Basic Components in the Pattern Language
A good place to start learning about the Patterns of Information Management is a pattern called INFORMATION PROVISIONING. This describes how five basic components interact to receive, process, and produce information.
Figure 1.7 comes from the information provisioning pattern description and shows the components and how they interact. All of these relationships are many-to-many.
Figure 1.7. Five basic components for processing information.
Notice that the information collection pattern introduced previously is shown as a component in the information provisioning pattern along with some additional patterns: INFORMATION USER, INFORMATION TRIGGER, INFORMATION PROCESS, and INFORMATION SERVICE.
The information user is a person working with the organization’s information. This person may be an employee or someone outside the organization such as a customer or a supplier. Each kind of information user has his or her own requirements for the kinds of information needed, where, and when. The information user is both a consumer of existing information and a contributor of new information. The information user works with user interfaces that are controlled by information processes.
The information processes perform the automated processing of the organization. There are many different kinds of information processes—but, collectively, they are the mechanisms by which information is received, transformed, and produced in some form or another.
An information trigger starts an information process. This may be the result of an information user request, a scheduler, an event being detected, or the need for more information. The information trigger passes the information process some context information that describes why it is being started. The information process augments this context information with information from the information users and other information known to the organization.
An information process accesses any additional information it needs through well-defined interfaces called information services. An information service provides a specialized view of the information that the information process needs. It is able to locate the requested information from a variety of sources and transform it into a format suitable for the requesting information process. An information service retrieves stored information from information collections.
The information collection manages a collection of related information. Typically, the contents of an information collection relate to the same subject area. However, an information collection may contain information that was collected from the same activity, such as the results of an experiment, from the same source, such as readings from a sensor, or from the same time period, such as social media extracted for a specific period of time.
The information provisioning pattern is a lead pattern of a pattern group. It recognizes that the information a person sees through a user interface is different from the way it is stored and shows the layering of components used to manage the mapping. The rest of the pattern group describes how information is provisioned when multiple systems are involved.