing information specifications

Structure of the information specification

Relationship with other viewpoints

Computational Viewpoint

Designing with computational objects

Computational objects


Interaction between computational objects

Environmental contracts and transparencies

Writing computational specifications

Relationship with other viewpoints

Engineering Viewpoint

What is the engineering viewpoint for?

Objects and distribution

Node architecture

Channel architecture

Common functions and processes

Writing engineering viewpoint specifications

Incorporating current technologies

Relationship with other viewpoints

Technology Viewpoint

Linking to the real world

The elements of the technology language

Relationship with other viewpoints

Correspondences—Joining It All Up

The need for correspondences

Different kinds of correspondence

Correspondences required by the ODP architecture

Anatomy of a correspondence specification

Taking a formal view

Examples of correspondences

Tool support for specifying correspondences


Conformance—Does It Do the Right Thing?

Compliance and conformance

A conformance community

Types of reference point

Conformance to viewpoint specifications

Claiming compliance or conformance

Transparencies—Hiding Common Problems

What is a transparency?

Types of transparency

Transparencies and viewpoints

Policies—Tracking Changing Requirements

Why do we need policies?

What is a policy?

Implementing policy

Federation—Talking to Strangers

How does interoperation work?

Interpreting and sharing information

The basis of interoperation

Engineering the federation

Federating type systems

Federating identity

Legacy systems

Interoperability or integration?

Using Existing Products

What does this product do for me?

Supplier and user views

Competing sets of viewpoints

System Evolution—Moving the Goalposts

Coping with change

The importance of tool support

Making changes to viewpoints

Avoiding synchronized transitions

Evolution of the enterprise

Version control


Modelling Styles

The importance of formal models

What is a system?

Modelling open or closed worlds?

Capturing requirements

Expressing obligations

Expressing semantics

Sharp Tools

What should a tool do?

Model editors and analysis tools

Model-driven approaches

Model transformations

Languages for transformations

Viewpoints and transformations

More integration

A Broader View

Where to look next

Integration of other standards

Uses of ODP


Comparing enterprise architectures


Appendix A: The PhoneMob Specifications

Appendix B: Selected Exercises



About the Authors

Peter F. Linington is Emeritus Professor of Computer Communication at the University of Kent. He has been involved in the standardization of the ODP Reference Model and its various supporting standards since the activity started. He has also co-chaired WODPEC, the main workshop in this area, since its inception.

Zoran Milosevic is a principal of Deontik Pty Ltd., a consulting and software company specializing in business processes, business policies, complex event processing, and enterprise architectures. He was the founder of IEEE’s EDOC conference and was involved in the standardization of the ODP Enterprise Language.

Akira Tanaka is a founder of view5 LLC, a consulting company that applies viewpoints and model-based approaches to software development. He has been involved in RM-ODP standardization from its early days.

Antonio Vallecillo is a Professor of Languages and Information Systems at the University of Málaga. His research interests include open distributed processing, model-based engineering, componentware, and software quality. He was co-editor of ITU-T Rec. X.906 | ISO/IEC 19793 (UML4ODP) and the revised versions of RM-ODP Parts 2 and 3 (ITU-T X.902-X.903 | ISO/IEC 10746-2/3).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Systems Architecture / General
COMPUTERS / Programming / Games
COMPUTERS / Networking / General
COMPUTERS / Software Development & Engineering / General