Prototype semantic interoperability enhancements for FLOSS middleware and FLOSS forges
Semantic interoperability is achieved when the meaning of exchanged information is understood by applications and services. Achieving semantic interoperability today is seen as one of the biggest challenges for the integration of information systems. Basically, this is due to the fact that meaning changes by context and over time and different requirements in different domains result in different information models. The QualiPSo project has identified semantic integration approaches as well as semantic capabilities of OSS middleware and OSS forges. In addition, exemplary platform enhancements have been developed and practical experiments based on these developments have been performed, in the following areas:
- OSS Middleware Platform Enhancements
- Semantic Business Process Integration – an approach for extending Open Source BPEL engines with ontology mapping facilities
- Semantic Harmonisation of Security Policies - mediation of security policies in an OSS Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) middleware
- Semantic Interoperability Enhancement for OSS Forges
- Semantics-based Cross Forge Project Migration – apply semantic integration to enable migration of projects between OSS forges
- Semantics-based Cross Forge Search – use ontologies and semantic mediation to enable software search across heterogeneous OSS forges
- Semantic Harmonisation Approaches
- Semantic Mapping Testing – ensure quality and correctness of semantic mappings
Pre-conditions and requirements
All prototypes are developed using Java programming language. For the specific requirements and installation guides for each prototype look at the “Documentation” section at the prototype’s website. The links to the prototypes sites are given below.
The associated documentation to the prototype is the main report on Semantic Interoperability – Platform Enhancements and Experiments
Links to download the prototype enhancements:
- Semantic Business Process Integration and Semantic Service Composer for BPEL
- Semantic Harmonisation of Security Policies: Semantic security mediator module (SecureComm) for an Open Source Enterprise Service Bus
- Semantic Mapping Testing: OSS tool for Semantic Mapping Testing
- Semantics-based Cross Forge Project Migration: an OSS tool for Cross Forge Project Migration
- Semantics-based Cross Forge Search: Cross Forge Search engine
The experiments underlined that shifting the integration efforts from the technical/syntactical to the semantic level brings about two main advantages. First, the integration can be performed by non-technical domain experts that have the domain-specific knowledge. Furthermore, the use of formally defined semantics opens the door for extensive tool support by applying automated reasoning techniques.
The developments and scenarios extensively demonstrated the use of available third-party tools and frameworks for semantic information integration. Although a wide variety of tools in this area is available as Open Source Software, numerous issues related to stability, maturity and compatibility were experienced. Other challenges are more of general nature. Among these are: problems imposed by the open world assumption inherent to the OWL ontology language, the handling of lossy semantic mappings between heterogeneous ontologies, and the bridging between structural description languages and semantic description languages. These and other challenges in the domain of semantic approaches demand thorough investigation.
Maturity Level (1-5)
Within the scope of this work package it was not feasible to follow an holistic approach towards semantically enhanced OSS middleware and OSS forges. Hence, the idea was to focus on a set of exemplary developments and experiments in both areas (OSS middleware and OSS forges) in order to investigate and demonstrate how semantic technologies can be used to cope with the diversity of software, services and actors in the OSS domain.
The developed platform enhancement have a status of a research prototype. The current maturity of the prototypes would be around 2.
- Competence Centres
- Project Identity