Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31106
Application of a Systemic Soft Domain-Driven Design Framework

Authors: Mohammed Salahat, Steve Wade, Izhar Ul-Haq


This paper proposes a “soft systems" approach to domain-driven design of computer-based information systems. We propose a systemic framework combining techniques from Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), the Unified Modelling Language (UML), and an implementation pattern known as “Naked Objects". We have used this framework in action research projects that have involved the investigation and modelling of business processes using object-oriented domain models and the implementation of software systems based on those domain models. Within the proposed framework, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is used as a guiding methodology to explore the problem situation and to generate a ubiquitous language (soft language) which can be used as the basis for developing an object-oriented domain model. The domain model is further developed using techniques based on the UML and is implemented in software following the “Naked Objects" implementation pattern. We argue that there are advantages from combining and using techniques from different methodologies in this way. The proposed systemic framework is overviewed and justified as multimethodologyusing Mingers multimethodology ideas. This multimethodology approach is being evaluated through a series of action research projects based on real-world case studies. A Peer-Tutoring case study is presented here as a sample of the framework evaluation process

Keywords: UML, SSM, domain-driven design, soft domain-driven design, naked objects, Soft Languag e

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1511


[1] Joseph Barjis, "The importance of business process modelling in software systems design", Science of Computer Programming Journal, vol 71 ,pp 73-87, 2008.
[2] Alter, S., "The work system method: Connecting people, processes and IT for business results", Work System Press, Larkspur, CA, 2007.
[3] Sewchurran, K. & Petkov D, "A systemic Framework for Business Process Modelling Combining Soft Systems Methodology and UML", Information Resources Mnagement Journal, 20, 3, IGI Publishing, PA,USA, P. 46-62., 2007.
[4] Salahat , M., Wade, S., Lu, J., A systemic Framework for Business Process Modelling and Implementation, In the proceeding of 5th International Conference on Innovations of Information Technology (Innovations-08), UAE University, Al Ain, UAE, in IEEE xplore 978-1- 4244-3397-1/08., 2008.
[5] Mohammed Salahat, Steve Wade. A Systems Thinking Approach to Domain-Driven Design. In the proceeding of UKAIS2009 conference, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, 2009.
[6] Eric Evan , Domain-Driven Design -Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software, Addisson Wesley, 2004.
[7] Al Humaidan, F., "Evaluation and Development Models for Business Processes", PhD thesis, University of Newcastle, UK, 2006
[8] Checkland, P., and Poulter J., "Learning for Action. A short Definitive Account of Soft Systems Methodology and its use for Practitioners, Teachers and Students", John Wiley and Sons Ltd, West Sussex, England, 2006.
[9] Checkland, P., "Systems Thinking, Systems Practice", John Wiley and Sons Ltd, West Sussex, England, 1999.
[10] Checkland, P. and Holwell, S.E. , "Information, Systems and Information Systems, Making sense of the field", John Wiley and Sons Ltd, West Sussex, England, 1998.
[11] Bustard, D. W., Dobbin, T. J., and Carey, B. N., "Integrating Soft Systems and Object-Oriented Analysis", IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering, Colorado Springs, Colorado, pp. 52-59, 1996.
[12] Wade, S. and Hopkins, J., "A Framework for Incorporating Systems Thinking into Object Oriented Design" Seventh CAiSE/IFIP8.1 International Workshop on Evaluation of Modeling Methods in Systems Analysis and Design (EMMSAD-02), Toronto, Canada, May ,27- 28,2002.
[13] Al-Humaidan, F., & Rossiter, N.," Business Process Modelling with OBPM combining soft and hard approaches", in Proceeding of 1st Workshop on Computer Supported Activity Coordination (CSAC), 6th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Porto, , pp 253-260, 13-14 April,, 2004.
[14] Erikksonn, H. E., & Penker, M., "UML business process modelling at work", John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2000.
[15] John Mingers, "Combining IS Research Methods: Towards a Pluralist Methodology", Information Systems Research, 12, 3, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), pp. 240-259, 2001.
[16] D. Platt, "Process Modelling and Process Support Environment to Design Management", Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Bristol, UK, 1994.
[17] Daveport, T. h. Process innovation: Reengineering work through information technology, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass, 1993.
[18] Warboys, Brian, Kawalek, Peter, Robertson, Ian, and Greenwood, Mark, "Business Information Systems-A process approach", McGraw-Hill, UK, 1999.
[19] Svatopluk Štolfa, Ivo Vondrák, "Mapping from Business Processes to Requirements Specification", Retrieved on 7th Aug, 2008 from
[20] Pawson R. & Mathews R., "Naked Objects", John Wiley and Sons Ltd, West Sussex, England, 2002.
[21] Goodlad, S. and Hirst, B. Peer Tutoring: A Guide to Learning by Teaching,London: Kogan Page; New York: Nickols Publishing, 1989.
[22] Gardner, H. (1993) Multiple intelligences: the theory in practice. New York, NY:Basic Books.
[23] Miliszewska Iwona , Tan Grace. Befriending Computer Programming: A Proposed Approach to Teaching Introductory Programming. Issues in Information Science and Information Technology, volume 4, 277-289., 2007.
[24] Hu Xiaohui. Improving teaching in Computer Programming by adopting student-centred learning strategies, China papers, issue 6. 46-51., 2006.