Eliciting software process models with the E3 language
Software processes are complex entities that demand careful understand ing and improvement as they determine the quality of the resulting product. A necessary step toward the improvement of an organization's process is a clear description of the entities involved and of their mutual relationships. Process model elicitation aims at constructing this description under the shape of a software process model. The model is constructed by gathering, from several sources, process information which is often incomplete, inconsistent, and ambiguous. A process modeling language can be used to represent the model being elicited. However, elicitation requires process models to be understandable and well structured. These requirements are often not satisfied by available process modeling languages becuase of their bias toward process enaction rather than process description. This article presents a process modeling language and a support tool which are conceived especially for process model elicitation. The E3 language is an object-oriented modeling language with a graphical notation. In E3, associations are a means to express constraints and facilitate reuse. The E3p-draw tool supports the creation and management of E3 models and provides a view mechanism that enables inspection of models according to different perspectives.