Semantic Web services (SWS) has been a vigorous technology research
area for about six years. A great deal of innovative work has been done,
and a great deal remains. Several large research initiatives have been
producing substantial bodies of technology, which are gradually maturing.
SOA vendors are looking seriously at semantic technologies and have
made initial commitments to supporting selected approaches. In the
world of standards, numerous activities have reflected the strong
interest in this work. Perhaps the most visible of these is SAWSDL
(Semantic Annotations for WSDL and XML Schema). SAWSDL recently
achieved Recommendation status at the World Wide Web Consortium.
SAWSDL's completion provides a fitting opportunity to reflect on the
state of the art and practice in SWS -- past, present, and future.
This two-part installment of 'Trends & Controversies' discusses what
has been accomplished in SWS, what value SWS can ultimately provide,
and where we can go from here to reap these technologies' benefits.
The essays in this issue effectively define service technology needs
from a long-term industry perspective. Brodie starts by recognizing
that, although industry has embraced services as the way forward on
some of its most pressing problems, SOA is a framework for integration
rather than the solution for integration. He outlines the contributions
that are needed from semantic technologies and the implications for
computing beyond services. Leymann emphasizes the broad scope of
service-related technical requirements that must be addressed before
SWS can effectively meet businesses' IT needs and semantically enabled
SOA can be regarded as an enterprise solution rather than a mere
packaging of applications. He argues that a great deal remains to be
done in several important areas. More Information See also W3C SAWSDL Click Here