A business object is a thing that business people handle and use. Such business objects can be tangible, with a physical presence (such as cars or computers), or intangible (such as accounts or payments). Business objects are stored in IT-applications. They hold the information required or produced in the corresponding business capabilities, in the form of attributes. Banks, for example, create intangible business objects such as accounts or payment transactions. An account may hold attributes such as ‘balance’ and ‘transaction limit’ which are stored in the IT-application ‘core banking system’.
Some examples of business objects are: account, stocks, depot, bank card.
As we will see later, it is important to model relations between business objects. The business object ‘payment transaction’, for example, has a relation ‘is processed for’ to the object ‘account’.
Business objects are independent of any application or technology and represents how the business perceives its information. It is static as it shows the important entities and their relationships, but not how they evolve over time. Information has broader longevity than applications, thus, business objects are a robust skeleton that provide architectural stability even as applications and value streams change
Why is it important to manage business objects?
- Business objects represent the business vocabulary. They are a basis for the consistent naming of capabilities and value streams.
- Business Objects are the foundation for data governance, as it can be used as the structural basis for defining who is liable for which business object.
- When mapped to IT-applications, data redundancies can be discovered and reduced.
- A Business Object is a bridging artefact that defines the information the business people handle in a way that can easily be transferred into the world of IT-applications, while still retaining a purely business viewpoint. This makes them perfect for business/IT alignment.
Example for business objects and their relations: