W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-ws-arch@w3.org > February 2003

Including Semantics

From: Burdett, David <david.burdett@commerceone.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 16:30:02 -0800
Message-ID: <C1E0143CD365A445A4417083BF6F42CC053D171B@C1plenaexm07.commerceone.com>
To: "'Duane Nickull'" <duane@xmlglobal.com>
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Duane asked ...

>>>One missing component I would like to see is semantics.  David - do you 
think there is a way to leverage the semantics of UBL, CCTS for the WSAG?<<<

Semantics is a whole big topic on its own, but here's my take of the
semantic information that you might need to define. Note I'm looking at this
from a "business use" perspective:

1. Document Semantics. At the highest level a namespace identifies a
document as consisting of a set of fields. Within this there are two
additional levels to consider:
  a) Individual fields. Each field needs to be defined, e.g. what does
"CustomerId" mean, e.g. is it the ID by which the Customer identifies
themselves or the id which the supplier uses to identify the customer?
  b) Fields within a document, e.g. The Customer ID could appear can appear
in multiple places in the document - how does its meaning vary depending on
where it exists.
2. Context Dependent Semantics. The content of a message can also depend on
the context in which it is being used, for example an Invoice in Europe is
different from an Invoice in the US as it contains different fields.
Similarly an Invoice used in the travel industry contains additional line
item information (e.g flight segments) that other industries (e.g. the
chemical industry) don't need.
3. Message Semantics. Messages >can< consist of multiple parts where you
could describe each "part" as a document. You then need to, in the context
of the message, define what each document mean, for example you might want
to attach a supplier generated delivery note when requesting a "return
materials advice" for some faulty goods. In this case the delivery note is
evidence that delivery occured. This is different from its first use when
the delivery note informs the buyer of what the supplier has shipped, but
not yet delivered.
4. Transaction Semantics. The same message with the same structure and same
semantics can be treated differently depending on where it is being sent and
the context in which it is being used. For example sending an Order Message
to an off-site archival service for archiving would have different meaning
than sending the "identical" message to a supplier.

So yes I think you could leverage the semantics of UBL etc, but that is just
the start and my best >guess< is that you could use header information in a
SOAP message to codify the semantics of the message ... although this sound
very non-RESTafarian ;)

Also ... this is a trout hole ... how does the W3C work on the Semantic Web
fit in with all of this ;)


-----Original Message-----
From: Duane Nickull [mailto:duane@xmlglobal.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 4:00 PM
To: Burdett, David
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: Re: Layers in the WSA (was RE: [Fwd: UN/CEFACT TMG Releases
e-Bus ines s Architecture Technical Specification for Public Review])

Received on Wednesday, 12 February 2003 19:30:34 UTC

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