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Re: The Open Group SOA Ontology

From: Florian Lautenbacher <lautenbacher_flo@gmx.net>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 11:39:24 -0400
Message-ID: <20080718145910.235900@gmx.net>
To: Chris Harding <c.harding@opengroup.org>, www-ws@w3.org, semantic-web@w3.org

Dear Chris,

thanks for your email to the w3c-newsletter. I read the first time about the SOA ontology and think it's quite a good approach for describing all the concepts in an SOA. However, I got a few questions when I read through the specification where I think you might help me with:

-The SOA ontology says that it aims to be (potentially) a basis for model-driven implementation of an SOA. How shall this exactly be done? Are there several levels of the ontology defined in order to refine the ontology in several models or are you thinking about some automatical code generations (more general ontology at top level and an additional grounding to existing services lateron)?

-In other ontologies for web services there is often the notion of input, output, preconditions and effects (IOPE). There are effects in the SOA ontology, but no preconditions defined on a service? Is this on purpose?

-The effect is simply an OWL-DL-class. Are any languages envisioned for describing effects (such as KIF, SWRL, RuleML or R2ML)? - KIF and SWRL are e.g. used in OWL-S.

-Rules and Policies: are there links or recommendations to other languages that allow the specification of Rules (SBVR, SWRL, URML, etc.) or Policies (KAOS, Rei, Ponder2, etc.)?

-Is there a way to specify non-functional properties of a service (Quality of service, costs, etc.)? Not only for software services, but also for other services this would be quite interesting (Joe's car wash does always cost $5, except on Sunday then it's $7)

-How is a contract detailed? Are there any mandatory properties that need to be described? (e.g. costs)

-Solutions: In the context of services one often talks about goals that need to be achieved by the composition of services. And this composition is then normally a possible solution. However, in your ontology I don't find any correspondence between solution and composition (or the notion of goal itself).

-Are there constructs that define how a composition of services (in your terminology a system) shall be achieved? (sequences, alternative flows, etc.)? I didn't find any.

-The part about requirements, design and implementation in my opinion is not that specific for an SOA. Are there thoughts to describe this in an own ontology (as e.g. the Software Process Engineering Metamodel, SPEM, simply focuses on these parts, too) and simply integrate this other ontology into the SOA ontology?

-Concerning the messages and message types: how is the relationship thought to WSDL or SAWSDL? Are there already examples how WSDL (or better annotated WSDL like SAWSDL) can be combined with the SOA ontology?

-How is the relationship to business process modeling standards such as BPMN? You mentioned that the SOA ontology related the Service to other areas such as business process modeling but not exactly how.

-Figure 25: Architecture Building Block is an abstraction of Anything? How can the concept of "Anything" be abstracted? Probably the arrow might go the other direction?

-How is the Architecture Development Activity linked to the Design? There is no connection in your specification, but probably it might be part of the design (as is the development of an architecture often during the design phase in software engineering)

-A question not about the concepts in the SOA ontology: Why didn't you use UML class diagrams in your models? That would make it much easier (at least for software engineers) to understand what they are about...

Thanks for clarification and best regards,


 Dipl.-Inf. Florian Lautenbacher

 Programming Distributed Systems Lab
 Institute of Computer Science
 University of Augsburg
 Universitätsstr. 14
 86135 Augsburg, Germany

 phone:  +49 821 598-3102
 fax:    +49 821 598-2175

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 14:27:25 +0100
> Von: Chris Harding <c.harding@opengroup.org>
> An: semantic-web@w3.org, www-ws@w3.org
> Betreff: The Open Group SOA Ontology

> Hi -
> For some time now, The Open Group has been developing a formal 
> ontology for SOA. We made an early version available for comment by 
> W3C members over a year ago. We have now reached the stage where we 
> believe that it is almost complete, and are exposing it to outside 
> bodies for review and comment prior to its final review within The Open
> Group.
> The ontology is a formal OWL ontology, but the draft also includes 
> extensive heuristic explanations of its concepts. We believe that it 
> complements work on OWL-S and WSMO, in that it includes a compatible 
> concept of "Service" and relates this to concepts in other areas, 
> including Enterprise Architecture and Business Process Modeling.
> The draft is publicly available at 
> http://www.opengroup.org/projects/soa-ontology/doc.tpl?gdid=16940  We 
> would very much appreciate your input, not only on the relation of 
> this work to OWL-S and WSMO, but on all aspects that are of interest 
> to you. We will address comments received at this stage before 
> creating the draft for final Open Group review. I therefore invite 
> you to review the draft, and to send me comments on it.
> Regards,
> Chris
> ++++
> ========================================================================
> Dr. Christopher J. Harding
> Forum Director for SOA and Semantic Interoperability
> Thames Tower, 37-45 Station Road, Reading RG1 1LX, UK
> Mailto:c.harding@opengroup.org Phone (mobile): +44 774 063 1520
> http://www.opengroup.org
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Received on Friday, 18 July 2008 15:40:23 UTC

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