RE: request for info on Semantic Web business applications

The OASIS PLCS TC is standardizing data exchange for product life cycle
support (logistics support, maintenance planning, solution support
engineering). It is applying an external OWL class hierarchy to add
semantics to the data exchange structures. The data exchange structures are
based on ISO 10303-239 Product Life Cycle Support and are defined in a
modeling language called ISO EXPRESS (more or less equivalent to UML Static
Class diagrams). We've translated the ISO EXPRESS into OWL to facilitate
this exchange and have implemented a prototype OWL Server using Web Services
giving those involved in the first prototypes access to the class library.

I presented this at the ISWC 2004 in November. See where you'll find a paper called

Applying Semantic Web Technology to the Life Cycle Support of Complex
Engineering Assets


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Frank Manola
Sent: 01 March 2005 14:41
Subject: request for info on Semantic Web business applications

The question "are there any real business applications of Semantic Web 
technology?" comes up all the time.  It's come up before on this list, 
and came up again at the Semantic Web Interest Group meeting now going 
on in Boston. I've (been?) volunteered to gather information on that 
subject, so I'm soliciting input from the list.  I'll try to organize 
this information and post either it or a suitable URL to the list. 
Please reply to the list, rather than just to me, so everyone can see 
the answers, and participate in the discussion.  The information I'm 
looking for falls in one or more of the following categories:

a.  Actual instances of (what you think are) existing business 
applications of Semantic Web technology (and pointers to more 
information, if it's available).  The general outline of what I'm 
looking for here is something like:

FOO (a company, industry sector, etc.) is applying BAR (a Semantic Web 
technology or language) to do BAZ (some kind of work)

Prototypes being developed in conjunction with customers can be 
included, if they're identified as such, but I'm not looking for 
speculation about things that *could* at some point reasonably be 
Semantic Web applications, unless they're considered a potential future 
extension of some more concrete activity.  Also, I'm not using 
"applications" here to mean programs that parse or store or edit RDF, 
OWL, etc., or things of that sort. "Applications" here means things like 
interchange of real estate or scientific data, knowledge collection and 
management, metadata about resources of various kinds, agents and other 
"smart" applications, etc.  Finally, "business" isn't restricted to 
private enterprise;  government applications are fine too.

b.  If you are looking for Semantic Web business applications, what 
criteria do you use for determining what a "business application" is, or 
what sorts of applications do you consider "business applications"? 
(I'm asking this question because apparently just because a Semantic Web 
technology is used in some business activity doesn't necessarily mean it 
counts as a "business application" to everyone).

c. If you think that certain applications given as examples of business 
applications are *not* business applications, please say why you think 
they aren't.

Further background:  There are a number of what some of us consider 
existing business applications of Semantic Web technology identified in 
the RDF Primer and other W3C documents and presentations on the Semantic 
Web and related areas. Nevertheless, the question of whether there are 
any business applications continues to arise.  Part of the problem is 
probably that we're simply not getting the word out well enough.  But 
another part is that we don't necessarily have a thorough understanding 
of what people are looking for when they say "business application". 
Hence this message.

Thanks for your help.


Received on Saturday, 5 March 2005 13:11:14 UTC