The Semantic Side of Service-Oriented Architectures

The Semantic Side of Service-Oriented Architectures

Catarina Ferreira da Silva (University of Lyon 1, France), Paulo Rupino da Cunha (University of Coimbra, Portugal), Parisa Ghodous (University of Lyon 1, France) and Paulo Melo (University of Coimbra and INESC Coimbra, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-804-8.ch005


In Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA), service descriptions are fundamental elements. In order to automatically execute SOA tasks, such as services discovery, it is necessary to capture and process the semantics of services. We review several Semantic Web Services frameworks that intend to bring semantics to Web Services. This chapter depicts some ideas from SOA and Semantic Web services and their application to enterprise application integration. We illustrate an example of logic-based semantic matching between consumer services and provided services, which are described in ontologies.
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By nature, all large systems are heterogeneous, i.e. they lack uniformity. These systems were initially developed with different purposes, and evolved towards accretions of different platforms, programming languages and even middleware. SOA paradigm aims at dealing with heterogeneous systems in a decentralised way as much as possible. Decentralisation helps to obtain loose coupling. SOA key technical concepts are services, loose coupling and interoperability. We briefly describe these three concepts below.

Although several definitions exist, in short, a service is an information technology (IT) representation of self-contained business functionality.

Loose coupling minimises dependencies and thus helps scalability, flexibility and fault tolerance. When dependencies are reduced, modifications have minimised effects and the systems still run when part of them are down. When problems occur, it is important to decrease their effects and consequences. Josuttis (2007) elaborates on several strategies to apply loose coupling.

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