Document Engineering: Analyzing and Designing Documents for Business Informatics and Web Services

Robert J. Glushko, Tim McGrath

Publisher The MIT Press
ISBN 978-0-262-07261-8
RRP £21.95
Reviewed by Mihai Caramihai
Score 9 out of 10


DocumentEng The book addresses a domain that indirectly supports the activity of every e-business process, i.e. the document analysis, design and management or, in short, document engineering.

The book is structured in four parts, aiming:

  • to make clear the importance of a proper document management for the efficiency and finally the success of a business and especially of an e-business;
  • to familiarize the reader with the XML, as one of the most appropriate support for the analysis, design and encoding of documents;
  • to exhaustively present the document engineering approach;
  • to shortly present (the fourth part consists in a couple of pages) some conclusions on the document engineering business.

Explanatory notes for each chapter and an extensive glossary are also included. A list of 'key points' at the end of each chapter allows the reader to select at first glance the most appropriate parts for one’s own use.

Part one consists of a single chapter explaining the importance that document management can have and underlining the document flow for an e-business. It also presents the significance of using proper models and consequently introduces the concept and techniques of document engineering. The XML format is justified as a proper support for activities involved in document engineering, though it is emphasized that other representations can be used for model definition.

Part two (consisting of five chapters) is mainly dedicated to models and patterns: Chapter two introduces the idea of semantic modeling and emphasizes the advantages of using XML for this goal.

Chapter three is dedicated to models and patterns and the techniques of reusing them; chapter four enlarges the model view at the business organization scale and chapter five is concerned with model dynamics. Chapter six brings in the interoperability approach with its inherent problems and motivations.

Part three is the most important, as it presents in detail (ten chapters) the overall document engineering approach. It starts from the contextual and organizational analysis of the business process, continues with the design of the business process with patterns, document and document component analysis, presents document component and models assembling techniques and finishes with implementation and management techniques – the overall workflow being described and explained in the first chapter of this part.

The book is useful for people involved in e-business, giving them not only a complete methodology of efficient document production and management, but also an overall and structured view of their activities and, as a consequence, it is worth its price.  

More information: The MIT Press