Enterprise Application Integration

sounderslipInternet and Web Development

Oct 22, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)


Applying Semantic Web To
Enterprise Application Integration

By: Vipul Narain

Enterprise Application Integration

Stages of

Initial phase of Enterprises

manual processing of data

Advent of computer

different enterprise entity automated on
multiple technology platforms suiting their needs

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). Example: HR,
Finance, Manufacturing, Production Planning, Purchase etc.
had their own IT technology implementations suited for their

Need for information was felt across different enterprise
entity. Example: Manufacturing needed to know from
Production planning when on equipment planning and
purchase status for items required.

Initial phase of EAI

different need based integration points,
unique and non standard

Enterprise Application Integration

Stages of


Non standard EAI resulted in following


Multiple interfaces, all different

Maintenance Issues

Redundant and duplicate data stores

Data inconsistencies as a result of above

Complexities associated with multiple technologies

More failure points

No concept of re

Last Decade of last century saw the emergence of object
oriented technologies. This did not solve the issues of EAI
but promoted re
use, easy maintenance.

Enterprise Application Integration

Stages of


EAI issues led to paradigm of Service
Oriented Architecture

Here are the major features of SOA:

Notion of Service

Service Centric

A service is a logical grouping of operations.

Services could be discovered during run time

Services provided loose coupling among applications and were
based on message based protocols

Services needed to be registered or published in a central
repository called Service Registry

Services could be invoked by Service Requestor (based on
agreed upon message protocol with Service provider)

Services could be composed from different Services

Services provide platform independence

Enterprise Application Integration

Stages of


Here are some major components of SOA:


Enterprise Service Bus

Service Registry

Service Broker

BPM Tools

Internet Gateway

SOA was embraced by large Enterprises to solve the
problems of EAI

Vendor products like IBM MQ were used
during this phase

Enterprise Application Integration

Stages of


EAI using vendor specific

products tied an enterprise to

Open Source development, advent of internet/ intranet led to
paradigm of Web Services which was based on the standards
of WSDL, XML, SOAP and UDDI. Vendor offerings with these
standards required other vendors to be compliant to new Web
Service Standards

These helped in standard EAI interfaces and seem to have
solved number of earlier EAI ills.

Enterprise boundary no longer was confined within an
enterprise and extended to vendors, external trading partners
as well (B2B) apart from application
within an organization

Enterprise Application Integration

Stages of


Traditional Web Service Standards embraced for EAI
suffered from following major drawbacks:

Syntax based, do not describe the meaning of the interface

Lack the ability for machine to machine interpretation without
formal agreement in place

Assume all participating application are WSDL compliant and in
case not

adapters are used.

Do not fully meet the criterion for lose coupling in case of
synchronous transactions

a communication Channel is opened
between provider and requestor.

The above drawbacks led to Semantic Web Services (SWS)
and Semantic SOA (SSOA)

Semantic Web

World Wide Web
Consortium(W3C) Definition

Semantic Web

provides a common framework that

to be shared and reused across application,
enterprise, and community boundaries. It is a collaborative
effort led by W3C with participation from a large number of
researchers and industrial partners. It is based on the
Resource Description Framework (

Semantic Web

Vision of founding

“ I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become
capable of analyzing all the data on the Web

the content,
links, and transactions between people and computers. A
‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to
emerge, but when it does, the day
day mechanisms of
trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by
machines talking to machines. The ‘intelligent agents’ people
have touted for ages will finally materialize. ”

Semantic Web

Concept of Ontology

Information Technology borrowed this term from philosophy. Here is
the Merriam Webster Dictionary

“ 1: a branch of metaphysics
concerned with the nature and relations of being

2: a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things
that have existence”.

Semantic Web

Concept of Ontology

A formal study based on conceptualization of data (objects of
interest), their relationships and other entities of interest.
Putting simply, this simply means that interface is fully described in
standard common data format with relationships between different
pieces of data attributes, their hierarchy and meaning. The
underlying framework for describing the semantics is based on
WSMO standards (Web Services Modeling Ontology).

Semantic Web

Concept of
Ontology Contd.

Ontology: These describe formal semantics and link human
and machines by providing entities understood by both.

Goals: The objectives of Service Requestor are formally
enunciated in goals. These are high
level descriptions of
actual concrete tasks.

Web services: These declare the actual Web Service
capabilities. Only if service requestor and provider have
same ontology a match could be established. The notion of
mediator described next is to resolve these differences.

Semantic Web

Concept of Ontology

Mediators: These compare the two Ontology

provider and
requestor and determine the similarities between the two.
These are grouped as follows:

1.ggMediators: Link the provider and requestor goals

2.ooMediators: Import and resolve mismatches between

3.wgMediators: Links Web Services to goals

4.wwMediators: Links the two Web Services

Semantic Web

Concept of Triple
Space Computing

Based on concept of Tuple space computing used in parallel
processing Language like Linda

A major advantage of Tuple space computing is that it
provides decoupling from three orthogonal dimensions:

Reference: Sender and receiver communication is not
directly coupled

Time: The Sender and receiver are not in direct synchronous

Space: As long as same space is shared, the two need not
run in same computational environment.

Semantic Web

Concept of Triple
Space Computing

W3C defined Resource Description Framework (RDF) is based
on the concept of shared space to address the problems with
Tuple space Computing. RDF defines semantic data in the
Notation 3 or N3 format. These include subject, verb and
object identified with a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
Additionally, RDF Schema defines classes, properties, domains,
and hierarchy of classes. Web Ontology Language (OWL)
further enhances RDF.

The Triple Servers will have data published on them that could
be requested, read and interpreted by machines

The major advantages provided to the providers and
consumers are the Time autonomy

the only restriction being
the Triple being written to common space before it could be

WSMO supports Triple Space Computing

Semantic Web and EAI

TSC Servers provide Transactions to be read and written on
common Space

This allows location Transparency

provider and consumer do
not need to know each others location

Allows lose coupling in communication as well as provider and
consumer do not talk directly to each other. This is great
benefit for EAI dealing with synchronous transactions.

Allows Services to be changed during run time based on
ontology matches

Allows the consumer and provided need not have knowledge
of each other

discovery in real sense

Builds Intelligence in Machine to Machine interactions


To conclude, the strengths provided by concepts of
Semantic Web applied to Enterprise Application
Integration are enormous. These relate to in building
capability of machines talking to machines in
Application as well as B2B scenarios in an
Enterprise. The Semantic SOA (SSOA) will help in
achieving the declared objectives of SOA through
Semantic Web Service by supporting all features of SOA
and extending them.

Questions ????