n South African Computer Journal - iSemServ : a model-driven approach to developing semantic web services : research article




The benefits of incorporating Semantic Web Services in web applications are well documented. However, both the real-world implementation and adoption of these services are still rather limited in practice. This is despite the promises that extend syntactic Web services with capabilities such as automatic service discovery, composition, and execution. Some of the barriers to the real-world implementation are the complexities and tool support related to the development of Semantic Web Services. In this article, the main challenge that is addressed is the tight coupling of existing Semantic Web Services (SWS) development platforms to specific semantic description languages and service description languages, which unintentionally lead to unbending service development environments. The main contribution in this article is therefore a model-driven approach called that exploits mature technologies, such as UML, and model-transformation techniques for simplifying and semi-automating the development of SWS using description languages of choice, such as Web Ontology Language for Services (OWL-S) and Web Application Description Language (WADL). A design science research methodology was employed in conducting the study. The suggested approach was practically implemented as an Eclipse plug-in and evaluated based on a real-world use case scenario and comparative analysis of related solutions. The evaluation results show that our proposed solution is relevant and appropriate in aiding the semi-automatic development of SWS, albeit with a number of limitations that could be addressed by extending the proposed practical solution.


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