WISEMOD: A Framework that Combines Workflow, Ontology and Semantic Web Service Technologies: Proof of Concept: Implementation of a prototype
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This project builds upon the results of a prestudy performed by the same authors in the latter part of 2005. Both this project and the prestudy was performed under the ongoing WISEMOD effort at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The prestudy showed that Semantic Web technologies could be used to automate many scenarios where information is processed or retrieved using traditional Web Services. To enable the creation of clients supporting Semantic Web Services, the need for a solid back-end system was clear -- a Semantic Web Service Gateway (SWSG) was needed. The specification and implementation of a prototype of this back-end system is the topic of this report. The SWSG prototype developed in this project provides a reference implementation of a back-end system that provide Semantic Web Services to end-user clients and Workflow Management Systems. The prototype was built on an architecture that enables the system to be extendable, modifiable, testable and in general very flexible for future usage and research. The prototype was largely based on off-the-shelf third party components, so much of the job was related to figuring out how these components could be used and how they could work together. During the project we have refined the requirements presented in the prestudy report, and used these to define an architecture for the SWSG system. We have also implemented a runnable proof-of-concept prototype based on this architecture. While implementing the prototype we have investigated some of the many available tools and frameworks for the Semantic Web. Our experiences with these tools are included in this report. The prototype that has been created during this project shows how Semantic Web Services can be provided to clients that not necessarily themselves are semantic aware. The prototype system can be used for the creation of intelligent end-user applications, or it can be used for supporting dynamic business processes through Workflow Management Systems. The prototype can also be used for testing new components for the Semantic Web as they become available, since it is built on a highly extendable and flexible architectural framework.