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Using Semantic Web Technology to Enhance Current Business-to-Business Integration Approaches

Trastour, David; Preist, Chris; Coleman, Derek


Keyword(s): semantic web; interoperability; DAML+OIL; XML schema

Abstract: Setting up electronic Business-to-Business relationships is time-consuming and costly. It has been eased to a certain extent by standards such as RosettaNet, which use XML and XML Schema technologies to define standardised syntax of messages used in interactions. However, this standardisation has necessarily maintained some flexibility to allow companies with different internal processes to comply with the standard. Furthermore, the standard is syntactic, rather than semantic. Semantic constraints on interactions are currently represented informally. In this paper, we describe an application of Semantic Web technology to enhance RosettaNet and further reduce cost and time. Businesses can represent the possible ways they are able to interact as semantic and syntactic constraints. Two businesses can determine if they are able to interact without altering their business process by sharing constraints, and finding if the overall set is satisfiable. If it is not, they can use the data to determine what changes need to be made to their business processes. They can also use the other business' constraints to verify or generate documents which meet the constraints, and so are usable by the other business. The system integrates with current RosettaNet standards and tools through the use of a translation suite able to transform XML Schema into DAML+OIL and XML into RDF.

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