Web Services as XML Data Sources in Enterprise Information Integration

Web Services as XML Data Sources in Enterprise Information Integration

Ákos Hajnal, Tamás Kifor, Gergely Lukácsy, László Z. Varga
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-330-2.ch005
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More and more systems provide data through web service interfaces and these data have to be integrated with the legacy relational databases of the enterprise. The integration is usually done with enterprise information integration systems which provide a uniform query language to all information sources, therefore the XML data sources of Web services having a procedural access interface have to be matched with relational data sources having a database interface. In this chapter the authors provide a solution to this problem by describing the Web service wrapper component of the SINTAGMA Enterprise Information Integration system. They demonstrate Web services as XML data sources in enterprise information integration by showing how the web service wrapper component integrates XML data of Web services in the application domain of digital libraries.
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There are several completed and ongoing research projects in using logic-based approaches for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Enterprise Information Integration (EII) as well.

The generic EAI research stresses the importance of the Service Oriented Architecture, and the provision of new capabilities within the framework of Semantic Web Services. Examples for such research projects include DIP (see Vasiliu et al. 2004) and INFRAWEBS (see Grigorova 2006). We have also approached the EAI issue from the agent technology point of view (see Varga et al. 2005 and Varga et al. 2004). These attempts aim at the semantic integration of Web Services, in most cases using Description Logic based ontologies, agent and Semantic Web technologies. The goal of these projects is to support the whole range of EAI capabilities like service discovery, security and high reliability.

Most of the logic-based EII tools use description logics and take a similar approach as we did in SINTAGMA, that is, they create a description logic model as a view over the information sources to be integrated. The basic framework of this solution is described e.g. by Calvanese et al. 1998. The disadvantage is that these types of applications deal with relational sources only and are therefore not applicable to process modeling.

This chapter unifies the procedural EAI approach and the relational EII approach by integrating relational and functional XML information sources within the SINTAGMA system. The advantage of this approach is that the integration team does not have to implement web service interface to relational databases nor relational database interface to web services, because the SINTAGMA system automatically integrates the different sources. In addition to the integration, the SINTAGMA system includes several optimizations when answering queries on the integrated system.

The integration of web services with the relational data sources includes two important tasks: modeling the web services in the SINTAGMA system and querying the XML data returned by the web service.

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