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FIWARE.ArchitectureDescription.Apps.BusinessModeller - FIWARE Forge Wiki


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Copyright © 2013 by iMinds. All Rights reserved.

Legal Notice

Please check the following Legal Notice (implicit patents license) to understand the rights to use these specifications.


The Business Modeler GE is a part of the Applications/Services ecosystem and provides a graphical tool to business experts for creating and evaluating high-level business models. It allows them to get an estimation of the profitability of a certain model and define value and money streams quickly and transparently.

This component will integrate tightly with the Business Calculator which allows for the calculation of costs and adds simulation capabilities.

The Business Modeler GE uses a superset of XMI and UML metadata languages to describe a business model and all its additional relevant metadata:

  • Document meta-data: Model description, authors, creation date, et cetera.
  • The business elements and their relations, with descriptive values
  • Comments and annotations, providing additional detailed information to document design decisions and clarify intent.
  • The values necessary for the graphic representation and layout of the business elements

Basic Concepts

Target Usage

Market place and store owners, service providers and application developers that will be active on the Future Internet will need to be able to work out new business models to calculate revenue and cost streams in a distributed, asynchronous manner. Due to the rapid progress of technology and heavily fluctuating global economies these models need to be easily adjustable and centrally accessible to all of the relevant actors of the business models. The Business Modeler GE, in conjunction with the Business Calculator, Repository and RSS GE's, will be part of FI-WARE's contribution towards presenting internet based business networks the modalities to easily and timely adapt to an ever-changing market on a strategic level.

Target Users

Business experts interested in creating business models to document and facilitate high-level strategical decisions.


In an initial phase the different actors sit together and draw out in a lively discussion one or several variants for a business model. In this phase, building a business model will consist of determining (i) the activity(ies) played by every actor and the relationships between these activities and (ii) the related costs and revenues. Key to this is the definition of the type of flows (money, knowledge, products, etc.) that will be exchanged between those actors. The main focus in this work is aligning the view of all parties around the table to proceed to a clear delimitation of the roles and responsibilities.

All actors in the business model constructed in the first step will have to perform some tasks and invest to make the service work. In the initial business model, this work and the associated costs have not been detailed yet. In the second phase, different more technical experts can construct an estimation model for the costs of their part in the business model. This can happen in an isolated manner, in which the technical experts each work on their own model and do not have to interact directly. The result of this step is a set of cost estimation models for each of the elements in the business model.

The Business Modeler GE supports the first step in the modeling process, allowing easy and intuitive creation of high-level business models. The Business Calculator is used for creating the estimation models and calculate the simulated results.


An explicit formal specification of the various business elements represented in the Business Modeler GE is described in the following ontology:

Business model value network ontology

The Business editor ontology has the following elements :

  • Actor: an organisation (commercial or non-commercial) or type of individual (e.g. a consumer)
  • Activity: a process that is performed by an actor in the context of the business model, e.g. share revenue.
  • Customer need: the business model can address a customer need.
  • Driver: a quantity that drives the outcome of the business model, e.g. number of customers.
  • Relationship: indicates an interaction between two activities and therefore between two actors. We discern the following types:
  • Payment: a monetary relationship.
  • Results: either a service or data or a physical good that result from the payment
  • Multiplicity: allows the modeller to indicate that a relationship is not executed just once, but more than once.

Business Modeler GE Architecture

The Business Modeler GE is part of the Business Framework within the FI-WARE platform and integrates with the Business Calculator, Repository and RSS GE's

Business Modeler GE in the context of the FI-WARE platform

The Business Modeler GE is a responsive single-page web application created in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, accessible through a common web browser. All business model creation and rendering is executed client-side. It allows users to save business model documents (XML) to their hard drives and subsequently open them for further editing. They are also presented with the possibility to load, use and upload business model (templates) from and to the Repository GE.

Revenue sharing activities are an integral part of business models; users of the Business Modeler GE can download existing RSS models from the Repository GE to use them in their business models. All cost and revenue sharing calculations are performed by the Business Calculator GE (using an adapter to connect to the RSS GE) and are requested through standard asynchronous REST API calls with XML as a messaging format.

Business Modeler GE Architecture

Main Interactions

The Business Modeler GE mainly interacts with the Business Calculator and Repository GE's, through service request calls to their RESTful API's.

Business Modeler GE and Business Calculator sequence diagram

After the Business Expert finishes creating a business model and uploads it to the Repository, a Technical Expert is notified that (a) certain business element(s) require(s) more technical refinement and detailing. The Technical Expert then uses the business element calculation model editors to supply this information and provide detail on revenue or cost calculations inside the business model.

The Business Expert requests the business element calculator to calculate and simulate cost and revenue streams using the updated business model. When calculation results are avaible the business expert uses the Business Modeler GE to visualise the results.

Business model management

See above figure, the Business Modeler GE retrieves and stores business models from and to the Repository GE.

Cost calculations

See above figure, the Business Modeler GE communicates with the Business Calculator for the calculation and simulation of costs.

External calculator integration

The Business Modeler GE can connect to external calculators through the use of calculator adapters. An example of this is the RSS GE which is used to calculate revenue streams for a business model.

Business Modeler GE and RSS sequence diagram

The Business Expert is presented with a list of RSS models registered to the Repository, which she can use in her business model. If the RSS model needs input parameter refinement it is sent to a Technical Expert whom, using the RSS model editor (part of the RSS GE), details the RSS model and its parameters. To simulate the revenue sharing an adapter (part of the Business Calculator) connects to the RSS GE's RESTful API and feeds it with the necessary data to obtain a calculation. These results are translated to a business model compatible format and are visualised in the Business Modeler GE.

Basic Design Principles

The Business Modeler GE provides a webbased GUI with a focus on ease-of-use, possible extendability and future portability, using the latest technologies and paradigms to ensure a maximum reusability potential.

Special attention is being given to the encapsulation of 3 domains:

  1. user interaction mechanisms
  2. concrete model construction
  3. model visualisation

For the FI-WARE reference application a concrete implementation of these 3 domains is focused on a web-based asynchronous client-side single-page application to be viewed in a web browser and with typical desktop input devices. This separated approach however facilitates easy porting of the application to other contexts. E.g. a native mobile application, a server-side static multi-page application or a desktop application.

Detailed Open Specifications


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