The 10th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs 2003

September 8th - 12th, 2003


Enterprise Software Patterns Focus Group


The calling of this focus group is to capture hard-won expertise and expand the emerging patterns literature in the area of enterprise software patterns:

  • Patterns of enterprise application architecture;
  • Patterns of enterprise application integration; and
  • Patterns of enterprise software administration.

Submissions are sought that build upon recent work in these areas to broaden, deepen, or refine our understanding of the elements involved, with particular attention given to patterns or pattern languages documenting knowledge in areas under-represented in the literature, such as:

  • Security within and across enterprise software;
  • Database administration;
  • Workflow and enterprise software;
  • Enterprise application deployment approaches; and
  • Production operations of enterprise software.


Although technology changes with time, the development, integration, and administration of enterprise software is a mainstay of the software profession. Enterprise software is distinguished by the combination of (i) large volumes of persistent data, accessed concurrently by many users, often through extensive user interfaces; and (ii) complexity in the domain modeled in the data, in the policies encoded in the software, and in process-driven integrations of the software.

The patterns movement, meanwhile, has substantially elevated the practice of software development in the decade leading up to this 10th PLoP conference. But the leverage afforded enterprise software practitioners to date, by the extant patterns literature, is only a fraction of the potential leverage of a more robust literature. Groundbreaking work in this area is raising vocabulary to a level where enterprise software practitioners are verging on the handbooks envisioned by some patterns community founders. Creating this vocabulary and literature will further realize patterns' potential, and will improve the quality of enterprise software practices.

Who Should Participate

Submissions are invited from practitioners, and those who study the practices, of enterprise software architecture, integration, and administration. Many in this population are already familiar with the extant design patterns literature and enterprise software patterns literature. Some helped create it by publishing books and articles on the topic. Others participate in various workshops and electronic forums germane to enterprise software. Still others participate in the development of application frameworks and other assets, whether open-source or commercial, centered around prominent technology platforms. An untold number live in the context of these patterns every day, in development organizations of enterprises throughout the world.

The focus group leaders encourage submissions from experts in enterprise software subject matters, such as database administration, security, production operations, and others, even if those experts have had little exposure to design patterns. At this focus group, subject matter experts and patterns community leaders will have the opportunity to learn from each other while creating enterprise software patterns literature.

Focus Group Leaders

Randy Stafford is an enterprise software practitioner of 14 years' experience, and a contributor to Martin Fowler's Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture and Floyd Marinescu's EJB Design Patterns. He has participated in enterprise application architecture workshops for the last four years, most recently the 2003 ChiliPLoP hot topic on enterprise software patterns. For GemStone Professional Services in 1999 and 2000, he created several intellectual property assets about building J2EE applications with GemStone/J, including a pattern language, an example application, and a J2EE application framework. He wrote his first pattern language about enterprise application architecture in a 1996 paper. Randy is currently Chief Architect at IQNavigator, Inc.

Bobby Woolf attended the first six PLoP conferences and chaired PLoP '99. He has authored chapters in all four Pattern Language of Program Design books, has shepherded numerous papers for PLoP conferences, and has presented patterns in tutorials at OOPSLA and other conferences. He is a co-author of The Design Patterns Smalltalk Companion and the forthcoming Enterprise Integration Patterns. He worked with Randy on the Advanced Application Architecture Team at GemStone Systems, Inc. and has considerable experience with domain modeling, developing reusable frameworks, and application integration via messaging and workflow. He works as an independent consultant.


Please submit papers for this focus group in PDF or Word format, addressed to both Randy Stafford at, and Bobby Woolf at We can also answer questions about the focus group topic, submissions, and format of sessions at those addresses.

Preference will be given to papers with clearly presented patterns in well-known problem areas, describing familiar solutions that have yet to be documented. Simple, reliable, common solutions will be preferred to clever and little-used tricks. In order to encourage new members to join the patterns community we welcome solutions, with room for improvement in their pattern form presentation, from the under-represented areas listed above. Well-written presentations of lesser-force-resolving patterns in well-represented areas are also welcome, to help extend the language in this domain.

Session Format

The primary format of this focus group's sessions will be traditional writer's workshops, in which the group works together to improve the quality of pattern presentations prepared in advance by group attendees. However an important secondary format, to add variety and produce a valuable collective work product, will be collaborative construction of a "pattern map" in this domain, to show an outline of an overall pattern language, and how various patterns relate to one another. Finally, this focus group plans an activity designed to expose the rest of the conference attendees to our domain and its patterns, in a manner that we hope will be entertaining.


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