niPRO - Personalized and Intelligent Process Portals

Project Description

Providing both flexible and effective IT support for business processes has become crucial for enterprises to stay competitive in their market. Business processes must be defined, implemented, deployed, enacted, monitored, and continuously adapted to changing situations.  Consequently, process life cycle support and continuous process improvement become critical success factors in enterprise computing. A broad spectrum of enterprise information systems (e.g., SCM systems, PDM systems, and ERP systems) has to be aligned to various  businessprocesses ranging from administrative services to knowledge-intensive engineering processes. In response to this need numerous process support paradigms (e.g., workflow management, service flow management, case handling), process specification standards (e.g., WS-BPEL, BPML, BPMN), process tools (e.g., ARIS Toolset, Tibco Staffware, FLOWer), and supporting methods have emerged in recent years. Being summarized under the term "Business Process Management" (BPM), these paradigms, standards, tools, and methods have become a success-critical instrument for improving process performance.

Research in the area of BPM has traditionally focused on the development and extension of associated tools, methods, standards and technologies. However, when dealing with (cross-organizational) BPM initiatives, the role of knowledge workers and information logistics in process-driven environments has been neglected so far. This is surprising as today's knowledge workers can only provide ineffective and inefficient support without having access to explicit knowledge about business processes.

The niPRO project (funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under Support Code 17102X10) picks up this issue. Its goal is to use innovative semantic technology to integrate relevant process information in intelligent, user-adequate process information portals (also denoted as process cockpits). Our niPRO process cockpit shall supply knowledge workers with both structured and unstructured process information in the right place in due course. Thereby, structured process information is typically provided by enterprise information systems by means of logged execution data. Examples of unstructured process information include textual process descriptions, procedural requirements, forms, guidelines, and checklists.

In order to achieve the aforementioned project goal, the following sub-goals have to be addressed:

  • Context-aware retrieval and provision of relevant process information
  • Group-oriented, role-driven access on process information (i.e., personalization)
  • Semantic integration of structured, semi-structured and unstructured process information
  • Semantic analysis and preparation of process information
  • Innovative visualization of process information in intelligent and user-adequate process cockpits

The project's main application domain are the support of complex electric / electronic development processes in the automotive industry. Additional application scenarios from the e-health domain are considered as well.

Project Details

Project Team

  Prof. Dr. Bela Mutschler
University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten
  Prof. Dr. Manfred Reichert
Ulm University, Institute of Databases and Information Systems
  Markus Hipp
Daimler AG, Corporate Research
  Bernd Michelberger
University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten

Project Partners

University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten

University of Ulm, Institute of Databases and Information Systems

Daimler AG Corporate Research (Department GR/PSP)

iQser Technologies GmbH


Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung  (Project No. 17102X10)


The niPRO project has been running since 2010.


Bachelor & Master Theses

Fidan, Rifki (2011), "Ausarbeitung und Beschreibung eines Beispielszenarios für die rollenbasierte Darstellung von Prozessinformationen entlang eines konkreten Elektrik-/Elektronik Entwicklungsprozesses", Bachelor thesis, University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten

Schöndorf, Jennifer (2011), "Analyse, Vergleich und Bewertung aktueller Webtechnologien zur User Interface Gestaltung", Bachelor thesis, University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten