Apply Sequence
Diagrams to
Application and
Process Integration

  • by Daniel Wood, Lecturer, Arizona State University
  • December 15, 2008
Learn the difference between activity diagrams and sequence diagrams. See how you can make your own sequence diagram to help with systems integration.
Key Concept

A sequence diagram is in the class of interaction diagrams and is used to illustrate how processes, individuals, or job roles and systems/modules operate together and communicate with one another dynamically (i.e., both linearly and non-linearly) and the order of those interactions.

System analysts and integrators who build integration models for complex enterprise application frameworks can use any number of middleware products to support their craft. SAP Exchange Infrastructure (now called SAP NetWeaver Process Integration [SAP NetWeaver PI]) is a natural pick for any SAP shop, but it's not unusual to see Tibco, IBM WebSphere, or other products in use. This is because many believe that when it comes to the hard work of designing integration models that work in an enterprise application environment, the precise middleware toolset is not as important as proper business modeling. In other words, regardless of tools and your technical expertise with the toolset, if you don't get the model straight, you face pitfalls.

Enterprise application system analysts have become very good at applying modeling techniques as part of the design process for enterprise business processes for SCM, finance, HR, and so on. One of the most common diagrammatic tools is the activity diagram. Activity diagrams provide an accessible, visual means of systematizing the design and implementation process and are very popular. Yet, despite all their advantages, there can be times when they cannot show all the complexities that exist in projects you need to see.

Daniel Wood

Daniel Wood is a lecturer at Arizona State University in the W.P. Carey School of Business and a former industry SAP SCM business system analyst. He is author of SAP SCM: Applications and Modeling for Supply Chain Management (Wiley)

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