Semantic Object Model (SOM)

Keywords: Enterprise Information Systems

Affiliation: University of Vienna

Area of Application

The backbone of the SOM methodology is an enterprise architecture using different perspectives on a business system via a set of models. These models are grouped into three model layers referring to a business plan, business process models and resource models. Each layer describes the business system as a whole, but with respect to a specific perspective on the model. In order to reduce complexity, each model layer is subdivided into several views, each focusing on specific aspects of a model layer.


SOM is a comprehensive methodology for modelling business systems. The acronym means Semantic Object Model, expressing that the SOM methodology is both fully object-oriented and designed to capture business semantics explicitly. The SOM methodology is based on concepts of systems theory. SOM supports the core phases of business engineering, such as analysis, design, and redesign of a business system. A business system is an open, goal-oriented, socio-technical system. Thus the analysis of a business system focuses on the interaction with its environment, goal pursuing business processes and resources. Moreover, the dynamic behavior of a business system requires analysis of properties such as stability, flexibility, and complexity.