Semantics for E-Commerce Applications

Semantics for E-Commerce Applications

Jorge Cardoso (University of Madeira, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-943-4.ch047
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A few years ago, e-commerce applications were mainly focused on handling transactions and managing catalogs. Applications automated only a small portion of the electronic transaction process, for example: taking orders, scheduling shipments, and providing customer service. E-commerce was held back by closed markets that could not use distributed services, due to the use of incompatible communication protocols. Recently, business needs are evolving beyond transaction support to include requirements for the interoperability and integration of heterogeneous, autonomous, and distributed service. Enabling technologies and business-centered design methodologies have addressed the shortcomings of contemporary e-commerce applications. New technological development such as Web services, Web processes, and semantics have allowed the creation of a new bread of e-commerce applications which can orchestrate cross-organizational and distributed services. Web services and processes refer to a set of technologies that can universally standardize the communication of applications in order to connect systems, services, business partners, and customers cost-effectively through the World Wide Web. Semantics provide an agreed understanding of information between and among Web services encouraging the development of interoperable systems that can help create and support new collections of services to better meet the demands and expectations of customers. In this article, we present seven reasons why semantics should be an integral part of Web services and Web processes technology managing e-commerce applications.

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