Software Stability:

Recovering General Patterns of Business

With re-engineering of software systems becoming quite pronounced amongst organisations, a software stability approach is required to balance the seemingly contradictory goals of stability over the software lifecycle with the need for adaptability, extensibility and interoperability. This paper addresses the issue of how software stability can be achieved over time by outlining an approach to evolving General Business Patterns (GBPs) from the empirical data contained within legacy systems. GBPs are patterns of business objects that are (directionally) stable across contexts of use. The approach is rooted in developing patterns by extracting the business knowledge embedded in existing software systems. The process of developing this business knowledge is done via the careful use of ontology, which provides a way to reap the benefits of clear semantic expression. A worked example is presented to show how stability is achieved via a process of ‘interpretation’ and ‘sophistication’. The outcome of the process demonstrates how the balance that stability seeks can be achieved.


AMCIS 2004, Tenth Americas Conference on Information Systems, August 2004, New York, USA


Aseem Daga (Brunel University)
Chris Partridge (BORO Solutions, Brunel University)
Mark Lycett (Brunel University)
Sergio de Cesare (Brunel University)