Semantic Web Services

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Semantic Web Services, like conventional web services, are the server end of a client-server system for machine-to-machine interaction via the World Wide Web. Semantic services are a component of the semantic web because they use markup which makes data machine-readable in a detailed and sophisticated way (as compared with human-readable HTML which is usually not easily "understood" by computer programs).

Contents

The problem addressed by Semantic Web Services

The mainstream XML standards for interoperation of web services specify only syntactic interoperability, not the semantic meaning of messages. For example, Web Services Description Language (WSDL) can specify the operations available through a web service and the structure of data sent and received but cannot specify semantic meaning of the data or semantic constraints on the data. This requires programmers to reach specific agreements on the interaction of web services and makes automatic web service composition difficult.

Semantic web services are built around universal standards for the interchange of semantic data, which makes it easy for programmers to combine data from different sources and services without losing meaning. Web services can be activated "behind the scenes" when a web browser makes a request to a web server, which then uses various web services to construct a more sophisticated reply than it would have been able to do on its own. Semantic web services can also be used by automatic programs that run without any connection to a web browser.

Choreography vs. orchestration

Choreography is concerned with describing the external visible behavior of services, as a set of message exchanges optionally following a Message Exchange Pattern (MEP), from the functionality consumer point of view.

Orchestration deals with describing how a number of services, two or more, cooperate and communicate with the aim of achieving a common goal.

Related technologies

Semantic Web languages:

Semantic Web Service frameworks:

Related projects

European projects

Other projects

References

  • Sinuhe Arroyo et al. (2004). Semantic Aspects of Web Services in Practical Handbook of Internet Computing. Chapman Hall and CRC Press. ISBN 1-58488-381-2. 
  • Cardoso, J., Sheth, Amit (Eds.), (2006). Semantic Web Services, Processes and Applications. Springer. ISBN 0-387-30239-5. 

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