The PIF Process Interchange Format and Framework

The PIF Process Interchange Format and Framework

Jintae Lee, Gregg Yost and the PIF Working Group[1]
Version 1.0

December 22, 1994

Table of Contents
1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. History and current status
4. PIF
5. Alphabetic Class Reference
6. Extending PIF
7. Appendix A: PIF Syntax
8. Appendix B: An Example PIF File
9. References

3. History and Current Status

The PIF project began in October 1993 as an outgrowth of the Process Handbook project at MIT and the desire to share process descriptions among a few groups at MIT, Stanford, the University of Toronto, and Digital Equipment Corporation. The Process Handbook project at the MIT Center for Coordination Science aims to create an electronic handbook of process models, their relations, and their tradeoffs. This handbook is designed to help process designers analyze a given process and discover innovative alternatives. The Spark project at Digital Equipment Corporation aims to create a tool for creating, browsing, and searching libraries of business process models. The Virtual Design Team (VDT) project at Stanford University aims to model, simulate, and evaluate process and organization alternatives. The Enterprise Modeling project at the University of Toronto aims to articulate well-defined representations for processes, time, resources, products, quality, and organization. These representations support software tools for modeling various aspects of enterprises in business process reengineering and enterprise integration.

In one way or another, these groups were all concerned with process modeling and design. Furthermore, they stood to benefit from sharing process descriptions across the different representations they used. For example, the Enterprise Modeling group might model an existing enterprise, use the Process Handbook to analyze its tradeoffs and explore its alternatives, evaluate the different alternatives via VDT simulation, and then finally translate the chosen alternative back into its own representation for implementation.

Over the last year, through a number of face-to-face, email, and telephone meetings, members from each of the groups have:

4. PIF