Building Enterprise Systems with ODP
An Introduction to Open Distributed Processing

A book by Peter F. Linington, Zoran Milosevic, Akira Tanaka and Antonio Vallecillo

Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, September 2011.    ISBN: 978-1-4398-6625-2.     Book Flyer (PDF)
Innovation in Software Engineering and Software Development Series

This book sets out a systematic approach to the design of large complex distributed systems, such as enterprise systems, using the concepts and mechanisms defined by the Reference Model of Open Distributed Processing (ODP). It is not limited to any single tool or design method, but concentrates on the key choices that make an architectural design robust and long-lived.


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The Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing (ODP) is an international standard created to give a solid basis for describing and building widely distributed systems and applications in a systematic way. It stresses the need to build such systems with evolution in mind, by identifying the concerns of major stakeholders and then expressing the design as a series of linked viewpoints.

Although ODP has been available as a standard for more than ten years, many practitioners are still unaware of them. This book provides a gentler pathway to the essential ideas that make up ODP and shows how they can be applied when designing and building challenging systems.

The book offers an accessible introduction to the design principles for software engineers and enterprise architects. In addition, it explains the benefits of using viewpoints to produce simpler and more flexible designs, and how the ODP ideas can be applied to modern movements towards service engineering, open enterprise and cloud computing. It provides guidelines for using UML, the Unified Modelling Language notation, for structuring and writing system specifications, and explains how they fit into the Model-Driven Engineering tool chain, using approaches such as MDA as an enabling technology.

The book also shows the power of RM-ODP standards for the design and organization of complex distributed IT systems, and aims at responding to the growing interest in using ODP for addressing new standardization approaches and interoperability frameworks such as those in e-government, e-health, the energy and transportation industries.

All concepts and ideas described in this book are illustrated by a single running example, describing the IT support needed by a medium-sized company as it grows and develops.



  • Offers a concise, focused presentation of the essentials of RM-ODP and where it fits within today�s software processes.

  • Explains all the major concepts and mechanisms of the ODP framework.

  • Explores the latest developments in the ISO ODP standards.

  • Uses the widely adopted UML notation for modeling large open distributed systems using the ODP concepts.

  • Describes interoperability frameworks applicable to both government and industry sectors.

  • Presents a case study of a realistic IT system that illustrates the possibilities and advantages of the ODP approach.

  • Includes questions and practical exercises.


Excerpts from the book

Resources and Accompanying Material

The complete UML models from the case study presented in the book (the PhoneMob system) are available in different formats

  • The models in MagicDraw 17.0 .mdzip format.  (A free UML reader is available from MagicDraw)

  • A report in PDF with all model diagrams and explanations about the models' structure and organization.

In addition, there is a set of external resources that can be useful to readers of the book, which are listed below. The are linked to the corresponding external resources. For more ODP information, tools and resources, please visit the RM-ODP web site.

About the authors

Peter F. Linington is Emeritus Professor of Computer Communication at the University Kent, in the United Kingdom. He has been involved in the standardization of the ODP Reference Model and its various supporting standards since the activity started. He has co-chaired WODPEC, the main workshop in this area, since its inception. His recent research interests cover architectural description, use of policies and model-based techniques. Further information can be found at

Zoran Milosevic is a Principal of Deontik Pty Ltd., a small consulting and software company specializing in the planning, development and deployment of enterprise systems. He was involved in the standardization of the ODP Enterprise Language, and with several OMG standards, while working for the Distributed Systems Technology Centre (DSTC), based in Brisbane. He was the founder of IEEE's Enterprise Distributed Object Computing (EDOC) conference. Further information can be found under

Akira Tanaka is a founder of view5 LLC, a small consulting company in Japan, specialized in applying viewpoints and model-based approaches to software development. He has been involved in RM-ODP standardization from its early days. While with the Hitachi Ltd. Software Division, he led the ODP committee of INTAP in Japan, participated frequently in EDOC's WODPEC. He was also active in OMG, including as a contributor to the UML Profile for EAI specification and SoaML RFP. Further information can be found at

Antonio Vallecillo is Professor of Languages and Information Systems at the University of M�laga, Spain. His research interests include open distributed processing, model-based engineering, componentware and software quality. He has been co-editor of ITU-T Rec. X.906 | ISO/IEC 19793 (UML4ODP) and of the revised versions of RM-ODP Parts 2 and 3 (ITU-T X.902-X.903 | ISO/IEC 10746-2/3). For further information, including research projects, tools and publications, please visit