>Denno: I still like the first definition, "misplaced emphasis." But, if
>you find none
>of my definitions of semantic harmonization above satisfying, I wouldn't
>I'll take this parting shot: maybe while we *think* we are "harmonizing
>semantics" of our business communications, what we are actually doing is
>harmonizing the business processes themselves; that is, eliminating
>unnecessary differences in the way we do business so as to share common
>practices. When we do that, we are relieved of the need to communicate
>peculiar circumstances of practice. (01)
I cringe when I hear comments like this about "unnecessary differences."
Not because I believe the authors of such comments are oversimplifying, but
rather because I believe that some readers of these comments make many false
inferences from the statements. Inferences like:
1) If there are many arbitrary differences then it should be easy/cheap/fast
to harmonize the processes and data models that contain them.
2) The differences must be just in the terms that are used. All we have to
do is harmonize the terms and we should get partial integration. (02)
In my experience, all of the assumptions in these statements are false.
Business systems have the business processes and business objects built into
them (and vice versa). Even if there were merely arbitrary superficial
differences, it would take considerable work to change the code. Most
differences are not, in fact arbitrary. Even those that are have had such
strong influences on the rest of the models of which they are a part that
models that have diverged at these arbitrary decision points become profoundly
incompatible. Few conceptual models have truly identical concepts with
different signifiers (terms).
</soap box> (03)
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (04)