Software technologies that are implemented in kosmos/BOS
kosmos/BOS is a ready to run suite the first time is installed. Additionally contains fully programmamble features that are dedicated to the "Business Oriented Programming". So a developer in kosmos/BOS suite can be a "business oriented" person with small or none programming experience but with an adequate SQL knowledge. He/She has to use a ready made business oriented interface and database infrastructure. Some of the fields of business interest that are supported are:
Business Process Management (BPM)
By using intelligent agent's technology in the AutoScript environment we can program "Coordinator Agents" that can coordinate any business process.
By programming Scheduler Agents using AutoScript is possible to start-up coordinator agents for a whole process or to assign jobs (activities) to associates. These Scheduler Agents can examine various time or business critical conditions in order to start-up.
Finite State Machine (FSM) Agents
Sometimes it is difficult to describe a business process using a coordinator agent, because of the lack of a clear workflow. Some real world processes have tens of statuses (or assigned activities) and the next status (activity) depends on many conditions. This is a task for the kosmos/BOS that can be achieved by programming a Finite State Machine Agent.
Ready to use Business Oriented User Interface
Every kosmos/BOS client comes with a predesigned user interface that conforms to common business requirements. There is a workspace where the assigned jobs (activities) that are not finished (closed), are shown to the user. Pieces of information which comes from various business events (and may interest the associate) are also shown. Processes which have as owner (usually the process starter) the associate are shown to him/her, displaying also the other associates (process members) who have assigned jobs. Metrics with interest for the associate are also shown via a KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) menu selection.
Application Resources Designing
The application programmer (business application programmer) has the ability to create and redesign additional resources as menus, forms (standard and HTML), code scripting and reports. All those resources can contain AutoScript in order to be fully adjusted to the specific business logic. The same environment is used for the debugging of the resources.
Database Schema management
Every business application has to store data. In kosmos/BOS there are all the necessary tools to set database tables, fields, related fields and for upgrading the database. And all these without exiting the application. There is the possibility to add fields and relate them to any of the 200+ tables included in the suite. Extra tables can be added to implement all the business requirements.
Intelligent Agent Debugging running in 3-tier mode
Every Coordinator Agent has code (script) that runs either on the server machine (action code) or in the client machines (activity's code). The cycle write-test-debug-write can be executed in a single machine with debugging sessions that can be saved and reloaded. The active debugger's line can move forwards and backwards while code (script) is added! This allows for a fast and error free agent delivery.
Document Management System (DMS)
There is no business without documents. kosmos/BOS has a build in Document Management System. This permits the attachment of every kind of document to a kosmos/BOS form (forms are also considered as documents). Every document has permissions for read/write/delete actions. Forms of the system, that are considered as documents and participate in a process, take permissions automatically from the process flow and are automatically closed (write protected) when the process finishes (closes).
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)
Every job (activity) which comes to a user's (associate's) terminal has a history that can be shown. All activities which are going to be executed (closed) are shown from a central point. When the job finishes, its duration is stored along with all other relevant data. Every administrator of the system (usually the CEO or CPO) has access to the jobs of every user (associate).
Process Status Checklists
Usually the "delivered product" of a process is a filled in checklist. The process while advances to the various activities "completes" incrementally its checklist. kosmos/BOS offers all the tools in order to see not only the history of a process but also the "progress" that has been made while the process advances in time.
Change in Business
What about changes in business processes logic (flow)? This system is built for incorporating changes in-flight easily. The programmer can reprogram a Coordinator Agent's flow. Procedures which have already started will continue using the previous scenario. New ones, when started, will follow the new scenario. And all of that without any transition problems at all.
Time Scheduled Activities
Every job (activity) issued from the system can be time scheduled i.e. start date and time and also duration can be defined. Company resources (people and machines) can be assigned on the specific activity. One example is the time scheduling of the production plan, where activities are scheduled on date/times and machines. In this case an appropriate form gives the possibility to allocate the jobs on vacant time-frames of the resources.
Departmental Job Executor
All the time-scheduled jobs, at department level, are displayed in calendar-resource allocation forms in order to be executed. Thus people are moved from one machine to another, jobs start and/or are interrupted for various reasons and finally are finished. These rich featured forms allow the exact calculation on human resources and machine utilization, using minimal data input. An example is the execution of the scheduled activities of the production plan, on various production departments.
On Machine Job Executor (using Touch Screens)
For production floor applications where in-time data input is difficult, there is the possibility to use single form touch screens on every machine position. As a result we have accurate event tracing and information for all the treatment phases of a product.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or Metrics
KPIs can be easily defined for each activity, using the standard kosmos/BOS script interface. A number of KPIs, related to BPM and BAM are pre-defined within the kosmos/BOS suite. These metrics can be assigned to various roles for viewing or periodic inspection. Every kosmos/BOS client has a menu item named "KPIs" where a dashboard is presented to show all the metrics which have been assigned to the user (associate), according to his/her roles in the company.
Setting Targets for Metrics
Every KPI can be target related. The owner of the metric gets periodic information (as activity) showing the current metric related to the target set. In this way there is always early information, for taking all the preventive and corrective actions to keep your business goals on target.
As mentioned previously all the metrics are displayed on appropriate dashboards. For reporting purposes there is the possibility for the business programmer to design dashboards which get data from Expert Agents and present them to users.
Balanced Scorecards (BSC)
A Balanced Scorecard is nothing more than a "composite metric consisting of other low level weighted and targeted metrics". So it's easy to define composite metrics that show the performance for various processes, departments, or the entire company. Each Balanced Scorecard is nothing more than another metric (KPI) which can be assigned to roles for inspection as discussed earlier.
Operation in 3-tier mode over TCP/IP networks (internet)
The heart of every kosmos/BOS installation is the Application Server, which runs on a physical machine in the company, or on a virtual private server (VPS) in the internet. The Clients (users) communicate with the Application Server using the TCP protocol. Thus wherever an internet connection exists a Client (i.e. associate) can also exist.
E-mail and SMS Sender
The AutoScript environment has build-in procedures and functions for sending e-mail and sms messages. The e-mails can have HTML body.
Embedded HTTP Server
The kosmos/BOS Application Server communicates with the Clients over TCP/IP using binary data transfer. Additionally there is also an HTTP Server embedded into the Application Server. This capability permits HTML browsers to communicate with the Application Server for reporting or data posting activities. The AutoScript can be also embedded into HTML forms (much like PHP) in order to build the final HTML form.
Import-Export data from/to MS-Excel
Special complex INSERT or UPDATE SQL statements can be build for importing data from MS-Excel sheets to the database. On the other hand any data browsing form can export data to MS-Excel.
Communication with MS-Word and MS-Excel
The AutoScript contains procedures and functions in order to fill-in MS-Excel sheets or MS-Word documents with application specific data.
Activity Based Costing (ABC)
For every time-scheduled and executed activity we know precisely the total human resources and machine utilizations. By providing the relevant hourly costs plus raw material costs and all the necessary overhead costs we can calculate the total cost for this activity. kosmos/BOS provides forms where the exact hourly costs for the people or machines can be defined. By setting the overhead costs using some kind of analogy, we can derive the total cost for these activities. For activities that are not time-scheduled we can set "cost drivers" which take data from analogous "cost pools" in order to calculate the cost for these activities too.
Not every activity into a business comes from procedures (repeatable known path job flows).
Business Rules Management System (BRMS) (in beta testing)
In businesses there are situations where a logic of the type "when a condition A exists perform action B" applies. Every sentence of this type is called "business rule". Bunches of similar rules can be applied in various business fields. kosmos/BOS suite allows the user to "construct" this type of rules, using human language expressions. The business programmer can "call" this type of logic when it's necessary to take a decision for an action or set a value . An example is the determination of discount according to the defined prices policy.
Smart-Phones as Autonomous Clients
Every business role can have its own mail address. All incoming mails are collected centrally by the application server and stored as documents. Those documents can be shown to the users having the appropriate roles. A user can also send email from its terminal. All emails, incoming and sending, can be viewed by the receiving/sending business partner or contact.