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Re: SOA organised with RDF - update

From: Michael F Uschold <uschold@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2011 22:02:49 -0700
Message-ID: <CADfiEMPt+OJ+2aNrDA=nFXynnrOSJyg1M3DCp6A2oEOqEPpxdw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Frank Carvalho <dko4342@vip.cybercity.dk>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org
This is very intriguing, thanks for the update.  I'm curious about the
apparent lack of use for 'fixed' ontologies.  I get that in a highly dynamic
environment, having fixed metadata (whether as an ontology or not) is a
great hindrance.  What I'm curious about that you do not discuss, is what
the role is for the ontologies you do have.  One obvoius possibility is as
metadata for the data, i.e.ontology as data schema.  You say you have many
ontologies, do you need to map them to one another to do any kind of data
integration/interoperability to get over problems of different terminology?
 In that context a single (not necessarily fixed) ontology can act as a
lingua franca allowing the multiple ontologies to cross-reference and
translate among each other.


On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 3:28 AM, Frank Carvalho <dko4342@vip.cybercity.dk>wrote:

> Hi
> About 4 years ago I wrote about organising SOA using RDF. I thought that
> if anyone remembers that, they might be interested in an update.
> I still work in the danish tax and customs, and our SOA development
> program has now reached a mature stage, with 1000 webservice
> definitions, 3000 endpoints, numerous operations environments and a
> myriad of information to keep together. We also have to coordinate a
> number of solution suppliers and operators, as we don't in fact build
> our own solutions. This would probably never have succeeded without
> resorting to semantic web technology.
> Four years ago, we used an eXist XML database as the core. This required
> serialized RDF/XML to work, and was not efficient for querying. I
> received many suggestions to move to a dedicated RDF database, but it
> has taken a long time to do this, as the day-to-day work keeps
> distracting us.
> Nevertheless, we eventually moved our metadata to a core using
> OpenRDF-Sesame, and we have developed a suite of rdfizers/introspectors
> based on a combination of ARQ and linux shell scripts, to feed the
> metadatabase with fresh updates.
> The metadatabase is rapidly growing, but manages to tie together
> information from UML, BPMN, WSDL and XSD code generation, documentation,
> souorce code, service bus introspection, test suites and you name it
> into an interconnected graph/database.
> With this metadatabase it is fairly easy to query questions like
> - "Which webservices from system X are failing?",
> - "If I change UML Use Case UCY, which service endpoint may potentially
> be affected?", or
> - "If I change the datatype of XSD element Z, what is the total impact
> on our webservices, documentation, source code and operation
> environments?"
> - "Where can I find the exact specification and documentation for
> endpoint P?"
> or any other question of that sort. We have a metadata governance group
> that are able to develop their own custom SPARQL queries, so that
> requests of this kind from our business departments can be met.
> Metadata updating is all automatized, as manual updating is doomed to
> fail! Metadata are produced as a spill-over from the specification work
> that has to be done anyway. This means that the day-to-day work
> automatically enriches the metadatabase.
> The move to Sesame enabled fast queries, multiple RDF backends, web
> distribution, and also provides a workbench for the governance group to
> develop new queries.
> I have noticed that there has always been a tremendous focus on
> developing standard ontologies for this and that. I also noticed that
> there was an initiative to develop a standard ontology for SOA. But in
> my experience, the strength of our concept - in contrast to virtually
> all metadata management products I have seen - is that we do NOT have a
> fixed ontology. Each type of metainformation has its own ontology. And
> this ontology is not even fixed. We make changes to the ontologies
> whenever we like. If we add a new source of metainformation, we
> typically also add a dedicated ontology for that type of source.
> This way we can keep the metadatabase dynamic and alive all the time,
> and adapt to changing needs. I find it very hard to subscribe to fixed
> ontologies, because they invariably always turn out to be a hindrance.
> Of course this means that some SPARQL queries may have to be altered
> too, when we decide to change something in an ontology, but this is a
> very small price to pay for the ultimate flexibility.
> Best
> Frank Carvalho
> Central Customs and Tax
> Denmark

Michael Uschold, PhD
   Senior Ontology Consultant, Semantic Arts
   LinkedIn: http://tr.im/limfu
   Skype, Twitter: UscholdM
Received on Saturday, 1 October 2011 05:03:27 UTC

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