Transclusions and Data Types and Trans-Computations – Towards Enterprise Content Management as a Leading Enterprise Computing Paradigm

Generation Y takes over control!  The world of work changes and we will see ever more agile and flexible work methods and work organization in the future. Enterprises rethink their business relationships, marketing opportunities and the job market on an ever more global scale. It is fitting that we currently experience a focus shift from business process management to knowledge management practices, a focus shift from analytical thinking to design thinking. The design of new work models needs steering and enterprises with robust management structures will be more likely to succeed here. Excellent IT support at all levels will be a crucial success factor in these transformations. But we need to rethink IT applications fundamentally. We see that process automation loses its dominant role in favor of other, more lightweight kinds of information systems. Enterprise content management, social software, Wikis, Web 2.0! Each of them stands for a special mix of features sometimes driven by a certain world view – oh, what a thicket!. We approach things from scratch. We want to forget all biases and simply understand which IT application features are needed for what in an enterprise. How does the design of an ECM platform look like that is amenable to make enterprise content management a pervasive enterprise computing paradigm? We also need to look at seminal work in the early days of CSCW to approach this question. We discuss a balanced combination of  (i) access right control, (ii) versioning, (iii) collaborative data manipulation, (iv) transclusions and (v) data types. We outline a graph-based formalization of the platform design. The aspects (i) through (iii) are standard in current tools and current considerations, however, transclusions and data types are not. Transclusions are not merely a gimmick. They can add substantial value to information systems and their potential has not yet been really appreciated in the information system community. What is new in the design of an ECM platform is the systematic incorporation of data types. We integrate data types as first class citizens into our design and this way transclusions become trans-computations. We show how the so-designed platform can add crucial value by considering concrete use cases from practice. For example, we look at the well-know ERP/spreadsheet gap  still encountered in budgeting control and management accounting in the vast majority of today’s enterprises and how the envisioned platform can help to mitigate this gap.

Dirk Draheim heads the data center of the University of Innsbruck and is Adjunct Reader at the Faculty of Information Systems of the University of Mannheim.


Dirk holds a Diploma in computer science from Technische Universtität Berlin, a PhD from Freie Universität Berlin and a Habilitation from the University of Mannheim. From to 1990 to 2006 he worked as an IT project manager, IT consultant and IT author in Berlin. In summer 2006, he was Lecturer at the University of Auckland and from 2006-2008 he was area manager for database systems at the Software Competence Center Hagenberg as well as Adjunct Lecturer in information systems at the Johannes-Kepler-University Linz. Dirk is co-author of the Springer book “Form-Oriented Analysis” and author of the Springer book “Business Process Technology”. Dirk is member of the ACM.

Further Reading

Dirk Draheim. Smart Business Process Management. In (Layna Fischer, Editor): Social Software – 2011 BPM and Workflow Handbook, Digital Edition. Future Strategies, Workflow Management Coalition, February 2012.

Dirk Draheim. Towards Total Budgeting and the Interactive Budget Warehouse. In: Innovation and Future of Enterprise Information Systems. Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation, no. 4, Springer, 2013.

Dirk Draheim, Michael Felderer, Viktor Pekar. Weaving Social Software Features Into Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. In: Proceedings of ERP Future 2013, Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing. Springer, 2014.

Dirk Draheim, Rauno Pirinen. Towards Exploiting Social Software for Business Continuity Management. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Database and Expert Systems Applications (DEXA) 2011, IEEE Press, September 2011.


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