Tutorial C          DAIS - FMOODS 2003  event    -    18 November 2003

Semantic Web enabled Web Services

by     

Rubén Lara Hernández and Christoph Bussler

“Web Services” is one of the “hot” areas in web technology supporting the remote invocation of business functionality over the Internet through message exchange. Research activities as well as industrial developments focus on implementing the mechanisms required for remote invocation of (application) logic using standards like SOAP, UDDI and WSDL over the Internet. Marketers are pushing Web Services as THE future way of B2B integration and integration in general. Concurrently, the idea and vision of the “Semantic Web” catches on and researchers as well as companies start realizing the benefits of this great vision. Basic concepts applied are ontologies that allow machine supported data interpretation reducing the human involvement in data integration. While both efforts are very powerful in themselves, their combination, termed “Semantic Web enabled Web Services (SWWS)” opens tremendous possibilities. Web Services will transform the web from a static collection of information into a distributed device of computation. Semantic Web technology makes the World Wide Web machine-interpretable. Semantic Web enabled Web Services will allow the automatic discovery, selection, composition, execution and interoperation of inter-organization business logic making areas like dynamic supply chain composition a reality. The proposed tutorial is centered on Semantic Web enabled Web Services, presenting the motivations, current state and challenges, as well as his applications to distributed systems and integration.

Key learning objectives for participants

The “Semantic Web enabled Web Services” tutorial enables the attendees to understand and characterize the field of Web Services and Semantic Web in general and the combination thereof specifically. The current state is discussed, as well as future capabilities, challenges, and applications to distributed systems and integration. Concepts and technologies will be introduced relevant and necessary for Semantic Web enabled Web Services. Examples are used to illustrate the concepts and to support further understanding of the audience.

Furthermore, after the tutorial attendees will be able to

  • appreciate the need for and the advantages of Semantic Web enabled Web Services

  • understand the various technologies involved in SWWS

  • distinguish the current state of the art of Web Services and their deficiencies

  • realize the benefits of SWWSs as the next step in Web Services evolution

  • model example SWWSs and judge their quality

  • discuss the pros and cons of SWWS with traditional means of integration

We will present, discuss and teach the current state of Web Services and the Semantic Web as well as SWWS from a “neutral” viewpoint (i. e. independent of a research or vendor-specific approach) as well as put the current state into perspective by discussing the possibilities of SWWS. The approach of the proposed tutorial is to give an introduction into the field of Web Services and the Semantic Web, discuss in detail Web Services and Semantic Web concepts and introduce the concepts and framework of SWWS. Alternative approaches are compared and a substantial list of references will be provided for subsequent follow-up and literature research. The tutorial focuses solely on technical issues. Other important areas like legal requirements or social implications are not discussed.

 Intended audience and required background

The intended audience is anyone interested in Web Services, the Semantic Web and their application especially to distributed systems and integration. Specifically, users of Web Services technology who would like to get a broader understanding are invited as well as users who plan to deploy Web Services technology in the future. In addition, researchers are welcome who want to get a better understanding of Web Services, their combination with Semantic Web and their application to distributed systems and integration. Practitioners are welcome who want to understand the underlying concepts of Semantic Web enabled Web Services.

The tutorial is introduction-level to mid-level not requiring any Web Services or Semantic Web technology knowledge or experience.

High-level table of contents

I. Introduction to the Semantic Web and Web Services

  • Motivation: characterization of integration needs between enterprises

  • Domain examples

  • First characterization of Semantic Web

  • First characterization of Web Services

  • First characterization of Semantic Web enabled Web Services

  • Overview of tutorial contents

Goal: Enable the attendees to

  • characterize integration needs of enterprises on a high level

  • appreciate the power of SWWS compared to Web Services and the Semantic Web

  • decide to participate in the rest of the tutorial

II. Semantic Web

  • Fundamental idea and vision of the Semantic Web

  • Concepts for the Semantic Web

  • Examples

 Goal: Enable the attendees to

  • understand the vision of the Semantic Web

  • understand the concepts and technologies involved in the creation and use of the Semantic Web

III. Web Services (basics)

  • Fundamental idea and vision of Web Services

  • Concepts of Web Services

  • Examples

  • Problems

Goal: Enable the attendees to

  • understand the importance of Web Services

  • understand the current state of the art

  • realize the deficiencies of the current state of the art and look forward to the introduction of SWWS

IV. Web Services (advanced)

  • Discussion of

    • Standard protocols

    • Advanced frameworks

    • Languages for Web Service composition

  • Comparison

  • The Web Services Modeling Framework (WSMF)

Goal: Enable the attendees to

  • understand the need for advanced modeling frameworks

  • appreciate the power of Semantic Web enabled Web Services

V. Semantic Web enabled Web Services Framework

  • Semantic Web enabled Web Service description

  • Semantic Web enabled Web Service discovery

  • Semantic Web enabled Web Service composition

  • Semantic Web enabled Web Service invocation and interoperation

  • Semantic Web enabled Web Service mediation

Goal: Enable the attendees to

  • understand Semantic Web enabled Web Services

  • realize the benefits of Semantic Web enabled Web Services discovery, composition, invocation and interoperation

  • see the scalability of Semantic Web enabled Web Services mediation

VI. Semantic Web enabled Web Services, EAI and B2B integration

  • EAI problems

  • Semantic Web enabled Web Services applied to EAI

  • B2B integration problems

  • Semantic Web enabled Web Services applied to B2B integration

Goal: Enable the attendees to

  • understand current problems of EAI and B2B

  • realize the potential application of Semantic Web enabled Web Services to both areas

VII. References

Goal: Enable the attendees to

  • conduct further study of Semantic Web enabled Web Services