The world has no shortage of Business Issues or ict capabilities

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Task Orientated Application “TOA” A Paradigm Shift in business software? Removes software complexity and supports the way people work and business agility David Chassels CEO Procession plc Paradigm Shift - A change from one way of thinking to another. It’s a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It just does not happen, but rather agents of change drive it. Kuhn, Thomas, S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

The world has no shortage of Business Issues or ICT Capabilities

Software Development has Issues

  • Seismic Shifts for the Software Market – Sand Hill Group April 06

  • The Demise Of The Packaged Application – Hurwitz & Associates February 06

  • The software industry is in the midst of a quiet but dramatic revolution – McKinsey & Company Software 2006 Industry Report

  • The key issue that needs addressing in software development today is the lamentably low project success rate - Butler Group April 2006

  • There is a huge consensus that the enterprise-software industry business model is broken; Erik Keller, Wapiti LLC Sand Hill April 2006

  • Human user interactions are currently not covered by WS-BPEL – IBM and SAP July 2005

  • There’s uneasiness in the software industry today ….. the industry must say goodbye to its narcissistic tendencies. Brian Sommer, Techventive, Sand Hill May 2006

  • “We're flooded with information, but that doesn't mean we have tools that let us use the information effectively.” Bill Gates said “these products would bridge the gap between information workers and the information they need to be more effective.” May 06

  • The Death of Packaged Apps - Erik Keller, Wapiti LLC Sand Hill May 2006

  • IT hasn't delivered agility, yet - BPM Forum/webMethods study ZDNet June 2006

  • Avoiding Software's Perfect Storm - Phillippe B. Vincent, Accenture July 2006

  • "IT systems must graduate from being transaction-oriented to being event-oriented. Vendors must create these event-based systems with real-time response capabilities.“ Dr. CK Prahalad Sandhill July 2006

  • "We have categories of users coming into the workforce now for whom the internet isn't something new… working through tools that were always developed on their desktops. They are expecting more and more that enterprises are going to support that approach for how they work.” John Wookey VP Oracle Application Development  October 2006

TOA Development - The Vision

  • To link people to the business fundamentals

  • Create a “new way” to build business functionality in software – the way that people work is what defines an organisation

  • Remove “technology” complexity in the build of business applications through the separation of business logic from delivery technologies

TOA The Start Point

  • Businesses

    • Are not complex
    • Are task driven
    • Require people to initiate/manage any task
    • Work naturally in a horizontal “flow” of work
    • Know what they want - Well they should - but they may need some help!
    • Want agility = future proof systems


  • An Application is a digitised expression of Processes

  • A process is a series of linked tasks

  • A task is a step in the process and specifies the action required by the user – human or machine

  • Tasks are sequenced by links during a run of the process

TOA Core Design Philosophy

  • Tasks make Process

  • All Task types can be simply expressed

  • All systems use a database

  • All Task attributes can be expressed as data

  • Needs a core data-centric design incorporating all dimensions that drive People and Tasks

    • e.g. Rules, Events, State, User Forms, Compliance and Time

Inside the Database

Process Engine Managing Links Between Data

Historic Component-based Application

TOA Overview Architecture

The ‘Tool’

Building the Application

Activate a Process to Deploy Application

What happens on Activation

  • By activating and saving a process

    • the Process Engine breaks down the designed process into its constituent elements
    • These are saved into RDBMS tables.
  • At run time

    • the engine interrogates these tables to decide
    • who does what, when and how in the application.
  • No code is compiled to enable this to happen.

TOA Map - Purchasing

Where TOA sits in complex enterprise

A TOA Delivers

  • Compliance – to ensure people work within today’s regulated environment

  • Agility - software that changes as the business changes

  • Performance Management – real time operational information to be ‘predictive’ and efficient.

  • A new “Paradigm” – In a TOA people and tasks are not function limited giving a huge range of capability


  • The “Ultimate” Custom Packaged Application through a unified “framework” to build

  • A “Bridge” between Business and IT

  • A “Very” Rapid Application Development Tool

  • A quantum step towards application development maturity through separation of business logic from delivery technologies

  • Business relies on IT Architects to make delivery of solutions possible

  • Business fundamentals and logic belong to the business person and are not technology led

  • TOA is an enabler that allows exploitation of individual relevant skills to support business benefit realisation by computerisation and automation

  • People linked to applications are assets as long as the supporting software can be adaptable and agile

The end to end TOA delivery model


  • David Chassels

  • CEO Procession Plc

  • +44 (0)1494 781 444


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