I was at the Infoworld SOA event this week and and someone asked by about the use of ontologies in SOA. I haven't been asked about SOA ontologies in a LONG time... I had an immediate flashback to getting rejected by Web Services Journal to write an article on the subject...
I sent your proposal to Sean Rhody for his review. At this time, we regret that we will be unable to accept this article for the magazine.
Gail, here is the abstract:
“Semantic Web Services”
The desire for computers to easily communicate has long been a goal of both computer scientists and businessmen, the latter recognizing the financial gain of seamless systems integration. Over time, this goal has been recognized through network standards like Ethernet, TCP/IP and HTTP. More recently the standardization has moved up the protocol stack. Now, XML is being used to add structure through tagging, which facilitates concept delineation and enumeration. Web Services build on this foundation and enhance the communication through additional features including object serialization/deserialization (SOAP), service registries (UDDI) and standardized service interfaces (WSDL).
Yet even with these advances computers still aren’t aware of the meaning of the text that is being sent, nor are they able to make any reasonable inferences about the data. Tim Berner Lee and the W3C have been tackling this problem through an initiative dubbed the “Semantic Web”. This initiative uncovers the semantic meanings of transactions allowing companies to use a common dictionary and also enabling like terms to be disambiguated (“Automobile == Car”).
The use of the Semantic Web for concept delineation and Web Services for interoperability is enabling a new bread of applications known collectively as, “Semantic Web Services”. This article will explore the state of semantic ontologies, business grammars and emerging commercial products.
Ok, the year was 2002, and I did refer to SOAP as an object serilization mechanism - perhaps it was appropriate for them to reject the article ;-) Now that we're approaching 2007 I believe that we'll start to hear more and more on this subject - who knows, maybe I'll resubmit the abstract!